The cause of shoulder pain can usually be diagnosed after a pertinent history has been obtained and a relevant physical examination performed. To carry out such an evaluation, the examiner must understand the salient anatomic relationships of the shoulder. Causes of should pain include supraspinatus tendinitis (the most common), bicipital tendinitis, impingement syndromes, supraspinatus rupture, subacromial bursitis, arthritis, frozen shoulder, and various conditions that refer pain to the shoulder. Treatment in most cases consists of rest and administration of a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug or injection of a corticosteroid preparation, or both.
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