You can usually do things to ease shoulder pain yourself. See a GP if it does not start feeling better after 2 weeks.
You usually need to do these things for 2 weeks before shoulder pain starts to ease.
It can take 4 to 6 weeks to recover fully from mild shoulder pain.
stay active and gently move your shoulder
try exercises for shoulder pain – do them for 6 to 8 weeks to stop pain returning
stand up straight with your shoulders gently back
sit with a cushion behind your lower back
rest your arm on a cushion in your lap
use pain relief so you can keep moving – try painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen, and heat or cold packs
do not completely stop using your shoulder – this can stop it getting better
do not do things that seem to make it worse
do not make up your own strenuous exercises or use heavy gym equipment
do not slouch when sitting – do not roll your shoulders or bring your neck forward
Try either a:
A pharmacist can suggest:
These can be signs of something serious, like a broken or dislocated bone, or a torn (ruptured) ligament or tendon.
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.
Go to an urgent treatment centre
Urgent treatment centres are places you can go if you need to see someone now.
They're also called walk-in centres or minor injuries units.
You may be seen quicker than you would at A&E.
A GP will examine you to work out what's causing your shoulder pain.
They might send you for tests (such as an X-ray) to check the cause.
They'll suggest a treatment based on the cause, for example:
The number of physiotherapy sessions a GP might prescribe depends on the cause of your shoulder pain.
If you're still in pain after your sessions end, go back to the GP.
They might prescribe more physiotherapy or suggest another treatment.
Physiotherapy from the NHS might not be available everywhere. Waiting times can also be long.
You can also pay to get physiotherapy privately.
Shoulder pain that does not improve after 2 weeks might be caused by something that needs treatment.
Do not self-diagnose – see a GP if you're worried.