Pain in the shoulder and/or elbow joint

If our shoulder aches, we frequently consider that reason is problems with spine, and do not suspect that cause for the pain would be shoulder – it’s joint - itself. For young, physically active people these kinds of complaints usually occur due to overload or trauma, therefore they more frequently understand the connection between one’s actions and consequences and seek the help of Traumatology – Orthopaedics specialist. But elderly people experiencing pain in the shoulder area without specific reason frequently seek neurologist or attend massage courses and afterwards feel disappointed that these activities has not given the expected result – pain does not go away. Reason of the pain for elderly people could be connected with the ageing process in the joint itself. To diagnose it and commence appropriate treatment, Traumatology – Orthopaedics specialist consultation is required.

Pain in the shoulder joint and shoulder area could be the consequences of the rupture of rotator cuff injury, arthritis, “Frozen shoulder”, as well as traumas. Pain in the elbow joint could be also consequences of joint inflammation, arthritis or trauma.

When experiencing acute or chronic pain in shoulder or elbow joint, seek the help of Traumatology – Orthopaedics specialist, especially when:

● Pain does not go away for several days;

● Pain wakes you up at night;

● Swelling or big hematoma form in the joint;

● Movements are limited in the joint;

● Signs of infection are observed – increased body temperature, locally joint is warmer, red, pain increases.

Stiffness of the shoulder or elbow.  Most common reasons for the stiffness of the shoulder joint are “Frozen” shoulder or arthritis. Stiffness manifests as limitation of the hand movements. At the same time stiffness in the shoulder and elbow joint can indicate of systemic illness, for example, rheumatoid arthritis.


In case of the stiff elbow usually both bending and straightening of the elbow joint is limited. Stiffness in elbow is consequences of trauma after bruise or fracture of the elbow followed by prolonger fixation of the elbow joint in gyps (immobilization). Also inflammation of joint can cause stiffness of elbow.


Weakness of the shoulder joint cause difficulties to raise the arm. It is caused mainly by the rupture of rotator or shoulder stature syndrome.

Swelling is commonly encountered response of the body in case of elbow joint problems. It can be observed, for example, in case of lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow, medial epicondylitis or golfer’s elbow as well as inflammation of the fluid-sack of joint (bursitis).

Swelling in the shoulder area can be the consequences of acute joint inflammation or infection.

If painful swelling develops in the shoulder or elbow joint, immediately seek Traumatology – Orthopaedics specialist help.

Twisting. Shoulder joint is complicated and comparatively non-stable. Both in case of trauma and anatomic peculiarities (increased elasticity of the soft tissues) shoulder joint can be twisted.

Elbow joint is much more stable and is twisted much rarer. Most frequently elbow joint is twisted due to trauma.