The shoulder is a complicated piece of equipment. There are more muscles and tendons connected to it than you’d think. If your shoulder starts hurting it could mean a variety of different things – and depending on the cause, it can mean completely different sorts of treatment.

Believe it or not, shoulder pain can be experienced by someone who leads a healthy, active lifestyle as well as someone who sits at a computer all day and rarely exercises. As well as everybody who falls in the middle of these two categories. Shoulder pain happens to everyone!

The first thing you should do before you treat yourself in any way is to realise what’s causing your pain.

If you lead an active lifestyle, causes may lay in injuries that are caused by sudden movements, or movements that are repetitive and might cause long-term damage. Your pain might be a symptom of a sudden injury or an injury that has been waiting to let noticed for quite some time.

Thinks like bursitis, impingement syndrome or rotator cuff tear might cause a lot of similar pain but have completely different cures or treatments. Your best choice is not to diagnose yourself, but go see your medical professional if the pain becomes unbearable.

If you’re thinking about skipping the doctor, consider that the longer you wait, the more serious the problem might get. If your body was a machine or a car (a thing most of us can relate to), it would be obvious that if wear and tear or small malfunctions aren’t taken care of, they will result in much bigger issues down the line.

Your body is the same in this respect. While we have amazing abilities to heal, sometimes we need a professional to tell us what’s wrong in order to heal properly.

Any severe pain that you might think is just passing might be a sign of a deeper problem – the infographic below can help you in describing your injury to a doctor. Don’t make it worse!