Shoulder Pain Relief Treatment

What is Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain is both an extremely common affliction as well as one that has many potential causes.

There are many options available for those who suffer from chronic or acute shoulder pain. It can be difficult to make the decision on what kind of shoulder pain relief will work best for you and there is no way to tell until trying it out. Speak to a doctor for neck and shoulder pain to understand what’s available and appropriate.

Causes of Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of factors and it’s important to know what sort of injury you are experiencing, because the treatment will vary depending on your specific type. It’s therefore essential for anyone who experiences chronic or acute shoulder pain to understand these different types so they can receive the proper diagnosis and care.

Types of Shoulder Pain

  1. Achy pain
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • SLAP tear
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Glenohumeral osteoarthritis
  1. Radiating Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis
  1. Burning pain
  • Subacromial bursitis

Types of Shoulder Pain by Cause

  • Dislocation
  • Separation
  • Fracture
  • Cartilage tear
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Impingement
  • Bursitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Osteophytes

Why Do I Have Shoulder Ache, Pain and Stiffness?

Many people suffer from shoulder aches, pain and stiffness.
While there are sometimes dangerous reasons such as an infection, tumors, and fractures, most causes are mechanical.

While mechanical causes of shoulder pain such as rotator cuff injuries, tendinitis, frozen shoulder, degenerative arthritis and muscular trigger points are usually not dangerous, they can cause significant distress, making it difficult to dress, work, exercise, perform household chores, affect a person’s social interactions and result in poor mood.

Is Shoulder Pain Always Caused By Shoulder Problems?

Some people experience shoulder pain that is actually caused by neck issues. Others experience both neck and shoulder pain. If you consult a doctor for neck and shoulder pain, it is a good idea to consider doing investigations such as a neck X-ray or MRI, or a shoulder ultrasound to properly diagnose the cause of pain.

What Should I Do?

It is always a good idea to consult a doctor when you have a medical condition.
Where the pain is severe, or when there is an obvious emergency such as an accident causing a potential fracture, it is important to consult a doctor urgently.

Other situations where it is important to consult a doctor urgently include when there are “red flags” such as a fever, loss of weight, generally feeling ill, and pain that wakes you up from sleep.

In long standing conditions which have been properly assessed by your doctor to not be dangerous or in mild cases of shoulder sprain, rest and self-help measures can be useful.

Do I Need To Do an X-ray, Ultrasound or MRI?

Many mild cases can usually be well managed by an experienced doctor who can provide a clinical diagnosis based on a patients clinical history and physical examination.
In cases where the initial treatments have not been effective, X-rays and Ultrasounds would be a cost effective ways to rule out most dangerous underlying problems.
In selected cases, an MRI might also be appropriate to provide a precise diagnosis.

How Can Shoulder Pain Be Treated?

For many patients, their doctors will likely prescribe rest and medications for a short period of

Long term medications are less likely to be curative and risk potential side effects.

Physiotherapy when properly applied is another well accepted option for shoulder pain relief.

Using techniques such as manual therapy, medical massage, ultrasound, stretches and exercises, it can have a good result in many cases.

Some doctors might also recommend steroidal injections.

Shoulder Pain Treatment Singapore

Why Are My Treatments Not Working?

When the previous treatments are not successful, we often find a few common factors:

  • The previous diagnosis was not precise. Imaging scans and clinical experience can often be very helpful in these cases.
  • Treatment was prescribed which took into account only one aspect of the condition. e.g., treating only the inflammatory component of degenerative shoulder arthritis using painkillers without addressing the underlying wear and tear.
  • Limited available options available. Patients were only offered painkillers and exercise instead of newer medical solutions.
  • Patients were offered impractical treatment plans which they could not accept. Common examples include being offered expensive and frequent treatments for extended periods.

Is Surgery Necessary For Shoulder Pain Relief?

In rare occasions of medical emergency such as a fracture, surgery is a necessary option.
In most other cases, even where pain and stiffness are severe or have been present for a long time, there are multiple non-surgical options that a patient should first consider.

As surgery can have significant risks and cost, it is important to balance this carefully against the potential benefits expected.

I Had Surgery And It Did Not Work. Why?

In rare cases, patients may continue to suffer from symptoms of pain and stiffness after surgery.
This can be a source of significant frustration especially when you expected surgery to be a dramatic “last hope”.
It can also be confusing when you are told “the scans are okay” or “the surgery was successful” but do not feel better.

This can be a complex condition and there are many possible reasons.

In some instances, the body has not had enough time to fully recover and symptoms will improve with rest.
At times, there could be some technical aspects of surgery that should best be discussed with your surgeon.
There are also cases where a patient’s original symptoms are caused by multiple factors such as inflammation, joint dysfunction, degeneration, and muscular trigger points.

Surgery may correct one specific cause of the patient’s symptoms but not be able to address the other causes.
In such instances, a comprehensive post-surgery treatment plan is likely needed.

What Is Your Doctor’s Experience Treating Shoulder Pain?

Dr Terence Tan has been treating shoulder pain at The Pain Relief Clinic since 2007. For the past 15 years, he has been using non-invasive technology to help patients recover from shoulder pain problems.

He is accredited with both the Family Physician Accreditation Board and the Singapore Medical Council. He is also a member of the Singapore Medical Association and The Pain Association of Singapore.

Committed to providing quick shoulder pain relief, his goal is to always offer patients the safest and most effective, technology driven  treatments possible.

Can I Use Medisave And Medical Insurance To Pay For Treatments?

As our treatments are very affordable and cost-effective, many patients choose to self pay.
For those with insurance coverage, we are happy to help support medical claims.
Medisave is another very popular option to help pay for medical treatments.

What New Treatment Options Can The Pain Relief Clinic Offer For My Shoulder Pain?

At The Pain Relief Clinic, we adopt a biomedical targeted approach that addresses how the multiple component causes of pain affect you.
This allows us to provide treatment strategy that targets the root causes of your condition using medical technology in a comprehensive and cost-effective way.

Depending on your specific condition, some of the useful options that can give very good results include:

  • Dietary Correction
  • Non-Invasive Shockwave which stimulates deep tissue healing very cost effectively
  • Indiba Therapy which gives rapid and long lasting recovery
  • Rehabilitative Electromedical Stimulation

Non-Invasive Shockwave Therapy For Shoulder Pain

  • An internationally established method of treating shoulder pain and inflammation through stimulating tissue repair
  • Approved by the US FDA and EU CE marked German technology
  • Available at half the price offered by other medical centres


If you are suffering from shoulder pain, or if your condition has not improved despite standard treatments and have been told to consider surgery, we are able to help.

Simply call us at +65 6732 2397

or leave a message below for Dr Tan to discuss a customized non-invasive solution for you.

What To Expect When I Visit The Pain Relief Clinic

A typical visit will involve our doctor first understanding your medical history, concerns and previous experience with other pain treatments.

For patients who have consulted many people but have yet to receive a clear diagnosis, selecting an affordable imaging scan might be recommended to confirm the cause of your pain..

Some patients have already done scans with other doctors for their pain condition but are still not clearly told what they suffer from.

Dr Terence Tan is happy to offer you a second opinion and recommend how best to manage your condition.

We also see patients who already have a confirmed diagnosis from specialist pain doctors, but are "stuck” because treatment options offered are not practical or acceptable.

We can help by discussing options that you might have potentially never been told of.

A common experience is when a patient has already consulted a specialist doctor for pain management and is told to consider orthopaedic surgery which they find too aggressive.

Or they may have seen doctors for their pain and were prescribed painkillers with potential side effects which made them feel uncomfortable.

Many of our patients have also first tried complementary treatments or acupuncture with traditional Chinese pain doctors.

They look for a second opinion after finding any relief experienced from other treatments to be temporary or requiring repetitive treatments, which add up to time and cost.

Especially in such situations, we emphasize using non-invasive medical technology you likely have not been told about .

This can make a big difference to your results.