Prevalence: Issues of the Neck, Shoulders or Upper Back

  • A 2004 PubMed meta-analysis of 19 studies concluded that “reported prevalence figures on shoulder complaints diverged strongly.”
  • A Yoga Journal article reported nearly 14 million Americans visiting a doctor for shoulder pain in 2003.
  • Athletes may be more prone to shoulder injuries because of some repetitive movements, such as found in baseball, golf and tennis. (Catherine Guthrie)

2010 Report: Neck and Shoulder Disorders

Shoulder pain is only surpassed by pain in the low back and knee in terms of the most common areas of musculoskeletal pain. One-year prevalence rates for shoulder disorders range from 5% to 47%. Eighteen percent of insurance disability payments made for musculoskeletal pain can be attributed to patients with neck and shoulder disorders. – International Association for the Study of Pain

2006 U.K. Statistics

The annual prevalence… of people consulting for a shoulder condition was 2.36% … Prevalence increased linearly with age… Around half of the [new] cases consulted once only, while 13.6% were still consulting with a shoulder problem during the third year of follow-up. During the 3 yr following initial presentation, 22.4% of patients were referred to secondary care, 30.8% were prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and 10.6% were given an injection by their general practitioner (GP). – Oxford Academic

Chronic Shoulder Pain

Chronic shoulder pain has large health care costs and a major impact on the health of affected individuals, including absence from work and disability. Shoulder complaints may have an unfavourable outcome, with only about 50% of all new episodes of shoulder complaints presenting in medical practice showing a complete recovery within 6 months. – Intech