Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies


shoulder pain; NSAID; steroid injection; non-steroidal anti-inflammatories; corticosteroid injections; side effects; adverse reactions


Shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal complaint in primary care. Therefore, it is important that we have quality evidenced based treatments to guide clinicians in treating shoulder pain. I examined in this review whether corticosteroid injection into the glenohumeral joint or oral NSAIDs was more effective in reducing shoulder pain as well as the side effects associated with each treatment modality. Search methods included the PubMed and Cochrane databases. Only studies comparing corticosteroid injection and oral NSAIDs were included and not each treatment individually. In conclusion, corticosteroid injections into the glenohumeral joint accelerate pain relief but have equal efficacy on long term follow up. Both corticosteroid injections and oral NSAIDs are superior to placebo but one is not superior to the other. Corticosteroid injections were associated with some local side effects with systemic side effects being rare. Oral NSAIDs do have an effect on the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and cardiovascular system thus they are not recommended for certain patient populations. This study provides a good framework to guide clinicians in the treatment of shoulder pain but further studies need to be done to include a formal physical therapy program and the effect of these treatments on specific shoulder conditions.

Included in

Orthopedics Commons