Medication may be helpful for many shoulder problems. The circumstances where medication is appropriate include:

  • Acute fractures, dislocations and other injuries
  • Acute or chronic Rotator Cuff Tendon tears
  • Rotator Cuff Impingement acute or chronic
  • Biceps Tendinitis
  • Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)
  • Chronic low grade painful conditions that require maintenance medication
  • Temporary aggravations of chronic degenerative conditions such as arthritis
  • Post-Surgery pain management

The role of medication in these circumstances can be assisting a condition to resolve of its own accord, “buying some time” to see whether a condition will settle or maintain a reasonable comfort level until such time a surgery can be scheduled.

The types of medication Mr Lyons may recommend include”

  • Analgesics (Pain Killers)
  • Anti-Inflammatories
  • Antibiotics


Analgesics or “Pain Killers” may be mild or strong, quick or slow acting. They may be available with or without a prescription. Mr Lyons will discuss the most appropriate medicine based on your condition. Common milder medication includes Panadol, Panadol Osteo, or Aspirin. Stronger pain medication options include Codeine, Tramadol, Targin, Oxycontin and Endone. The use of these stronger preparations should be reduced or ceased as soon as your shoulder pain is under control.


Anti-Inflammatory tablets or capsules (sometime referred to as NSAIDs) help to reduce the pain associated with soft tissue or joint inflammation. Common preparations include Voltaren, Celebrex, Naprosyn (Nurafen), and Mobic. They can sometimes be taken in combination with Analgesics. Mr Lyons will advise you. Some Anti-Inflammatory can also be applied directly to the painful area of your shoulder in a gel form.

Anti-Inflammatory medication can have adverse effects on blood pressure and kidney function with long term use, especially in older patients.


Antibiotics are commonly used as a preventative measure during and immediately after your surgery. Infection of the shoulder joint can occur as a spontaneous phenomenon. This type of problem would require intra-venous followed by more prolonged antibiotic therapy. Allergy to antibiotics is quite common. You should tell Mr Lyons if you have had a past problem in this regard.

Medication Side Effects

Any medication may produce side effects. These may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Unsteadiness
  • Stomach Irritation
  • Kidney Impairment
  • Allergy and Rashes
  • Drug Dependence