The Connection Between Military Service and Chronic Shoulder Pain

The Connection Between Military Service and Chronic Shoulder Pain

Posted On: May 23, 2024


Serving in the military is tough on the body. It may cause stress on the shoulders and other joints. In this blog, we'll look at the link between military service and chronic shoulder pain. We'll cover topics like its causes, the pros and cons, how to treat it, and FAQs.

Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • Risk Factors for Shoulder Pain in Military Personnel
  • Pros and Cons of Military Service for Shoulder Health
  • Treatment Options for Chronic Shoulder Pain
  • FAQs
  • Conclusion


Veterans have served in the military or are serving. They suffer from chronic shoulder pain. The demanding nature of military service causes shoulder injuries. They are more likely to occur and may cause chronic pain. We must understand the link. It prevents injuries and treats those that have occurred. It's between military service and chronic shoulder pain.

Risk Factors for Shoulder Pain in Military Personnel

Veterans are more likely to have shoulder pain due to many factors:

  1. Repetitive Motions: Military training and operations involve many repetitive actions. These include carrying heavy weights, tossing grenades, and using weapons. Overuse injuries can develop in the shoulder. Too much use of the muscles and tendons causes them.
  2. Heavy Loads: Soldiers carry heavy equipment and rucksacks. It puts a lot of strain on their shoulders.
  3. Impact Activities: Shoulder ligament and joint injuries are common in sports. These sports involve landing, leaping, and tackling.
  4. Improper Technique: The risk of shoulder injuries goes up when one uses equipment wrong. It also goes up when one lifts heavy objects.
  5. Lack of Flexibility: Shoulders are prone to injury. Their tight muscles and limited range of motion cause this.
  6. Protective Gear: Carrying heavy equipment and body armor causes real problems. It restricts mobility and strains the shoulders.

Pros and Cons of Military Service for Shoulder Health

Shoulder pain is common among military personnel. But, serving has certain advantages:




Physical Fitness

Keeping healthy shoulders over time is one of the many benefits of military training. It emphasizes strength and fitness.

Overuse injuries may occur as a result of physically demanding and repetitive duties.

Medical Care

Shoulder pain treatment, among other medical services, is available to active-duty members.

Operational pressures mean we can't always diagnose and treat injuries early.


Supportive connections inside the military may help with pain management and rehabilitation.

Pushing through pain to perform and deploy might aggravate injuries.

Treatment Options for Chronic Shoulder Pain

Chronic shoulder pain has a few choices for veterans and active-duty personnel:

  • Let the shoulder recover by resting it and cutting down on activities that make it hurt.
  • Physical therapy exercises may ease pain and improve function. They do this by strengthening muscles, increasing flexibility, and restoring range of motion.
  • Pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs can help you deal with pain and inflammation.
  • The use of corticosteroid injections has the potential to reduce pain for a short period of time.
  • In extreme cases, damage can occur to the ligaments, tendons, or the rotator cuff. They may need surgery to fix them.


Can I prevent chronic shoulder pain in the military?

Avoiding all injury is hard, but good training can reduce risk. Good technique, posture, stretching, and shoulder strengthening help.

Should I report shoulder pain while on active duty?

Yes, you must report pain to a doctor immediately. Minor injuries might become chronic if not diagnosed and treated early.

What resources are available for veterans with chronic shoulder pain?

Veterans with chronic shoulder pain may get pain treatment. They can also get physical therapy from the VA.


Chronic shoulder pain is a common complication of military service. Military members and veterans can control their pain and keep moving. They can do this if they know what to look out for, get help early, and make the most of available treatments. To keep your shoulders healthy, you must have good military career. So, prioritize proper form. Keep good posture and report problems quickly.