Since the suprascapular nerve provides sensory information to 70% of the joint capsule, blocking this nerve can help with post-operative shoulder pain. A nerve stimulator, ultrasound device, or a needle insertion that is 1 cm above the midpoint of the scapular spine can quickly block the suprascapular nerve.  Furthermore, blocking the axillary nerve together with the suprascapular nerve can further anesthetize the shoulder joint. The benefit of the suprascapular nerve block is that it avoids blocking motor function to parts of the upper limb innervated by the more inferior roots of the brachial plexus (C8-T1), which thus prevents the phrenic nerve from being blocked.  Disadvantages to the suprascapular nerve block include using two separate needlings, blocking not all of nerves of the shoulder joint, and short duration of action. Some side effects for the procedure include pneumothorax, intravascular injection, and nerve damage.  Although this technique provides more pain control compared to placebo, the technique is still inferior to the interscalene block.
There are many types of arthritis, but most often in the shoulder, it is triggered by an initial trauma. It can also involve “wear and tear” of the tissues of the joint, causing inflammation, swelling and pain. Often people will react by instinctively limiting their shoulder movements in order to lessen the pain. This can lead to a tightening or stiffening of the soft tissue parts of the joint, resulting in yet further pain and restriction of motion. In the worst cases, adhesive capsulitis occurs and the arm can not be moved.