The 31-year-old last played rugby for Wales in November 2009, coming on as a replacement in their defeat against New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium.
Jones won 42 caps for Wales but after two operations on his troublesome shoulder, the Scarlets flanker admitted there was no other conclusion other than to quit the game.
"This has been a really tough time for me and my family," said Jones. "It's a very hard decision to retire from rugby which has been the sport and career I've known and loved since I was a teenager.
"All my efforts have gone into playing rugby for the Scarlets and for Wales and I am very proud of and enjoyed everything I have done.
"It has taken a while to sink in that I'm not actually going to be playing any more, but the decision was really made for me as the medics said there was no way back from the damage caused by the injury."