Causes And Symptoms Of Right Shoulder And Arm Pain
If you have ever suffered with shoulder pain, you know it can range from simply annoying to severe, and it sometimes moves down your arm towards the elbow. Your shoulder joint is complicated, and pain can emanate from multiple problem areas. Lets discover 7 causes and symptoms of right shoulder and arm painbut there are many more.
Left Shoulder Pain Diagnosis
Here’s a quick summary to help you work out what might be causing your left shoulder pain:
- Aching Pain: usually indicates a bone or soft tissue problem often described as a nagging toothache e.g.shoulder bursitis, impingement syndrome
- Aching After Activity: usually indicates a muscular problem e.g.rotator cuff tear
- Sharp/Stabbing Pain: structures catching on each other or getting squashed such as ligaments or tendons e.g. biceps tendonitis, supraspinatus tendonitis, bankart lesions, SLAP tear, impingement syndrome
- Shoulder Stiffness: arm movements limited by stiffness rather than pain typical indicates frozen shoulder
- Burning Pain and/or Altered Sensation: usually indicates a nerve problem e.g. nerve pain or brachial neuritis
- Obvious Deformity: most likely due to a broken bone e.g. fractured collarbone or shoulder fracture
- Constant Pain: 24/7 pain that doesn’t go away may indicate a heart attack,shoulder fracture or brachial neuritis
- Feeling Unwell: may indicate an underlying medical issue e.g. heart attack, stroke, pancreatitis
Possible Causes Of Pain Under Your Shoulder Blade
Having pain under or near your shoulder bladethe triangular bone that forms the back of your shouldermay limit arm movements and interfere with daily activities. This pain can range from being sharp or burning, such as between the spine and shoulder blade, to tender or achy across the shoulder or upper back. Some possible causes of this pain are discussed below.
When To Seek Medical Attention
If your shoulder has dislocated from the joint, its important that you see your doctor right away to prevent further pain and injury.
As you wait to see your doctor, dont move your shoulder or try to push it back into place. If you try to push the shoulder back into the joint on your own, you risk damaging your shoulder and joint, as well as the nerves, ligaments, blood vessels, and muscles in that area.
Instead, try to splint or sling your shoulder in place to keep it from moving until you can see a doctor. Icing the area can help reduce pain and swelling. Ice may also help control any internal bleeding or buildup of fluids around the joint.
At your appointment, your doctor will ask about:
- how you injured your shoulder
- how long your shoulder has been hurting
- what other symptoms youve experienced
- if this ever happened before
Knowing exactly how you dislocated your shoulder whether it was from a fall, sport injury, or some other type of accident can help your doctor better assess your injury and treat your symptoms.
Your doctor will also observe how well you can move your shoulder and check to see if you feel any difference in pain or numbness as you move it. He will check your pulse to make certain there is no associated injury to an artery. Your doctor will also assess for any nerve injury.
After your doctor has a clear understanding of your injury, your treatment will begin. To start, your doctor will try a closed reduction on your shoulder.
When To See Your Doctor
If youve been experiencing joint pain for a few weeks or longer, visit your doctor. You should see a doctor right away if you become unable to move your joint, notice the joint is very swollen and the skin is overly red, experience severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to complete daily activities. You should also see your doctor if you have a fever or flu-like symptoms along with joint pain. A fever may be a sign of an infection. See your doctor for a proper diagnosis, as each condition is treated differently. Bursitis is usually a temporary form of joint pain, while OA is a longer-lasting form.
For persistent joint pain that is interfering with your daily activities, see a Tristate rheumatologist to make the correct diagnosis and begin the proper treatment.
Contact Us For More Information to Request an Appointment
Understanding Different Types Of Shoulder Pain
Each type of shoulder injury may often causes a different degree and sensation of pain. SeeShoulder Injuries
Below are several descriptions of the type of pain you may feel, and shoulder injuries associated with these descriptions. Of course, it is recommended to see your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
If you have severe pain, you may have a shoulder fracture or a dislocated shoulder. In these cases, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Inflammation Of The Shoulder Capsule
The synovial membrane of the shoulder may become inflamed this is called ‘synovitis’. Synovitis may occur as a result of another condition or it may happen as a result of an injury, or the cause may be unknown.
Frozen shoulder is a condition that occurs when the shoulder capsule thickens and becomes inflamed and tight. There may also be less synovial fluid to lubricate the joint. As a result, the shoulder becomes difficult to move.
Frozen shoulder may occur as a result of another condition if the shoulder has been immobilised . Sometimes the cause of shoulder pain may not be known.
Signs Of Shoulder Bursitis
Bursitis occurs when a fluid-filled sac called a bursa swells. You have bursitis throughout your body near your joints that provide padding between your bones, skin,muscles adn tendons. You may experience this inflammation of the bursa if you engage in an activity that requires repetitive motion like a sport, hobby, or manual work. If the bursa become inflamed, it is called shoulder bursitis.
Potential symptoms include
- Pain Triggered By Movement Similar to osteoarthritis.
- Pain On Top and Outside Of Shoulder This is where the bursa is located. If you lay on your side and put pressure on this spot it will trigger pain.
- Pain Caused By Activity This is unlike osteoarthritis, in which the pain is worse with inactivity. In fact, the repetitive motion of people like painters, tennis players, swimmers, and baseball pitchers may experience bursitis.
Diabetes, crystal deposition , and infections may also cause the condition. Its generally a temporary condition that goes away after a few weeks of treatment. It may come back from time to time. It can become chronic if its not treated or if its caused by another condition.
Should Blade Pain Symptoms
If you have shoulder blade pain that persists beyond a few days it is important to make an appointment to see your doctoreven if you have participated in activities that you suspect has caused your pain. Which shoulder blade is affected is an important question, as some conditions are more likely to affect the left shoulder blade, and others more likely to affect the right.
If your pain is severe or is accompanied by symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, or if you simply have a sense that something serious is wrong, call 911 or your doctor immediately.
Labral Tear Of The Shoulder
Your labrum is small fibrocartilage that connects to the rim of the shoulder socket and keeps the ball of the joint in position. It helps your shoulder move without problems or pain.
When this cartilage tears, it could cause pain in the right shoulder. You could experience a labral tear from injury or old age. For example, if you are repeating an overhead motion, your labrum may tear from overuse.
Labral tears of the right shoulder are usually accompanied by intense pain and difficulty moving your shoulder.
Treatment of labral tears of the shoulder
Your doctor will prescribe pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs to treat the pain and swelling caused by a labral tear.
Once the pain subsides, your doctor will advise you to work with a physical therapist to try exercises that will gradually strengthen your shoulder muscles. In some rare cases, you may require surgery to fix the labral tear in your shoulder.
How Can I Tell Which Type Of Bursitis I Have
The symptoms sometimes point to one type of bursitis over another, but the distinction is often hard to make. This is especially the case when trying to differentiate chronic bursitis from an infected bursa. Chronic bursitis presents with swelling but lacks the other more serious signs of an infected bursa. They include redness, inflammation, fever, and pain. Medical attention should be sought when these symptoms appear.
What Can I Do If The Symptoms Of Bursitis Do Not Improve
Symptoms should improve if treated as described above. If you do not see an improvement, you may want to talk to your doctor. It is especially important to seek medical care if you think you may have an infection. You should also seek attention if you notice swelling in more than one area or if the swelling increases despite the treatment above.
What Causes Left Shoulder Pain
Left shoulder pain can affect anyone and may be caused by a number of different issues, which may stem directly from the shoulder joint itself or be referred from surrounding areas.
The most common causes of upper left arm pain fall into five categories:
- Bone Problems: Fractures, Dislocation, Arthritis
- Spinal/Nerve Problems: Disc Bulge, Trapped Nerve, Brachial Neuritis
People who are left hand dominant in particular may suffer from upper left arm pain due to frequent, repetitive use of the shoulder.
Now lets look at each of these causes of left shoulder pain in a bit more detail. Please remember, any new incidence of upper arm pain should be assessed by your doctor to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
Signs And Symptoms Of Shoulder Pain
There may be many causes of shoulder pain. They all have their own unique set of symptoms.
People with shoulder pain can experience pain deep in the shoulder joint, in the back or the front of the shoulder and the upper part of the arm. Sometimes the pain in the shoulder can be described as a catching pain. The location and type of pain is likely to relate to the structure causing the pain.
In some conditions there may be reduced movement, and moving the shoulder may cause you to feel pain. A feeling of weakness of the shoulder/upper arm is also common.
Depending on the condition, there may be a sensation of the joint slipping out and back in to the joint socket, or the shoulder can become completely dislodged . Some people may experience sensations of pins and needles and burning pain. This is more likely to be associated with nerves from the neck than the shoulder joint itself.
Lack of movement after a shoulder dislocation is usually due to pain. Complete rotator cuff tears and injury to the axillary nerve both cause weakness in moving the arm away from the body. These problems require close clinical examination.
Calcific Tendonitis And Calcific Periarthritis
Sometimes pain, swelling and difficulty moving your shoulder is caused by calcium crystals that form insidea tendon. Tendons are the strong cords that attach muscles to bones.
We all need the mineral calcium in the body, as it helps make bones and teeth strong. But sometimes, if you have too much of it in the body, sharp, tiny, crystals can form in the wrong places.
If they form in tendons, this is called calcific tendonitis.
This can happen at various places around the body, including the shoulder.
Calcium crystals can then shed from a tendon and cause pain and swelling around a joint. This is called calcific periarthritis.
Steroid injections often work well to reduce swelling. Butsometimes the calcium deposits mayneed to be removed by keyhole surgery.
Causes Of Frozen Shoulder
The condition generally affects adults ages 40 to 60 and can be caused by diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Parkinsons, or cardiac disease. It can also result from immobilizing the shoulder too long after an injury, which is why a vital part of any recovery is physical therapy.
Neck Pain Spiritual Causes And Meaning
Problems in the neck area can be caused by restrictive breathing.
The neck is a marvelous combination of yielding nonresistance since it is able to turn in every direction. In good health, the neck is flexible, strong, and bends easily. When one has health problems in the area of the neck, he is resisting, fighting, rebelling against some circumstance of life or someone, and has probably become intolerant. Catherine Ponder
How Does The Shoulder Work
Your shoulders each have two joints, making them the most flexible parts of your body.
The main shoulder joint the glenohumeral is a ball-and-socket joint. Its called this because the top of the upper arm bone the humerus is shaped like a ball. This ball fits into the shoulder blade bone, which acts as the socket, giving your shoulder a wide range of movement.
But, the shoulder socket is very small, compared to other ball-and-socket joints, such as the hip. Its held together and controlled by a covering of muscles, which are secured to the bones by strong cords called tendons.
These muscles and tendons form a capsule around the joint and support its movements, but can make it more likely to dislocate than other joints.
Inside the capsule is the synovium, which produces fluid that lubricates the joint and keeps the cartilage healthy. The cartilage helps protect your bones from any impact and sits between the bones of your shoulder joints to stop them rubbing together.
Above the main shoulder joint theres a smaller joint where the top of the shoulder blade the acromion meets the collar bone.
This is known as the acromioclavicular joint. It helps the larger joint below to move through its full range, particularly when youre raising your arm, lifting or throwing.
Other Causes Of Shoulder Symptoms
Overuse and acute injuries are common causes of shoulder symptoms. Less common causes of shoulder symptoms include:
- Muscle tension or poor posture.
- Pain that is coming from somewhere else in your body .
- Breakdown of the cartilage that protects and cushions the shoulder joints .
- Calcium buildup in the tendons of the shoulder.
- An irritated or pinched nerve or a herniated disc in the neck.
- Infection in the skin , joint , bursa , or bone .
- Invasive cancer that has spread to the bones of the shoulder or spine.
- Abuse. Any shoulder injury that cannot be explained, does not match the explanation, or occurs repeatedly may be caused by abuse.
Pinched Nerve In The Neck
A pinched nerve in the neck is also called cervical radiculopathy. It means that a nerve in the neck, at a point where it branches off from the spinal cord, is being compressed by the surrounding bones, muscles, or other tissues.
It can be caused by a traumatic injury, such as from sports or an automobile accident, especially if the injury results in a herniated disk. It may also arise from the normal wear and tear of aging.
Symptoms include sharp, burning pain with numbness and tingling from the neck to the shoulder, as well as weakness and numbness into the arm and hand.
Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and simple neurological tests to check the reflexes. Imaging such as x-ray, CT scan, or MRI may be done, as well as electromyography to measure nerve impulses in the muscles.
A pinched nerve in the neck often improves with simply a few days or weeks of rest. Physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroid injections into the spine can all be very helpful.
Top Symptoms: pain in one shoulder, spontaneous shoulder pain, pain that radiates down arm, pain in the back of the neck, severe shoulder pain
Urgency: Primary care doctor
What Exercises Should I Do
The following exercises may help you. Ask your doctor if you should do other exercises, too. You can also try these rotator cuff exercises.
Range of motion
Stand up and lean over so youre facing the floor. Let your sore arm dangle straight down. Draw circles in the air with your sore arm. Start with small circles, and then draw bigger ones. Repeat these exercises 5 to 10 times during the day. If you have pain, stop. You can try again later.
Having good shoulder posture can help prevent shoulder pain. Many people with shoulder pain often lift up or hunch their shoulder forward. Work on improving your posture if you find yourself slumping or hunching. Throughout the day, focus on bringing your shoulder or shoulder blade down and holding there. Another exercise is to stand against the wall with the back of your head, shoulders, legs, and heels touching the wall. Notice if your painful shoulder blade doesnt touch the wall completely. Keep trying that position throughout the day.
Upper extremity strengthening
As your pain goes away, try adding a general upper body weight-lifting program using weight machines or free weights. Lie on your right side with your left arm at your side. With a weight in your left hand and your forearm across your tummy, raise your forearm.
Keep your elbow near your side.
What Causes Neck Pain
Your neck is made up of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso. Cervical discs absorb shock between the bones. The ligaments, bones, and muscles of your neck support your head and allow motion. Any inflammation, abnormalities, or injury can cause neck pain.
Here is a complete list of neck pain causes:
- Abnormalities in the joints or bone;
- Poor posture and prolonged use of a computer keyboard;
- Degenerative diseases;
- Falls or accidents, including car accidents;
- Muscle strain;
- Pinched nerve. This type of pain differs from carpal tunnel syndrome, which usually involves numbness.
If You Have To Go To The Doctor
If you talk with your doctor about right shoulder and arm pain, they may recommend the following, depending on the severity of your condition.
- Immobilization: In some cases, limiting the movement of your shoulder or arm may help it heal. This is often achieved using a sling, brace, or cast. Your doctor will let you know when it can be removed.
- Corticosteroid injections: This is a type of medication that your doctor can inject into the affected area to help reduce inflammation.
- Prescription medications: Prescription pain medications may be given for severe pain. Oral corticosteroids can help ease inflammation. If you have RA, your doctor will likely prescribe a disease-modifying drug.
- Physical therapy: Your doctor may give you a list of exercises to do that can help you regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion. In some cases, they may recommend that you work with a physical therapist.
- Surgery: Surgery may be recommended when other treatments havent been effective or when damage is severe. The specific procedure thats used can depend on whats causing your condition.
How Is It Diagnosed
Your doctor may start by asking you some questions about any previous injuries as well as your exercise habits. Next, they may ask you to do a series of motions using your shoulder while they check for any unusual movement. This will also help your doctor rule out other conditions, such as a pinched nerve.
If your doctor thinks that you have a more serious rotator cuff injury or they still cant diagnose you, they might use an MRI scan to get a better look at your shoulder.
There are many types of treatment available for shoulder impingement, depending on how severe your case is.
When To Be Concerned About Shoulder Pain
It can take some time for shoulder pain to settle, perhaps weeks or months. In general, if your shoulder pain has not begun to settle in a week or two, or if it worsens over time, then it may be worthwhile seeing an experienced doctor or health practitioner.
If you find that you need stronger medication to manage your shoulder pain, discuss this with your doctor. You may need a referral to a specialist.
Note: Shoulder pain or discomfort around the front of one or both of the shoulders can be a sign of a heart attack. It is often described as an ache, heaviness or pressure sensation spreading from the chest to the shoulders. This requires immediate medical attention. Call 000 immediately if you are experiencing these symptoms.
Symptoms Of Shoulder Osteoarthritis
This may be the type of arthritis that first comes to mind when you hear that term. There are two main types of shoulder osteoarthritis: glenohumeral . Arthritis and acromioclavicular arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes joint pain from wear and tear over many years. It alters your entire joint and isnt currently reversible. Usually, OA occurs when the cartilage in the joint breaks down over many years. Cartilage provides padding between bones in your joints. Without enough cartilage, it can become very painful to move your joint.
For both types, your symptoms will typically include a combination of the following symptoms
- Pain Comes and Goes The pain may come and go but it will build up gradually. It can get worse over months and years.
- Pain Caused By Inactivity If you notice more pain in the morning with your first movements of the day but feel better the more you move around.
- Loss of Motion Not being able to raise your arm over your head to put on your shirt.
- Pain From Activities Glenohumeral arthritis will cause pain when you lift a bag of groceries and acromioclavicular arthritis will cause pain as you reach across your body to buckle your seat belt.
Aging, overuse of the joint, injury, and being overweight can influence your likelihood of developing OA. However, while there is no cure for shoulder osteoarthritis, there are many treatments to help slow down its progression and reduce pain.
What Is Your Shoulder Telling You About Your Heart
Did you know I can tell what is going on in your heart by what is happening in your shoulders?
The medical world wants you to check your cholesterol and take Statin meds for it. Then check your blood pressure and take more meds for that.
When I think of heart problems I want to know the root cause. For heart issues it comes down to an emotional cause of heart break or things that weigh on your heart. What in your life is stressing your heart in your relationships with your family, your friends, your work, and yourself? Ancient traditional eastern wisdom says that physical heart issues are rooted in the emotional issues with your spouse, whether that is a formal or informal relationship. We know that emotional stress plays a huge role in your health. Deal with the issues of your emotional heart in order to address the issues of the physical heart.
Here are a few more to explore:
- Upper backlack of emotional support, no one understands me or supports me
- Middle backguilt, all that stuff that didnt get resolved and we feel responsible for
- Rotator Cuff Injury lack of movement in ones life stuck moving forward
- Arthritis feeling unloved, criticism, resentment
- Neck pain poor flexibility, not being able to see whats back there. Unbending bullheadedness.
- Heart and bloodheart represents love and blood represents joy. When we deny ourselves love and joy the heart becomes sluggish, shrunken, pumps poorly and brings on serious heart disease.
What Does A Hurt Shoulder Mean
The shoulder is an elegant piece of machinery. It happens to have the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. However, this large range of motion can cause the shoulder to become unstable, leading to joint problems and the site of multiple injuries. Your shoulder joint is composed of four joints, over 30 muscles and 6 major ligaments, and three bones: the clavicle , the scapula , and the humerus . An edge of the scapula, called the acromion, forms the top of the shoulder.
Understanding how the different layers of the shoulder are built and connected can help someone understand how the shoulder works, how it can become injured, and how challenging recovery can be when injuries occur. As you can see, the shoulder is extremely complex. When you realize all the different ways and positions we use our hands and shoulders every day, it is easy to understand how they are highly vulnerable to injury and how hard daily life can be when the shoulder isnt working well.
The most common type of shoulder injuries involves chronic shoulder pain, rotator cuff tears, total shoulder replacement, and shoulder impingement syndrome. Most problems in the shoulder involve the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, rather than the bones. Arthritis, injury, and repetitive motions such as those used during sports or work-related activities are leading causes of shoulder or elbow pain, stiffness, and restriction of movement.
Heres a rundown of the most common types of shoulder injuries: