Shoulder pain can start from the shoulder itself or from any of the numerous surrounding structures such as muscles, ligaments, or tendons. The pain that arises in the joints progressively worsens with movement. Various diseases such as heart disease or gallbladder disease are often at the root of it causing referred pain.
1. Rotator cuff tear: Either a singular injury such as a fall or repeated stress over time can cause a tear in the four groups of tendons that holds the upper arm into your shoulder blade, i.e the rotator cuff. Major shoulder pain reasons are aging, reduced blood supply, bone spurs, sudden tears, repetitive use, etc.
- Intense pain
- Weakness in the upper arm
- Restricted motion
- Frozen Shoulder or adhesive capsulitis: The condition when your shoulder capsule thickens to become inflamed and tight is popularly known as frozen shoulder. Decreased synovial fluid needed to lubricate the joint results in the immobility of the shoulder. Diabetes or previous surgeries can also cause this condition.Symptoms:
- Dull and achy pain
- Stiffness around the top of the arm
- Decreased range of shoulder motions
- Sleep disturbance
- Broken Clavicle/ Collar Bone: The slightly curved bone at the top of your chest is the collar bone. It runs from the shoulder blades to the rib cage and when fractured due to falls on outstretched arms, leads to unbearable pain.Symptoms:
- Intense Pain
- Inability to lift arm
- Sagging Shoulder
- Swelling with tenderness
- Shoulder Tendinitis or Bursitis: Tendinitis is the inflammation of the fibers that attach muscles to the bones and bursitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that prevent friction at the joints.Symptoms:
- Stiffness around shoulder joint
- Dull pain
- Pain triggered by raising/lowering arm accompanied by a clicking sound
- Pain when reaching behind the back
1. Inflammation of Shoulder Capsule
2. Soft Tissue injuries
3. Dislocated shoulder
4. Referred pain from the abdomen (gallstones), or heart (angina, heart attack), or lungs (pneumonia)
If you feel shoulder pain radiating down your arms, alongside a tight feeling in the chest with shortness of breath, rush to the hospital immediately.
Neck and shoulder pain may occur in isolation or simultaneously together. According to the cause behind the pain, it’s possible for it to alternate in intensity during various activities. It’s always advisable to seek clinical examination and consultation before the pain and hence the underlying disease progresses any further.
Dr. Harish A H | Consultant – Neurologist | Sahyadri Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Shimoga