Shoulder pain is any discomfort you feel around your shoulder joint. The shoulder is a complex joint that allows you to throw a ball, reach for an item or give someone a high five. Because of how often you use it, your shoulder is more at risk of injury and damage, which can cause pain.
Shoulder pain varies based on the cause but you can feel the following when in motion or at rest:
Severe shoulder pain that’s usually the result of an injury may cause:
There are several possible causes of shoulder pain. The most common include:
A healthcare provider will diagnose the cause of your pain after a review of your symptom(s) and a physical exam. A diagnosis usually involves imaging tests like a shoulder X-ray to help your provider see the bones underneath your skin.
Is shoulder pain a sign of a heart attack?
Shoulder pain on its own isn’t a sign of a heart attack. If you have sudden, intense shoulder pain on the left side of your body and any of the following symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency services number immediately:
Is shoulder blade pain a sign of cancer?
Certain types of lung cancer, like a Pancoast tumor in the top part of your lung, can cause shoulder blade pain in addition to upper back pain. The location of cancer in your body can affect where you have pain. For a cancer screening, visit your healthcare provider.
Are neck and shoulder pain a sign of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 could include muscle weakness or aches. If you suspect you have COVID-19 or had exposure to it, complete a COVID-19 test and talk with your healthcare provider.
Can carpal tunnel cause shoulder pain?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes pain and weakness in your hand and wrist. Symptoms of carpal tunnel can affect your shoulder. Changing how you move or hold your hand or wrist can put a strain on your shoulder, leading to shoulder pain. It can be easy to overlook or ignore the pain in your shoulder when you have pain in your hand and wrist.
How is shoulder pain treated?
Treatment for shoulder pain varies based on the cause but could include:
Your healthcare provider will let you know what type of treatment is best for your shoulder pain after a diagnosis.
What can I do at home to treat shoulder pain?
You can relieve mild shoulder pain at home by following the RICE method. RICE stands for:
How do I sleep with shoulder pain?
Shoulder pain can affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try these tips to help yourself fall asleep if you have pain:
Can shoulder pain be prevented?
Not all cases of shoulder pain are preventable, especially if they’re the result of an accident, injury or underlying condition. You can reduce your risk of injuring your shoulder by:
When should shoulder pain be treated by a healthcare provider?
Visit a healthcare provider if you: