It’s often referred to as “the shoulder joint,” but your shoulder is actually made up of several joints combined with tendons, ligaments, and muscles. A variety of injuries and conditions can impact your shoulder joint, including:
Most of the problems that cause shoulder pain fit into these 4 categories:
Although shoulder pain is most commonly caused by an injury to the shoulder or a condition that directly affects it, it’s possible for shoulder pain to begin with a problem in your neck. You have 8 nerves that begin in your cervical spine and run down into your shoulders. If a neck injury or other problem causes any of these nerves to become compressed or irritated, it can cause pain that radiates down into your shoulder and possibly down into your arm or hand. The pain itself may be:
It may seem obvious, but if you injure your shoulder and you experience intense pain, notice sudden swelling, or can’t move your arm away from your body, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. If your shoulder pain is accompanied by tightness in your chest and difficulty breathing, you should seek immediate medical attention: Together, these symptoms may be a sign that you’re having a heart attack.
When your pain is less severe but persists for days — especially if your shoulder looks swollen or red — it’s a good idea to see your primary care physician or make an appointment with Dr. Noor. He will assess your problem by asking detailed questions about the location and nature of your pain, and try to uncover its root cause before designing an effective treatment plan.
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