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Introduction to shoulder pain

There are many things that can lead to shoulder pain because this area of the body contains many muscles, bones, nerves, arteries and veins.

The most common cause of pain in the shoulder area is some type of injury, usually of the muscles, tendons or ligaments located in this area of the body.

Degenerative arthritis of the spine in the neck can also lead to pain in the shoulder, as can a pinched nerve in this area as well.

Any abnormal conditions of the spinal cord, heart, lungs and abdominal organs can also radiate pain to the neck and shoulder as well.


A broken collarbone can occur when a person falls on their outstretched arm. It is primarily a traumatic injury and it takes a long time for it to heal.

The bursa is a sac that is located over the joints. It gives a cushion and protection for the joints and the muscles. When the bursa becomes swollen and painful, especially after injuries, but also due to infections, it is called bursitis, which can also cause shoulder pain.

Heart attacks have been known to cause shoulder pain as well. Sometimes pain in the shoulder area will be one of the first signs of a heart attack.

Pain will also result from a broken shoulder blade, which usually occurs in some kind of accident or trauma. Professional athletes suffer from broken shoulder blades frequently, especially in rough, physical sports such as American football.

A rotator cuff injury can also cause pain in the shoulder. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons that support the shoulder and can be injured in weight lifting or in sports that call for repetitive movements. For example, baseball pitchers often suffer from this problem.

An injury that commonly causes neck and shoulder pain is whiplash, which usually occurs in a sudden acceleration or deceleration, like in a car accident. It is an injury of the ligaments and muscles of the neck and shoulders.

Tendonitis can also lead to pain in the shoulders if it is affecting the tendons that connect the muscles and bones in that area of the arm. When these tendons are strained they become swollen, inflamed and painful.

Gallbladder disease has also been known to cause pain in the right shoulder.

In fact, any type of inflammation that occurs under the diaphragm can cause pain in the shoulders.


If the injury is not serious, then the RICE formula will work. With rest, ice, compression and elevation, all injuries to the shoulder will heal in time and the inflammation and pain will go away.

However, if the damage is more serious, surgery might be a needed option for repairing the damage that the shoulder has incurred.

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