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Right Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is a common symptom and there can be a number of causes with shoulder pain and neck pain going together very frequently. Further information on shoulder pain is available at NHS Choices and Arthritis Research UK.


The Cause of Shoulder Pain

Pain described as being in the shoulder area can cover a relatively wide region of the upper part of the body, including the low neck, shoulder blade, shoulder itself and down the upper arm. The potential causes of shoulder pain include:

  • Impingement – where inflammation occurs under the arch of the shoulder blade as the ball of the arm bone repeatedly slides against it. Bursitis, where the small lubricating sac gets inflamed, may be part of this.

  • Rotator cuff tears which are common especially as we get older. “Grey hair equals cuff tear”.

  • Acromioclavicular joint pain – pain from the small stability joint above the shoulder joint itself.

  • Instability and tears of the labrum, the cartilage rim around the shoulder socket.

  • Shoulder muscle pain may also be a factor and trigger points are diagnosed and treated in muscles surrounding the neck and shoulder. Whether the muscle is a specific source of pain is however not entirely clear.

  • Frozen shoulder is a very painful condition which may occur after a trivial injury and take up to two years to settle. Frozen shoulder pain relief may be obtained in some cases from steroid injection, manipulation or a shoulder operation.

Right shoulder pain may occur more commonly than left shoulder pain as most people are right handed and will use their right shoulder much more vigorously, looking over to the right repetitively as they perform activities. This may bring on changes in the tissues of the shoulder and the right sided neck joints which can give symptoms. While there are other potential causes of shoulder pain, cancer is very uncommon.

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