9 Right Shoulder Pain Symptoms and Possible Causes

Suffering from shoulder pain is very common, but it doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Even when pain isn’t too severe, it is there to signal that something is wrong with your body. It can, however, be difficult to figure out what is wrong and what should be done to relieve this pain.

If you feel pain in your right shoulder, it might happen whenever you move your shoulder or arm, lift objects, or simply lie down on your right side. Your right shoulder pain might come alone or with swelling, bruises, stiffness, tenderness, and a limited range of motion.

Research will help you figure out what is wrong with your body. Below are nine right shoulder pain symptoms and possible causes:

Symptom #1: Shoulder sprain

Your right shoulder pain could be related to a shoulder sprain, which could have been caused by a fall, an accident, or a sports injury. A sprain happens when some ligaments in your shoulder are either stretched or torn.

The symptoms of a shoulder sprain involve pain in your shoulder, upper arm, and collarbone area. This pain often comes with swelling and tenderness around the collarbone and shoulder joint.

Symptom #2: Frozen shoulder

If your right shoulder pain comes with stiffness and swelling, you might have a frozen shoulder. This condition, also known as adhesive capsulitis, happens when the tissues in your shoulder joint become thicker and tighter, making it difficult for you to move your shoulder and lift objects.

This right shoulder pain symptom might also spread to your right bicep. Although the pain and stiffness might go away on their own, they can also be treated with physiotherapy treatments.

Symptom #3: Rotator cuff disease

Rotator cuff disease affects the muscles and tendons, which keep the humerus in the shoulder socket. This condition can be caused by an injury or by overuse. The pain of a rotator cuff disease can easily spread to the side of your upper arm.

Tendinitis is when the tendons of the rotator cuff become inflamed and irritated. You could also be suffering from bursitis, which happens when the fluid-filled sac that allows your rotator cuff to move freely is inflamed.

Symptom #4: Torn rotator cuff

A torn rotator cuff is when some of the tendons of this area are partially or completely torn. This can be caused by an injury or simply by overuse.

The pain from a torn rotator cuff in your right shoulder will often spread down to your arm and your elbow. Symptoms can include weakness in your arm, pain lying on your right side, pain when rotating your arm, or cracking sounds in certain positions.

Symptom #5: Shoulder dislocation

If there is a visible bulge or lump in your right shoulder area, you should see a doctor immediately. A shoulder dislocation happens when your humerus pops out of its shoulder socket, which can happen as the result of a car accident, a sports injury, or a bad fall.

Symptoms can include severe pain in the shoulder, swelling, muscle spasms, and pain that moves towards your neck and goes down your upper arm.

Symptom #6: Broken collarbone

The collarbone, or clavicle, is a long thin bone that connects your arms to your body. A collarbone fracture commonly happens due to a sports injury, an accident or a fall.

The symptoms of a broken collarbone can include severe pain, inability to move your arm, swelling, bruising, tenderness, and a bump over the fracture area. Your shoulder could be sagging forward, and there could be cracking noises when you move your arm.

Symptom #7: Upper arm fracture

Your humerus can be broken due to an injury, an accident or a fall. The pain caused by an upper arm fracture will run through your upper arm and around your shoulder area.

Other symptoms of a humerus fracture can include restricted arm, wrist and hand movements, swelling and bruising, a grinding sensation when moving the arm, and a deformity of the upper arm.

Symptom #8: Liver cancer

If you feel pain around your right shoulder blade only, it could be related to a condition that has nothing to do with your bones, your tendons or your muscles.

Pain in the right shoulder, which can extend to the back, is one of the possible symptoms of liver cancer. If you also noticed a lump on the right side of your tummy, and you have other symptoms such as losing appetite, losing weight without trying to, jaundice, and itchy skin, you need to see a doctor.

Symptom #9: Heart attack

Finally, pain in the right shoulder could be a heart attack symptom. While heart attack pain is often felt in the left shoulder and arm, it can also be felt in the right shoulder and arm.

If this pain comes with chest pain or pressure, pain in the jaw, neck, or back, shortness of breath, nausea, or vomiting, you need to call 911.

About Author

Justin is a journalism student from Ottawa, Canada. Since a young age, he has felt a passion for writing along with a knack for asking curious questions, which guided him into his current path today.