Why Referred Shoulder Pain should be a cause of concern to you

Feeling pain in any body part is never a desirable situation to be in. And when we do experience it the obvious reaction is treating that part of the body with remedies at our disposal. Perhaps followed by deliberating what could be the possible cause of it.

But sometimes pain in one area of the body can be a sign of an issue in another area. Human Body is strange. For example, you may have shoulder pain and at first think it’s something to do with your arm or shoulder, however it may not have anything to do with your shoulder at all! It could be something called referred shoulder pain instead.

What is Referred Shoulder Pain?

Referred shoulder pain is actually pain that shows up in the shoulder but could be an indication of gallstones, heart blood vessel problems, lung infection such as pneumonia, or a variety of other problems. Yes! the pain you’re feeling in your shoulder could be might as well be from another area instead of your actual shoulder. If you’re noticing pain in that area and it doesn’t change when you move your arm or neck, it could be what is known as Referred Shoulder Pain.

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Signs of Referred Shoulder Pain

While in the case of local topical shoulder pain it can be from an injury to the shoulder such as a fall or sports injury but if its Referred Shoulder Pain then it can also be caused by something entirely different. Things to look out for include:

  • Pain that is felt not only in the shoulder but in your shoulder blade areas, neck, armpit, or even in the chest
  • Intense pain that comes on quickly
  • Swelling in the area
  • Inability to use your arm or move the shoulder joint

These are signs that you should be watching out for to make sure you seek medical attention when it’s needed. But if you’re having shoulder pain and you have shortness of breath or tightening of your chest, call for emergency medical help to assist you. It could be signs that something dangerous is on the horizon.

Causes of Referred Shoulder Pain

It is always best to have your doctor check you out when you’re feeling pain, whether it’s in your shoulder or in some other area. Pain is a sign that something is not quite as it should be and should not be ignored.

In the case of Referred Shoulder Pain, possible causes could be –

  • Abdominal related problems like Gallstones, Pancreatitis, etc
  • Result of Lung problems which result in pain in your upper torso
  • Left arm and shoulder pain could be because of serious problem such as inflammation around the heart or a heart attack
  • If you’ve had a procedure done recently it could be air pressure or gas that was used in the process causing the pain

If you know what your referred shoulder pain is from, such as a recent medical procedure or you’ve had a diagnosis, you can use some of these tips to help with the pain. Be sure to rest the shoulder and use ice to help relieve the inflammation. Over the counter pain relievers can also be a huge help to reduce the pain and swelling.

Of course, it’s always advisable to reach out to a clinic in your area for proper diagnosis and remedial treatment. We at Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, conveniently located at the Gleneagles Medical Centre are always at your service.

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