Conditions That Cause Right Shoulder Pain

Woman holding her shoulder

You’re probably aware that a sore shoulder every now and then is a normal part of life. However, you may be wondering how you know if your shoulder pain is something serious. When your right shoulder is in pain, it’s important to find out what is causing it so you can get treatment, especially if you’re right-handed.

Many conditions cause right shoulder pain that requires treatment from a medical professional. Take a look below at some of the most common conditions that cause right shoulder pain.

Common causes of right shoulder pain

  • Rotator cuff tear — A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that work together to hold the shoulder joint in place. These muscles and tendons also play a role in many of the movements you make with your shoulder.

    One of the tendons or muscles in the rotator cuff can tear from overuse or a traumatic injury. When this happens, there is a pain in the shoulder and loss of range of motion.
  • Arthritis — Arthritis is a chronic debilitative condition that causes the cartilage in your joints to wear down. This causes the bones in your joints to rub together, which is painful and can limit your mobility. Many types of arthritis can affect the shoulder, though the two most common types are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Both require professional medical treatment to improve the condition of your shoulder.
  • Tendinitis — Tendinitis is a type of inflammation that can affect one or more of the tendons in your shoulder. This is usually due to irritation caused by repetitive use from motions like throwing a ball, swinging a tennis racket, or swimming.

Some cases of tendinitis heal on their own after a few days of rest. Other cases are more serious and require medical treatment.

  • Bursitis — Small sacs of fluid called the bursae prevent your tendons from rubbing against your bones. Irritation to the bursae can cause inflammation known as bursitis. This is a painful condition that usually causes swelling and a limited range of motion in the shoulder.

Shoulder pain and heart attacks

We don’t want you to automatically assume the worst, but it is possible for shoulder pain to be connected to a heart attack. In men, this is usually isolated to the left shoulder. However, in women, right shoulder pain can be a symptom of a heart attack.

If you have right shoulder pain accompanied by any of these symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention:

  • Pain in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chills
  • Sweating

Visit the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute for right shoulder pain treatment

If you have long-lasting and severe pain in the right shoulder, you may need treatment from an orthopedic specialist. At the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute, we can treat your shoulder pain with techniques like chiropractic care or orthopedic surgery. Contact us today to learn more about shoulder pain treatment or to schedule an initial appointment.