Causes of Left Shoulder Pain

The shoulder is a large and mobile joint. Many things can go wrong in the shoulder that can cause pain. In addition, the pain of other organs of the body may reflect on the shoulder. Left shoulder pain is a common complaint. In addition to musculoskeletal problems, more serious diseases such as heart disease or cancer can also cause left shoulder pain.

Rotator Cuff Hernia

One of the most common causes of left shoulder pain is a rotator cuff tear, also known as a muscle fiber tear in the shoulder. A group of muscles around the shoulder joint assists in aligning the ball-shaped head of the humerus at the scapulae, raising and rotating the arm. Doing the same movements, constantly raising and lowering the arm for work or hobby may lead to injuries, edema, inflammation, tears and even ruptures in the tendons of these muscles after a while. While certain movements are painful in the first periods, it may become more difficult to move the shoulder with the progression of the injury. Reducing activities that cause pain, cold or hot applications, painkillers, physical therapy, injections are some of the treatment methods.

Dull Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a condition in which shoulder movements are severely restricted. Also called adhesive capsulitis. The capsule structure surrounding the shoulder joint is thickened and hardened. The pain may be absent, mild, or very severe. It is not known exactly why frozen shoulder develops, but it is a problem that occurs more frequently in those with diabetes, goiter, and Parkinson’s disease. Some of them resolve spontaneously in a period of 1-1.5 years. Physical therapy, exercises, manual therapy, injections can be applied for therapeutic purposes.

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Shoulder Impingement

The muscles and tendons in the shoulder pass through a relatively narrow space reserved for them in the scapula. Sometimes the tendons can get stuck between the shoulder bones due to the structural hook-shaped scapula protrusion or calcification. Compression increases in activities where the arm is raised above the head, in the movement of lying on the back, and by lying on that side and causes pain. Ignoring the compression can lead to tendon injury and tears.

Shoulder Calcification

Osteoarthritis (also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease) is an age-related wear and tear that can affect many joints in the body. The most prominent feature is the thinning and destruction of the cartilage layer that protects the articular surfaces, the narrowing of the joint space, the formation of spiny extensions at the corners of the bones, the hardening of the parts of the bones facing the joint. When there is calcification in the shoulder, the movement of the joint becomes difficult, restricted and painful because of these problems. There may be noises such as a grinding sensation, crackling, crackling in the shoulder.


The bursa, which allows the shoulder joint and surrounding structures to slide without friction during movement, can sometimes become inflamed due to overuse, rheumatism or trauma. This condition is called bursitis. It can cause pain in both the right and left shoulder. Rest, cold applications, pain medications, injections, shoulder exercises, and physical therapy aid recovery.

Shoulder Dislocation

Since the shoulder is the most mobile joint, it is prone to dislocations. If the ball-shaped head of the arm bone protrudes from the scapula, it is called a shoulder dislocation. This can sometimes develop gradually. In particular, people with flexible connective tissue who do sports that force their arm through the full range of motion may initially experience a condition called instability, that is, the ligaments holding the shoulder in place become loose and the bones begin to move more than normal. The next stage is partial dislocations called subluxation. In subluxation, the shoulder is almost dislocated, but then it settles into place on its own. Shoulder dislocation usually occurs as a result of trauma. This trauma can be major or minor. When you have shoulder dislocation, you should contact a health care provider.

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Rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia can cause shoulder pain.

Neck hernia

In case of nerve root compression due to neck hernia, complaints such as right or left shoulder pain, pain in the arm and hand, numbness-burning, and weakness in the arm or hand can be seen.

Heart attack

Heart attack has been associated with chest pain among the people. However, in a heart attack, discomfort and pressure sensation in the chest is more common than pain, and the person feels as if there is a heavy load on his chest. Discomfort due to heart problems may spread to the left shoulder and arm, neck, chin and abdomen, accompanied by a feeling of nausea. Therefore, left shoulder pain may indicate an urgent problem in people with risk factors for heart disease.

Lung Diseases

Problems such as pneumonia (pneumonia), lung cancer can cause pain that radiates to the right or left shoulder. If the cause is infection, there may be complaints such as fever, weakness, general condition disorder. Cancer-related pain does not increase with shoulder movements, it is severe at night rest and is usually a constant pain that is felt deeply. A clot in the pulmonary veins (pulmonary thromboembolism) can also cause shoulder pain. The pain in this case is severe, does not allow to rest or sleep; There may also be shortness of breath.

Problems in the Abdominal Cavity

Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), ovarian cyst, ectopic pregnancy, pain caused by gas in the abdomen after closed abdominal surgery may reflect on the right or left shoulder or back. Gallstone pain can cause right shoulder pain. Other complaints such as nausea, pain in the abdomen or groin area may also occur in the problems of the organs in the abdominal cavity.

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