Referred Shoulder Pain - Adventist HealthCare

Referred Shoulder Pain

Topic Overview

Unexplained shoulder pain that does not change when you move your neck, shoulder, or arm or that occurs with symptoms elsewhere in your body (such as in your abdomen or chest) may be referred shoulder pain. Referred pain means that a problem exists somewhere else in the body other than where you feel the pain.

Causes of referred shoulder pain may include:

  • Abdominal problems, such as gallstones or pancreatitis.
  • Pelvic problems, such as a ruptured ovarian cyst.
  • Heart or blood vessel problems in which pain is more often felt in the left arm and shoulder, such as heart attack or inflammation around the heart (pericarditis).
  • A lung problem, such as pneumonia, where pain may be felt throughout the shoulder, shoulder blade area, upper chest, upper arm, neck, and armpit. Pain is usually felt in the shoulder on the same side as the lung problem.
  • Other conditions, such as herpes zoster (shingles), Paget's disease, or thoracic outlet syndrome.
  • Other problems, such as gas from laparoscopic abdominal surgery or air entering the vagina under pressure from some gynecological procedures.

Related Information

Credits

Current as ofSeptember 20, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
David Messenger, BSc, MD, FRCPC, FCCP - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.