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What causes shoulder pain? 32 possible conditions

The shoulder has a wide and versatile range of motion. When something goes wrong with your shoulder, it hampers your ability to move freely and can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff is a common spot for injuries. The most common are tears, strains, tendinitis, and bursitis.

Read more »

2

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

Rotator cuff tendinitis affects the tendons and muscles that help move the shoulder joint.

Read more »

3

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a condition that limits the range of motion in your shoulder. Find out if you're at risk and learn about treatment options.

Read more »

4

Thoracic Outlet Syndromes

Learn about the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Read more »

5

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when cartilage that cushions bones at the joints wears away. Learn about symptoms and treatment options for OA.

Read more »

6

Bursitis

Bursae are fluid-filled sacs found about your joints. They surround the areas where tendons, skin, and muscle tissues meet bones. The lubrication they add helps reduce friction during movement.

Read more »

7

Tendon Sheath Inflammation (Tenosynovitis)

Tendons are covered by a protective sheath called synovium, which keeps tendons lubricated. Injury to this area can disrupt this function, causing inflammation.

Read more »

8

Tendinitis

Tendons are thick cords that join your muscles to your bones. When these tendons become irritated or inflamed, it is called tendinitis. This condition causes acute pain and tenderness, making it difficult to move th...

Read more »

9

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder tied to widespread pain in your muscles and bones, areas of tenderness, and fatigue. Learn about its symptoms, treatment, and more.

Read more »

10

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) refers to bleeding within the subarachnoid space, which is the area between your brain and the tissues that cover it.

Read more »

11

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that primarily affects your spine. It causes severe inflammation of the vertebrae that might eventually lead to chronic pain and disability.

Read more »

12

Heart Attack Overview

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A clot blocks the blood flow to the heart (heart attack), and damages heart muscle. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, and a blue or grey tinge to the skin.

Read more »

13

Slipped (Herniated) Disk

You can have a slipped disk in any part of your spine, from your neck to your lower back. Read more about symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

Read more »

14

Dislocations

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Since a dislocation means your bone is no longer where it should be, you should treat it as an emergency and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Read more »

15

Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when a person's head moves backward and then forward very suddenly with great force. This injury is most common following a car collision.

Read more »

16

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory disorder that causes muscle pain and stiffness. Learn about its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Read more »

17

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spinal column narrows and starts compressing the spinal cord. This process is typically gradual.

Read more »

18

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) Overview

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. Learn the definition, symptoms, and causes of CAD by reading our overview.

Read more »

19

Sprains & Strains

Sprains and strains are injuries to the body, often resulting from physical activity. These injuries are common and can range from minor to severe, depending on the incident. Most don't require medical attention.

Read more »

20

Lung Cancer Overview

There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell and small-cell. Learn about how these lung cancers are caused, your treatment options, and more.

Read more »

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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