Pain in the Shoulder
Free Symptom Checker
with Physician-supervised AI

Reviewed By:

Kent C Doan, MD

Kent C Doan, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

Dr Doan Graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine and completed residency training in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Colorado. He completed additional fellowship training in Orthopedic Sports Medicine at the prestigious Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado. He is a practicing Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in complex and revision knee and shoulder surgery at the Kansas City Orthopedic Institute. He also holds an assistant professorship at the University of Kansas City.

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

Dr. Hamahata graduated from the Jikei University of Medical Science. After working at Asanokawa General Hospital and Kosei Chuo Hospital, he joined the Department of Orthopedics at Asakusa Hospital in April 2021, specializing in general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

From our team of 50+ doctors

Content updated on Feb 26, 2024

Following the Medical Content Editorial Policy

Please choose the symptom you are most concerned about.

It will help us optimize further questions for you.

By starting the symptom checker, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

Find another symptom

How Ubie can help you

With an easy 3-min questionnaire, Ubie's AI-powered system will generate a free report on possible causes.

  • Trained and reviewed by 50+ doctors, our AI Symptom Checker utilizes data from 1,500+ medical centers

  • Questions are customized to your situation and symptoms

Your symptoms

Input your symptoms

Our AI

Our AI checks your symptoms

Your report

You get your personalized report

Your personal report will tell you

✔︎  When to see a doctor

✔︎  What causes your symptoms

✔︎  Treatment information etc.

People with similar symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • I have a pain in my right shoulder

  • Joint pain that is worse when moving the joint on your own, than if was moved with help

  • Shoulder hurts when trying to thread a belt through the back of my pants

  • Throbbing or stabbing pain in shoulder when sleeping

  • Shoulder aches when using shampoo on hair

  • My shoulder hurts when changing a shirt

  • Pain aggravated by moving arm/shoulder

Ubie Logo (White)

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

About the Symptom

Shoulder pain can be on either or both sides, or deep within the joint. The pain may be pressing, sharp or dull in nature.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Neck pain / stiffness

  • Swelling of the affected area

  • Back pain

  • Abnormal sensation (tingling, prickling)

  • Numbness / sensory disorder

  • Recent weight loss

Possible causes

Generally, Pain in the shoulder can be related to:

  • Shoulder periarthritis

    Also known as "frozen shoulder". This condition is caused by inflammation of the ligaments and capsule around the shoulder joint. As the disease progresses, patients find it increasingly difficult to move the shoulder joint. Risk factors include diabetes, thyroid conditions, age, and injury to the joint.

  • Neuralgic atrophy

    Neuralgic amyotrophy is a nervous system disorder characterized by sharp, constant pain in the arm, shoulder, and/or neck. It can be either hereditary or idiopathic (unknown cause). The exact disease mechanism is unknown but could be autoimmune (immune system attacks the body's own tissues), genetic, or external factors (e.g., infections, medications). It's more common in men.

  • Cervical spondylosis

    A condition in which the neck bones (cervical spine) become damaged due to wear and tear. Risk factors include long periods of desk work and driving, previous neck injuries, and aging.

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Slipping rib syndrome
  • Tension headache
  • Migraine
  • Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL)

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Pain in the shoulder may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Humeral fracture

    A break in the upper arm bone. This can occur from different types of injuries, and has different patterns depending on the mechanism of injury and location in the bone.

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Do you have pain in your shoulder?

  • Do your joints hurt more when moved without assistance?

  • Does moving your arms or shoulders make your pain worse?

  • Is the affected area red?

  • Is the affected area swollen?

Ubie Logo (White)

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Find Similar Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

References

  • Greenberg DL. Evaluation and treatment of shoulder pain. Med Clin North Am. 2014 May;98(3):487-504. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2014.01.016. Epub 2014 Mar 22. PMID: 24758957.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0025712514000315?via%3Dihub

  • Burbank KM, Stevenson JH, Czarnecki GR, Dorfman J. Chronic shoulder pain: part I. Evaluation and diagnosis. Am Fam Physician. 2008 Feb 15;77(4):453-60. PMID: 18326164.

    https://www.aafp.org/services/cq/aafp/link_out?pmid=18326164

  • Mitchell C, Adebajo A, Hay E, Carr A. Shoulder pain: diagnosis and management in primary care. BMJ. 2005 Nov 12;331(7525):1124-8. doi: 10.1136/bmj.331.7525.1124. PMID: 16282408; PMCID: PMC1283277.

    https://www.bmj.com/content/331/7525/1124

  • NHS

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/shoulder-pain/

Reviewed By:

Kent C Doan, MD

Kent C Doan, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

Dr Doan Graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine and completed residency training in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Colorado. He completed additional fellowship training in Orthopedic Sports Medicine at the prestigious Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colorado. He is a practicing Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in complex and revision knee and shoulder surgery at the Kansas City Orthopedic Institute. He also holds an assistant professorship at the University of Kansas City.

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

Dr. Hamahata graduated from the Jikei University of Medical Science. After working at Asanokawa General Hospital and Kosei Chuo Hospital, he joined the Department of Orthopedics at Asakusa Hospital in April 2021, specializing in general orthopedics and joint replacement surgery.

From our team of 50+ doctors

User testimonials

Ubie Logo (White)

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Ubie is supervised by 50+ medical experts worldwide

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO

Emergency department

Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Waukesha Wisconsin, USA

Caroline M. Doan, DO

Caroline M. Doan, DO

Internal medicine

Signify Health

Benjamin Kummer, MD

Benjamin Kummer, MD

Neurology

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Charles Carlson, DO, MS

Charles Carlson, DO, MS

Psychiatry

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Dale Mueller, MD

Dale Mueller, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgery, Vascular surgery

Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery Associates

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD

Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN), Critical Care

Penn State Health

View our medical experts