The shoulder is a complicated joint that is actually composed of four joints, three major bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments that together provide a wider range of motion than any part of the body. Shoulder pain may originate in the joint itself, or from any of the many surrounding muscles, ligaments or tendons. Shoulder pain is most often the result of a musculoskeletal injury or stress from overuse, particular from sports such as baseball, tennis, swimming and volleyball. Some of the most common specific reasons for shoulder pain are:
– Arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
– Bursitis, caused by inflammation of the bursa, the small sacs of fluid that cushion the outside of the shoulder joint.
– Shoulder dislocation, an injury in which the upper arm bone pops out of the cup-shaped socket that’s part of the shoulder blade.
– Frozen shoulder, a condition in which the shoulder joint stiffens.
– Heart attack. Shoulder pain accompanied by difficulty breathing or tightness in the chest may be a symptom of a heart attack. Anyone experiencing this combination of symptoms should call 911 immediately.