If you experience shoulder pain, you know how it can inhibit your ability to go about your daily routine. Shoulder pain can result from injury, poor posture, wear and tear, and more. If you have pain in your shoulder, it’s important to seek treatment to help you regain mobility and find relief from your pain.
You may wonder if shoulder pain can cause pain in other parts of your body, as well. People often Google things like ‘shoulder pain and ear’, ‘shoulder pain nausea’, and the like in order to determine whether or not their persistent shoulder pain could be a culprit in other symptoms they are experiencing. Depending on the cause of your pain, you could experience pain in other areas of your body.
If you are searching for answers for these types of questions, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your doctor or physical therapist. They will be able to ask you specific questions about your unique circumstances and conduct examinations and any necessary tests in order to diagnose you. Once they have diagnosed you, then they will be able to provide you with a personalized treatment plan.
That said, here are some instances where you may have pain in your shoulder and pain in other parts of your body.
About Referred Shoulder Pain
Typically, if you have a shoulder problem, moving the shoulder makes it better or worse. This is not the case with referred shoulder pain. Referred pain is when the source of the pain is elsewhere, like your heart or belly. Referred pain is constant, but may come and go.
This can be caused by heart problems, neck problems, stomach surgery, lung problems, stomach problems, and more. You usually notice other symptoms with this.
Doctors need to determine the source of pain to determine the best treatment method.
Neck And Shoulder Pain
The neck and shoulders are so connected that pain in one often leads to pain in the other. This is because some nerves in the neck travel to the shoulders and upper back. The neck and shoulders also share some of the same muscles, tendons, and ligaments. As such, if you strain or injure your neck, you could have pain in your shoulder too.
Pain that starts in the neck often feels like an electric shock and gets worse when you move your neck. It is typically relieved by support close to the side/base of the neck. Pain that starts in the shoulder is more of an ache. It tends to be worse at night, when lifting objects, when arms are overhead or reached behind, and can radiate into the upper arm. It typically feels better after rest.
Some cases where you can have pain in your shoulder and pain in your neck include:
- Pinched nerve/cervical radiculopathy
- Poor posture
- Degenerative diseases, like arthritis and spinal stenosis
- Unsupportive mattress
- Chronic inflammation
Different causes affect different structures and need different treatments.
Pain In Your Ears And Shoulders
If you have both shoulder pain and ear pain, you likely have neck pain too. Some of the factors that can cause you to have both ear pain and neck pain include:
- Muscle spasms
- Poor posture
- Forward head position
- Neck pain can also lead to ear pain
TMJ is another potential cause of both shoulder pain and ear pain. This is because chronic stiffness/misalignment of the shoulders can directly affect jaw joints. Abnormal jaw function can cause tense/imbalanced muscles, which can eventually affect the neck, shoulders, and even arms in extreme cases.
Armpit And Shoulder Pain
If you are experiencing both shoulder pain and armpit pain, muscle strains are a likely cause.
Nausea With Shoulder Pain
If you have severe pain in your shoulder, you could also have nausea. Any severe pain can cause nausea. This is because extreme pain can stimulate the nervous system. When the nervous system is in a hyperactive state, it can lead to nausea. This is because vomiting is how the body rids itself of harmful substances. So, if the nervous system is overstimulated, the body can trigger this response.
Nausea and shoulder pain together can also happen because of a heart attack, which is a medical emergency.
Elbow And Shoulder Pain
If you are experiencing both shoulder and elbow pain, there are many potential reasons for this. Some causes include:
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Bicipital tendinitis
- Subacromial bursitis
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Frozen elbow
- Joint overload
Chest Pain With Pain In Your Shoulder
If you are experiencing both shoulder pain and chest pain, this could be because of a heart attack, especially if the chest pain is severe. This is a medical emergency which you will need to seek medical attention for immediately.
Symptoms for heart attacks can vary for men and women. For men, the pain spreads to the left shoulder and either down the left arm or up to the chin. For women, the pain can be more subtle. It can go to either arm, the shoulder blades, up to the chin, down to the abdomen, etc.
Heart attack symptoms can also include: cold sweats, racing heart, jaw stiffness, difficulty breathing, and crushing chest pain.
On a less serious note, both shoulder pain and chest pain together can occur because of gallstones. You may experience pain between your shoulder blades or in your right shoulder. This can occur due to inflammation of the gallbladder.
Headaches And Shoulder Pain
If you have pain in your shoulder, you could end up suffering from tension headaches. This can occur due to the persistent tension in your muscles.
Ectopic Pregnancy And Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain doesn’t lead to an ectopic pregnancy, but if you’re having an ectopic pregnancy, you may experience shoulder tip pain. This can occur on either or both of your shoulders. It’s a strange or unusual pain where your shoulder ends and your arm begins. This can happen due to internal bleeding in the abdomen.
Are You Experiencing Persistent Pain?
Whether you are experiencing pain on its own or along with pain in other parts of the body, it’s a good idea to see a doctor or physical therapist for a professional evaluation. Wasatch Peak Physical Therapy provides treatment options for shoulder pain, among many other types of pains and injuries.
Schedule a consultation at one of our Northern Utah locations for shoulder pain treatment. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.