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Sports Medicine

Shoulder pain

06/16/2008

Question:

Hi,

Not sure if I am in the right category but they did not have one for shoulder. I awoke a few days ago to mildy severe shoulder pain. It has been persistant ever since. What confuses me is that it doesn`t intensify while moving my shoulder but rather it comes and goes without any cause. Sometimes while burping it gets sharp rather quickly. I cannot seem to find the cause online. Thank you.

Answer:

Shoulder pain may arise from the shoulder per se, but may also be referred to the shoulder from elsewhere, such as from the neck, chest, or abdomen, as well as from the upper limb (such as from carpal tunnel syndrome). Since your pain doesn't change with shoulder movements, an actual shoulder cause for your pain would seem less likely, and the fact your pain is at times aggravated by burping suggests at least the possibility your "shoulder" pain may be referred from your stomach or esophagus. Determining the actual cause, and appropriate treatment, for your symptoms requires a history and physical examination, as can be performed by your physician, who can then decide if any diagnostic testing is necessary for further clarification.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University