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Pain Under Left Shoulder

Serious Causes of Left Shoulder Pain

The most worrying cause of left shoulder pain comes from pain that is cardiac in nature.

The symptoms of heart attack can be different in men and women and some symptoms may not be present at all.

Also, diabetic patients may feel pain differently than the rest of the general population. Left shoulder pain that is cardiac in nature may be accompanied by pain that is in the centre of the chest, or that radiates to the arm, neck or jaw.

Other symptoms that accompany cardiac pain may include shortness of breath, nausea, faintness, weakness, pallor, and feelings of anxiety.

These types of symptoms indicate the need for emergency medical evaluation by calling 911, or the appropriate emergency number in your country.

Another serious cause of left shoulder pain occurs after an accident, fall, or blow to the abdomen. A ruptured spleen causes the abdomen to rapidly fill with blood, causing pressure and irritation of the diaphragm.

Other symptoms include faintness, weakness, pale skin, and signs of shock. The person feels or appears very ill. Again, in this instance it is imperative that the emergency services be called immediately.

Less serious causes of left shoulder pain

Less serious causes of left shoulder pain include tendonitis, muscle strains and sprains, bursitis, and fractures.

Generally, these types of pain can be associated with some type of activity and usually increase upon movement.

The pain either occurs during activity so that the person stops the activity briefly to evaluate the pain, or the pain builds slowly and gradually over the course of days.

The pain may or may not be accompanied by swelling and bruising near the point of pain.

Left shoulder pain that is accompanied by redness, fever, neck stiffness, inability to use the arm, or paleness of the fingers accompanied by numbness or tingling needs to be promptly evaluated by a physician.

If none of the above conditions are present, then you can begin self help measures at home until you can make an appointment with your physician.

You should rest the area for 24 hours, then begin to gently move the shoulder through its entire range of motion to prevent 'frozen shoulder'.

Ice should be applied, instead of heat for any left shoulder pain that has not yet been evaluated by a doctor.

Use the ice for 5 minutes at a time, taking care to wrap the ice in a cloth to prevent freezing the skin. Diabetics and persons with circulatory problems should not use ice or heat without first consulting a physician as tissue damage and death can occur.

Left shoulder pain is not often serious in nature, however; only you and your physician can accurately evaluate your medical condition.

If at any time you feel that your symptoms may represent a more serious medical situation, seek emergency treatment.

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