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What Are the Causes of Right Shoulder Pain?

There are numerous causes of right shoulder pain. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health or NIH, swelling, inflammation or tearing of the tissue surrounding the shoulder joint can cause shoulder pain and reduce the shoulder's active range of motion 1. The NIH reports that shoulder pain can be caused by repetitive overuse, traumatic injury or a medical condition. Many shoulder conditions can cause pain to manifest in one or both shoulders.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Whiplash

Whiplash can cause right shoulder pain. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or NINDS, which is a division of the National Institutes of Health, whiplash is a soft tissue injury of the neck that occurs when the neck is rapidly flexed and extended 12. Whiplash is also known as a neck sprain or neck strain, and is characterized by a group of symptoms that manifest shortly after the neck injury.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Shoulder Pain From Playing Tennis

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Thoracic outlet syndrome can cause right shoulder pain. The Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, a New York-based sports medicine research, training and clinical center, reveals that thoracic outlet syndrome is a group of syndromes caused by compression of the nerves and blood vessels running through the neck and shoulder.

Shoulder Dislocation

A shoulder dislocation can cause right shoulder pain 3. According to the Sports Injury Clinic website, shoulder dislocations are one of the most common traumatic injuries among athletes in a wide range of sports 3. The majority of shoulder dislocations involve a forward slippage of the head of the humerus or upper arm bone when the arm is externally rotated or turned outward and abducted or lifted to the side of the body. This is called an anterior shoulder dislocation 3. The Sports Injury Clinic website states that 95 percent of shoulder dislocations occur in the anterior or forward direction 3.

Overuse and Muscle Strain

Pain Below My Shoulder Blade When I'm Running

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Pain can occur if you overuse your right shoulder when you exercise or do a sporting activity. Shoulder pain and injuries are common in sports such as baseball, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball. Shoulder pain stems from muscular imbalances in the shoulder, rotator cuff, and upper back. If you are right-handed and dominantly use that arm to throw a ball, for example, you'll overuse those muscles to the point where you feel pain or muscle strain.

The Wrap Up

There are numerous causes of right shoulder pain. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or NINDS, which is a division of the National Institutes of Health, whiplash is a soft tissue injury of the neck that occurs when the neck is rapidly flexed and extended2. A shoulder dislocation can cause right shoulder pain. According to the Sports Injury Clinic website, shoulder dislocations are one of the most common traumatic injuries among athletes in a wide range of sports.

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