Shoulder Pain When lifting arm Sideways & Above Head

One of the most complicated joints in your body is the shoulder. Aside from the ball-and-socket joint, there are other areas of the shoulder that might cause pain, such as tendons, muscles, and other 'soft' tissues.

A sore shoulder can significantly affect your quality of life because it is so crucial to your ability to move freely throughout the day. For minor injuries, you might be able to manage the pain alone, but in many situations, a doctor should be consulted to determine the cause of the issue and provide appropriate care.

Shoulder pain can be debilitating, but sometimes its source is hard to pin down. Other sections of the body may be the source of the discomfort, which then extends to your shoulder. This may occur with certain neck issues, such as disc herniations and rheumatoid arthritis.

In general, it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible to have your shoulder condition diagnosed if you are experiencing significant discomfort or know you have sustained an injury.

However, if your shoulder pain is generalized and mild, you should consider modifying your activities, taking paracetamol or over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine, and doing some light stretching to see if the pain goes away on its own. However, you should see a doctor if the discomfort persists or worsens over several weeks.

Shoulder Pain When lifting arm Sideways & Above Head

Shoulder Pain When lifting arm Sideways & Above Head

Several things can cause shoulder pain when lifting your arm sideways and above your head. Here are some potential explanations:

Rotator cuff injury

A collection of tendons and muscles known as the rotator cuff helps to keep the shoulder joint stable. A damaged or inflamed rotator cuff can result from overuse, trauma, or aging and cause pain and a restricted range of motion.

Shoulder impingement

This happens when the space between the rotator cuff and the top of the shoulder blade (acromion) becomes smaller, resulting in the rotator cuff tendons rubbing on the acromion. This might cause pain and make elevating the arm difficult.

Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder, sometimes called adhesive capsulitis, makes the shoulder joint stiff and painful. The condition often worsens with time and might make it difficult to elevate the arm in any direction.


Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that provide cushioning for the bones, tendons, and muscles surrounding the joints. Pain when lifting the arm can result from bursa inflammation in the shoulder.

Shoulder instability

Recurrent shoulder dislocations or subluxations can result in instability, which can be painful and restrict arm movement range.

Shoulder Pain When lifting arm Sideways & Above Head Shoulder Pain When lifting arm Sideways & Above Head Reviewed by Simon Albert on May 17, 2023 Rating: 5
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