Read below about mild shoulder pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your mild shoulder pain from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Mild Shoulder Pain

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced mild shoulder pain. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

    Impingement syndrome is a common shoulder condition seen in aging adults. The tendons of rotator cuff muscles, whose action is to rotate the arm such such as during a tennis swing, pass in a narrow space between two bones in the shoulder. When the space becomes too narrow, which can happen as a result of an overuse injury, pain may develop as the tendons rub against the bones.

    Impingement may take weeks to months to settle.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one shoulder, dull, achy shoulder pain, shoulder pain that gets worse at night, difficulty moving the shoulder, shoulder pain from overuse
    Symptoms that always occur with rotator cuff tendonitis:
    pain in one shoulder
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Shoulder Bruise

    A bruise is the damage of the blood vessels that return blood to the heart (the capillaries and veins), which causes pooling of the blood. This explains the blue/purple color of most bruises. Bruises of the shoulder are common, given how exposed this area of the body is.

    Bruises begin to heal within one week.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    constant shoulder pain, pain in one shoulder, shoulder pain from an injury, shoulder injury, swelling of one shoulder
    Symptoms that always occur with shoulder bruise:
    shoulder pain from an injury, shoulder injury, constant shoulder pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Shoulder Strain

    Shoulder strain, also known as a muscle pull, is a common occurrence attributed to a damaged muscle and often is the result of heavy lifting or sports.

    With proper medical attention, this condition should fully resolve.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one shoulder, pain in the front of the shoulder, shoulder pain from overuse, shoulder pain from an injury, sports injury
    Symptoms that always occur with shoulder strain:
    pain in one shoulder
    Symptoms that never occur with shoulder strain:
    arm weakness, arm numbness
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit

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  4. 4.Repetitive Strain Injury of the Shoulder ("Swimmer's Shoulder")

    Repetitive strain injury of the shoulder is caused by consistent repetitive use.

    Resolves with rest

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    shoulder pain from overuse, shoulder weakness, shoulder numbness
    Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the shoulder ("swimmer's shoulder"):
    shoulder pain from overuse
    Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the shoulder ("swimmer's shoulder"):
    severe shoulder pain, shoulder injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  5. 5.Shoulder Arthritis

    Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of the joints. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the primary symptoms of arthritis. Any joint in the body may be affected by the disease, including the shoulder joint.

    Shoulder arthritis is a chronic problem once it develops.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, shoulder pain that gets worse at night, difficulty moving the shoulder, swollen shoulder
    Symptoms that always occur with shoulder arthritis:
    spontaneous shoulder pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Biceps Tendonitis

    The biceps is the muscle in the front of the upper arm. Its main action is to flex the arm. The beginning of the muscle is a tendon that passes in front of the shoulder. Problems with the tendon can arise due to impingement (where the tendon gets compressed by surrounding structures) or inflammation due to overuse of the shoulder. People with this condition experience a deep, throbbing ache in the front of the shoulder.

    Recover on its own within weeks to months.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one shoulder, pain in the front of the shoulder, spontaneous shoulder pain, dull, achy shoulder pain, shoulder pain that gets worse at night
    Symptoms that always occur with biceps tendonitis:
    pain in the front of the shoulder
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Mild Shoulder Pain

  • Q.How would you explain the cause of your shoulder pain?
  • Q.Can you fully move your shoulders around?
  • Q.Where exactly is your shoulder pain?
  • Q.Did you just suffer from a high impact injury (e.g., a fall, collision, accident or sports trauma)?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our mild shoulder pain symptom checker to find out more.

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Mild Shoulder Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced mild shoulder pain have also experienced:

    • 12% Rib Pain on One Side
    • 9% Chest Pain
    • 5% Racing Heart Beat
  • People who have experienced mild shoulder pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 36% Over a Month
    • 23% Less Than a Week
    • 19% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced mild shoulder pain were most often matched with:

    • 50% Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
    • 33% Shoulder Strain
    • 16% Shoulder Bruise
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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