Read below about pain in the front of the shoulder, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your pain in the front of the shoulder 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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5 Potential Pain in the Front of the Shoulder Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder)

    Adhesive Capsulitis or "Frozen shoulder" is when the shoulder is painful and loses motion because of inflammation.

    1.5 - 3 years, but 90% recover fully without treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, stiff shoulder, dull, achy shoulder pain, shoulder pain that gets worse at night, difficulty moving the shoulder
    Symptoms that always occur with frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder):
    stiff shoulder
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Recurrent Shoulder Dislocation

    Recurrent subluxation of the shoulder is a condition that results in a persistent partial dislocation of the shoulder joint.

    Chronic, but is treatable

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    shoulder pain from overuse, pain in the front of the shoulder, shoulder dislocation
    Symptoms that always occur with recurrent shoulder dislocation:
    shoulder pain from overuse, shoulder dislocation
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Pain in the Front of the Shoulder Checker

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  3. 3.Biceps Tendon Rupture

    The biceps is the muscle in the front of the upper arm. Its main action is to flex the arm. The biceps muscle collects in a tendon that inserts into the radius (one of the bones of the forearm). Sometimes, if lifting something heavy or rapidly putting weight on the arm, the biceps tendon may pull away from the bone. Biceps tendon ruptures are classified as either partial or complete ruptures, depending on if the tendon pulled away only somewhat, or completely.

    Full recovery within weeks to months after surgery, with no lasting deficits.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    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 tendon rupture:
    pain in the front of the shoulder, pain in one shoulder
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.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
  5. 5.A 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 a shoulder strain:
    pain in one shoulder
    Symptoms that never occur with a shoulder strain:
    arm weakness, arm numbness
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain in the Front of the Shoulder

  • Q.How would you explain the cause of your shoulder pain?
  • Q.Can you fully move your shoulders around?
  • Q.Which of the following describes your physical fitness:
  • Q.Is the shoulder pain affecting:

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

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Pain in the Front of the Shoulder Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pain in the front of the shoulder have also experienced:

    • 26% Pain in One Shoulder
    • 6% Joint Stiffness
    • 5% Shoulder Pain
  • People who have experienced pain in the front of the shoulder had symptoms persist for:

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

    • 38% Biceps Tendon Rupture
    • 14% Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis of the Shoulder)
  • 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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