Welcome to Buoy Health

Learn about your shoulder bruise, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your shoulder bruise 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.

Shoulder Bruise Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having shoulder bruise.

Take a quiz
Your Shoulder Bruise May Also be Known as:
Arm bruising
Arm is bruised
Bruise on arm
Bruise on shoulder
Bruised arm
Bruised scapula
Bruised shoulder
Bruised shoulder blade
Scapula bruising
Scapula is bruised

Top 10 Shoulder Bruise Causes

  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.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a muscle and bone specialist (orthopedic surgeon). Treatments for impingement syndrome involve rest, over-the-counter pain medication, steroid injections, physical therapy, and surgery in rare, serious cases.

    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.

    You can treat this at home with R.I.C.E - rest (exercise as tolerated), ice (10-20 minutes at a time), compression (this is pretty optional), and elevation (difficult for this part of the body).

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    constant shoulder pain, pain in one shoulder, shoulder injury, shoulder pain from an 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.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.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate your care with a muscle and bone specialist (orthopedic surgeon). The treatment for biceps tendon rupture is surgery.

    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.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a physical therapist. First-line treatments for this condition involve rest from activity, physical therapy, and over-the-counter pain medication.

    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.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own with anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, heat or cold therapy, and other conservative treatment approaches. In most instances, non-surgical treatment is the first approach, and many people can avoid surgery altogether. Persistent pain after conservative treatment may respond to corticosteroid injections but may eventually require surgery.

    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

    Shoulder Bruise Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having shoulder bruise.

    Take a quiz
  6. 6.Acromioclavicular (Ac) Shoulder Joint Injury

    The shoulder is made up of three bones - the shoulder blade (scapula), collar bone (clavicle), and arm bone (humerus). The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is a joint that is in the front of the shoulder, where the collar bone and shoulder blade meet. This joint is stabilized by ligaments, which can tear if the two bones are separated from one another. This is most commonly caused by falling on the shoulder.

    You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours. AC joint injuries are usually treated non-surgically with pain medications and wearing a shoulder sling. Your doctor may coordinate care with a physical therapist as well.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    constant shoulder pain, pain in one shoulder, shoulder pain from an injury, difficulty moving the shoulder, shoulder pain near the end of the collarbone
    Symptoms that always occur with acromioclavicular (ac) shoulder joint injury:
    shoulder pain near the end of the collarbone, constant shoulder pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway filled with ligament and bones at the base of your hand. It contains nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed. Symptoms usually start gradually, and as they worsen, grasping objects can become difficult.

    Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent permanent nerve damage. Your doctor will diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome with a physical exam and special nerve tests. Treatment includes resting your hand, splints, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines. If symptoms do not improve with these less invasive treatments, your physician may recommend surgery.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, hand weakness, wrist pain, pain in one hand, weakness in one hand
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Gonococcal Cervicitis

    Gonorrhea is a common STD and 350,000 cases occur each year in the United States. It is transmitted through unprotected sex.

    You should visit your primary care physician to get tested as soon as possible and discuss treatment options. Please make sure you have protected intercourse until you have been tested.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, painful sex, yellow pus vaginal discharge, heavy menstrual flow
    Symptoms that never occur with gonococcal cervicitis:
    improving vaginal discharge
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Foot Weakness

    Any foot weakness is a sign of nerve damage, which is very worrisome and requires you to go see a doctor immediately!

    There may be several explanations for this symptom and its severity, but a healthcare professional should make an assessment as soon as possible because it may be serious.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    foot weakness, lower leg weakness, severe pelvis pain, arm weakness
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  10. 10.Iron Deficiency Anemia

    Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells, which deliver oxygen. Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body does not have enough iron. Iron helps make red blood cells.

    You should visit your primary care physician, who will take a blood test to confirm diagnosis. Treatment involves iron supplementation (pills) or transfusion in really extreme cases (not likely).

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, heavy menstrual flow
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Shoulder Bruise

  • Q.Is your shoulder bruising getting better or worse?
  • Q.How badly bruised is your shoulder?
  • Q.How long has your shoulder bruising been going on?
  • Q.How would you explain the cause of your shoulder pain?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our shoulder bruise symptom checker.

Take a quiz

Shoulder Bruise Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced shoulder bruise have also experienced:

    • 10% Pain in One Shoulder
    • 4% Hair Loss
    • 4% Swollen Shoulder
  • People who have experienced shoulder bruise had symptoms persist for:

    • 42% Less Than a Day
    • 31% Less Than a Week
    • 17% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced shoulder bruise were most often matched with:

    • 23% Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
    • 19% Shoulder Bruise
    • 7% Biceps Tendon Rupture

Shoulder Bruise Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having shoulder bruise.

Take a quiz