Read below about swelling of one shoulder, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your swelling of one 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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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Swelling of One Shoulder

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

  1. 1.Psoriatic Arthritis

    Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes itchy or sore patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. Some people who have psoriasis also get a form of arthritis (inflammation and swelling of joints) called psoriatic arthritis.

    This type of arthritis can be managed with treatment, and permanent damage can be prevented. However, the underlying cause (psoriasis) is currently incurable.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    shoulder pain, lower back pain, joint pain, upper back pain, hip pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a form of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in your joints. It can affect any joint but is common in the wrist and fingers. RA is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that it is caused by the immune system incorrectly attacking the joints when it shouldn't.

    RA is a chronic disease which requires lifelong control.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, joint pain, muscle aches, daytime sleepiness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.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
  4. 4.Septic Arthritis

    Septic arthritis is an intensely painful joint infection.

    12-14 days with treatment

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, spontaneous shoulder pain, chills, knee pain, joint pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

    Swelling of One Shoulder Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having swelling of one shoulder.

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  5. 5.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.

    Pain goes away in 3 weeks in most cases (6-12 weeks for more severe injuries)

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    constant shoulder pain, pain in one shoulder, shoulder pain from an injury, shoulder pain near the end of the collarbone, difficulty moving the shoulder
    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
  6. 6.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
  7. 7.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
  8. 8.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

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Swelling of One Shoulder

  • Q.Is your swollen area warm and red?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.How would you explain the cause of your shoulder pain?
  • Q.What is your body mass?

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

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Swelling of One Shoulder Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced swelling of one shoulder have also experienced:

    • 27% Pain in One Shoulder
    • 14% Pain in One Shoulder Blade
    • 3% Pain in the Back of the Neck
  • People who have experienced swelling of one shoulder had symptoms persist for:

    • 33% Less Than a Week
    • 27% Over a Month
    • 19% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced swelling of one shoulder were most often matched with:

    • 33% Psoriatic Arthritis
    • 33% Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • 33% Shoulder Arthritis
  • 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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