Symptoms A-Z

Swelling of One Shoulder Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your swelling of one shoulder symptoms, including 8 causes and common questions.

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Swelling Of One Shoulder Symptom Checker

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Contents

  1. 8 Possible Swelling Of One Shoulder Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

8 Possible Swelling Of One Shoulder Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced swelling of one shoulder. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a condition which causes inflammation of the joints. In most circumstances, psoriatic arthritis presents between the ages of 30 and 50 years and occurs after the manifestation of the symptoms of psoriasis, which is a disease of the skin. Psoriatic arthritis...

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Rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis is a general term for multiple conditions that cause painful inflammation and stiffness throughout the body. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition that is autoimmune in nature, meaning that the body's immune system which normally protects the body by att...

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Shoulder arthritis

Shoulder arthritis is inflammation of the shoulder joint, where the upper arm bone (humerus) meets the shoulder blade (scapula) and collarbone (clavicle). This inflammation can be caused by osteoarthritis or "wear-and-tear," injury to the shoulder joints, rotator cuff injuries, or r...

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Septic arthritis

Septic arthritis is also called infectious arthritis. "Arthritis" simply means inflammation of a joint. In septic arthritis, the inflammation is caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. The most common is Staphylococcus aureus or staph. These agents reach the joints either from ...

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Swelling Of One Shoulder Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your swelling of one shoulder

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.

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

Shoulder strain

Shoulder strain means that the muscles and/or the tendons in the shoulder have been overstretched to the point of damage and sometimes partial tearing. (A "sprain" means that ligaments have been damaged.)

Because of its wide range of motion, the shoulder is a relatively unstable joint that is vulnerable to injury. A sudden overloading, especially after long periods of overuse, can finally cause some degree of tearing to the muscle fibers and/or the tendons.

Shoulder strains are most often sports injuries, or are caused by strenuous physical labor.

Symptoms include sudden sharp pain followed by swelling, bruising, and ongoing tenderness.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and sometimes ultrasound.

Treatment involves a short period of rest, followed by gradually increasing exercise to regain strength and prevent stiffness and weakness of the muscles and tendons. Physical therapy will be tailored to the individual and some skills, such as for sports, may need to be relearned. Improving posture while sitting, and adjusting techniques for work and sports, can help prevent recurrence of the strain.

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

Biceps tendon rupture

The biceps muscle in the upper arm is anchored at the top by two separate tendons. One connects to the shoulder blade and one connects to the top of the shoulder joint. If one of these tendons is strained enough to completely tear it in two, this is called a rupture.

The injury is most common in people over age 40, especially after years of overuse of the shoulder. The person may have had episodes of biceps tendinitis in the past, which is a sign of fraying and damage to the tendon. In younger people it is primarily an acute sports injury, from weightlifting or from falling.

Symptoms include a pop or snap at the top of the shoulder, with sharp pain. There may soon be bruising halfway down the upper arm with obvious "balling up" of the partially disconnected muscle.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, x-rays, and sometimes MRI.

Treatment involves over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication; rest; ice; and physical therapy. Surgery may be done in some cases.

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

Shoulder bruise

A shoulder bruise, or contusion, means that the shoulder has been struck hard enough to damage the muscles without breaking the skin. This leaves a blue or purple mark in the skin that may be very sore.

A shoulder is most often bruised through a sports injury, such as blocking a player in a football game or falling from a horse. Using a rifle or shotgun can bruise the shoulder through the recoil.

A bruise may not seem serious, but it still needs proper care. It is possible for the bruise to mask a deeper injury such as a sprain, strain, or fracture. Complications such as compartment syndrome are possible, where trapped fluids from the damaged muscle tissues build up intense pressure and cause severe damage.

A medical provider can make an accurate diagnosis through physical examination and through imaging such as x-ray or CT scan.

Treatment for a shoulder contusion involves wearing a sling to take some pressure off of the shoulder joints; ice packs; and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and swelling.

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

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

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

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your swelling of one shoulder

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 were most often matched with:

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

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

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Swelling Of One Shoulder Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your swelling of one shoulder

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.