Aching pain in the shoulder joint of the left hand

Worried about pain in the left shoulder joint? Is it difficult to raise a hand even without extra load? This can be a sign of a serious pathology. If the pain persists for several days or weeks, then you should immediately consult a doctor to determine the nature of the problem. The correct diagnosis in this situation is necessary for successful treatment, which is carried out both at home and in the hospital.

Causes of pathology

The shoulder joint includes several functional elements. Each of them is regularly subjected to physical activity, because with the help of hands a person performs most of everyday tasks. And in the normal state of things, pain in the left shoulder joint does not occur. However, various disorders provoke unpleasant sensations, which sometimes worry for a long time. Doctors associate the causes of this course of events with changes in the joint structure or systemic disorders of the body:

  1. Joint tendon inflammation – tendonitis. It usually appears due to intense physical exertion, but other factors contribute to the disease.
  2. Inflammation of the joint mucosa – bursitis. The disorder often acts as a companion of tendonitis and develops also due to overstrain.
  3. Inflammation of the periarticular tissues of the shoulder – shoulder-shoulder periarthritis. It occurs due to hypothermia, injury or overvoltage.
  4. Infectious diseases. Bacterial infection provokes the inflammatory process and the formation of pus. A common reason for this course of events is the weak immunity of a person who is not able to withstand the attack of microbes.
  5. Arthrosis. Destruction of cartilage cells and damage to joint tissue provokes pain syndrome that intensifies over time. There are many varieties of such disorders, and some of them are very difficult to get rid of.
  6. Salt deposits – calcification. Common pathology in people older than 30 years. If calcium salts are localized in the shoulder area, then a person is sometimes disturbed by aching pain, which does not depend on the position of the arm.
  7. Sprain. For bodybuilders, such a disorder is even common, because they regularly put their musculoskeletal system under heavy loads. However, there is a risk of stretching the joint fibers quite strongly, and then acute pain cannot be avoided.
  8. Physical trauma. Dislocation, bruising, bone fracture, or tendon rupture never happens without physical impact. In the best case, the patient will find capsulitis (joint stiffness), and in the worst, serious damage that will require the application of gypsum.
  9. Osteochondrosis or hernia in the intervertebral discs. Pain in the cervical and thoracic spine often spreads to the shoulder blades and shoulders.
  10. Diseases of the internal organs. Pain in the left arm is sometimes a symptom of myocardial infarction or ischemia. Sometimes this symptom indicates dysfunction of the liver, lungs and other organs.
  11. Pathology of the nervous system. If impulse transmission along nerve fibers is disrupted, then the sensitivity and tone of a person change in the direction of both increase and decrease. In this regard, pain is possible even without apparent reason.
  12. Neoplasms. Good or malignant tumors provoke pain in the joints and in other parts of the body.

As can be seen from this list, the causes of shoulder pain are quite diverse. At the same time, unpleasant sensations in the left and right hands are rarely different. Similar disorders often occur in people engaged in physical labor or weightlifting. However, age cannot be discounted, because after 40-50 years the body is much more difficult to resist the development of diseases.

And yet there is one point that needs attention: after eliminating possible physical injuries and related factors, systemic disorders come first. And if the pain is localized in the left hand, then doctors require a heart examination due to the risk of developing myocardial infarction and coronary artery disease.


Although the pain may not really bother you, you will have to go to the hospital to determine the nature of the pathology. A small bruise of the shoulder usually goes away on its own, but all other causes of the disease in the absence of proper treatment can cause serious complications. Therefore, it is so important to undergo a timely examination! So, what therapeutic measures are prescribed in certain cases?

Inflammation treatment

If an inflammatory process is detected in the tendons, bag of the shoulder joint or surrounding tissues, it is necessary to ensure the rest of this part of the body. This means that during the treatment period you will have to forget about physical activity. Doctors also advise using medications, among which ointments have proven themselves well:

  1. Preparations based on pepper components (Finalgon, Vietnam Golden Star balm). The active substances warm the damaged area, restore blood flow and eliminate swelling, which leads to a decrease in pain.
  2. Ointments with snake venom (Viprosal). Snake venom helps to relieve inflammation, anesthesia and resorption of edema.
  3. NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Finalgel, Diclofenac). Assign for pain in the joints, but not as a first-tier remedy.
  4. Dimexide-based drugs. This substance is used as a solvent for other components, and in its pure form it perfectly removes inflammation.

Injury treatment

If the patient only slightly bruised his shoulder, then soon from the discomfort there will be no trace: they will pass on their own. However, the stretching of the muscles and tendons is very painful, and in case of a rupture of the ligaments or a bone fracture, medical care is not necessary at all. In extreme cases, even a surgical operation is prescribed. What to do with sprain of the shoulder joint?

  1. Apply a cold compress, but not more than 20 minutes.
  2. Fix the joint with a brace or orthopedic splint.
  3. They drink anabolic agents (Ibuprofen, Ketorolac).
  4. The damaged area is smeared with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

If the patient complains of very severe pain, then a fracture is also possible. In such situations, an x-ray of the joint is mandatory, and after confirming the diagnosis, gypsum is usually applied. As drug therapy, painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed, and calcium-containing drugs are prescribed for better bone fusion.

Treatment of other diseases

The causes of pain in the left shoulder are not always associated with a local inflammatory process or trauma. If the pathology develops as a result of arthritis or arthrosis, then treatment will be required to restore the cartilage tissue. Therapeutic measures in this case are as follows:

  1. Take NSAIDs.
  2. They warm the joint to increase blood flow and, as a result, nutrients.
  3. Chondroprotectors are used to start the process of cartilage repair (Arthra, Teraflex).
  4. They improve phosphorus-calcium metabolism in the cartilage with the help of chondroitin sulfate-based preparations.
  5. Assign a set of therapeutic exercises.

A similar course is prescribed for osteochondrosis, however, treatment of this ailment is not complete without spinal traction and massage, mud therapy, electrophoresis and other procedures. Of the physical exercises, swimming in the pool and special physical education – exercise therapy are of particular benefit.

For pain in the left hand

For pain in the left hand, the general practitioner is obliged to exclude the risk of myocardial infarction, for which the patient is urgently sent for an ECG. If a heart failure is confirmed, then the cardiologist will continue to deal with the patients. Timely diagnosis in this situation saved the lives of many people, so it is so important not to lose precious minutes.

In some cases, blood and urine tests are also performed to establish the presence of a bacterial infection in the body. This type of pathology is also accompanied by high body temperature and severe swelling of the joint, so if the results of a laboratory analysis confirm the doctor’s fears, then antibiotics will be used for treatment.

Proper nutrition will help normalize the patient’s condition for shoulder pain: the diet should be composed of products containing calcium and proteins. But do not forget about vitamins, because the lack of these biologically active substances will slow the healing process.


Pain in the shoulder joint of the left hand develops for various reasons, on which the complex of therapeutic measures depends. Often, the patient is prescribed anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs, but if systemic disorders provoke pathology, a more serious approach will be required.

Shoulder pain
why the shoulder hurts, the cause of shoulder pain

Most often, shoulder pains are unsharp, bruising or aching. But sometimes shoulder pains are so severe that they are comparable to toothache — they deprive a person of sleep and peace. And almost always perceived by the sick as a disaster.

Nevertheless, to cope with pain in the shoulder or shoulders, no matter how strong it is, in the vast majority of cases it is not too difficult. It is only necessary to make the correct diagnosis and prescribe the correct treatment for the shoulder joint.

So. Why does my shoulder hurt?

Doctors who are not well versed in diseases of the shoulder joint usually have only 2 answers to this question. If any patient complains of shoulder pain, these doctors will say that “it hurts because of the neck,” or they will diagnose “arthrosis of the shoulder joints”.

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In fact, arthrosis of the shoulder joints is quite rare – only about 5-7% of the total number of cases of shoulder pain account for arthrosis.

Can my shoulder hurt from my neck? Yes maybe. But this is also not the most common cause of shoulder pain.

The most common cause of pain in the shoulder joint is a widespread disease called shoulder-shoulder periarthritis. It accounts for more than 50% of all cases of shoulder pain.

The second place is really “pain due to the neck,” that is, damage to the cervicothoracic spine with a backache in the arm or shoulder. About 30% of cases of shoulder pain.

Arthrosis of the shoulder joint, as we found out, is about 5-7% of cases of shoulder pain.

Another 5-7% is accounted for by arthritis, which occurs with inflammation of the shoulder joint. For example, the shoulder often hurts or becomes inflamed with rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatism, psoriatic arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatism.

And a few percent of people suffer from shoulder pain that has arisen for other reasons: due to vascular disorders, stiffness of the neck muscles, and liver diseases.

Acute shoulder pain

Attention! Suddenly occurring acute pain in the left shoulder, which began literally in a second against the background of full health, may be the first symptom of a heart attack! Seem to the cardiologist!

Suddenly started acute pain in the right shoulder, also arising against the background of full health, may be the first symptom of an attack of gallstone disease!

Shoulder pain that lasts longer than a few days: causes

Below I will briefly talk about the distinctive features of those shoulder diseases that occupy several of the top lines of our “rating” and are quite common.

1. Periarthritis of the shoulder blade

This disease usually begins after an unsuccessful movement of the hand, after sleeping in an uncomfortable position, or after overloading the hands with unusual physical work.

In case of shoulder-shoulder periarthritis, one shoulder can become ill – right or left. But it often happens that both shoulders become inflamed at once.

The main symptom of brachiocephalic periarthritis is a significant restriction of certain movements in the arm.

For example, the hand does not rotate well around its axis clockwise or against it, it is difficult to wind up behind the back and rises poorly through the side up. When trying such movements, very sharp pains in the shoulder can occur.

Sometimes the mobility of a hand with periarthritis is reduced so much that a sick person can’t raise his hand behind his back, can’t raise his hand, comb his hair or put his hand in the sleeve of a shirt or jacket.

Pain in the shoulder with shoulder-shoulder periarthritis can be unsharp, aching. But often the pains are very severe. They can occur even at night, and with the most severe forms of periarthritis, shoulder pain just at night becomes completely unbearable.

2. Shoulder pain caused by damage or a hernia in the cervical spine

Most often, pain from the neck shoots only in one hand – in the right or left. In both hands, neck pain rarely shoots. The second hand either does not hurt at all, or it hurts less and in other areas.

At the same time, a sick hand is often “shot” not only in the shoulder, but also along its entire length – to the very tips of the fingers.

Pain in the shoulder with a backache from the neck can be quite severe. Moreover, in some people the injured hand hurts during the day, when moving. And others hurt at night, in the middle of sleep.

A key feature of the lumbago: in contrast to the shoulder-shoulder periarthritis or shoulder arthrosis, in this case normal mobility of the arm is almost always maintained. Only sometimes the ability to raise a sore arm above the head and fully extend it upwards is slightly reduced.

3. Arthrosis of the shoulder joints

Most people over the age of 45 suffer from arthrosis. Often sick men who have worked for many years in hard physical work: builders, locksmiths, blacksmiths. And also – professional athletes: weightlifters, tennis players, shot putters, etc.

Pain sensations with arthrosis of the shoulder joints are usually very weak, quite tolerable. And these pains arise only when moving.

When moving in an arthritic joint, a crunch is heard. The mobility of the shoulder joints with arthrosis is reduced, but not much.

The appearance of sick shoulder joints with arthrosis is practically unchanged. The general condition of patients and body temperature remain normal.

Read more about arthrosis of the shoulder joints “material is being prepared.

4. Inflammation of the shoulder joints with arthritis

Of all arthritis, inflammation of the shoulder joints most often develops with ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis, less commonly with articular rheumatism and psoriatic arthritis, very rarely with gout.

A distinctive feature of inflammation of the shoulder joints with arthritis: usually some other joints become inflamed first. For example, knees or feet, or fingers or toes. And only then the shoulders get sick.

Arthritis begins quite rarely with the shoulder joints – although sometimes it does.

Pain in the shoulders with arthritis is most pronounced at rest, late at night or in the morning, but subside in the afternoon and evening. When moving or after a light warm-up, such pain is most often noticeably reduced.

The mobility of the shoulder joints with arthritis is almost always reduced in the morning, but by noon, especially after a light warm-up, the range of motion in the shoulders can fully recover (except in cases of chronic arthritis).

The general condition of patients with arthritis is often unsatisfactory – the patient may have a fever, weakness, chills, body aches.

5. Other, more rare causes of shoulder pain, in the article – 3 diseases that most doctors do not know about

A video with gymnastics for treating shoulder pain can be seen here.

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Causes and treatment of pain in the shoulder joint of the left hand

The shoulder joint is the most mobile in a person, which is easy to guess if you think about the nature of the movements performed by the shoulder. With the help of this joint, we can move our hands in any direction: raise and lower them, fold them to the right or left, wind behind the head and even rotate around its own axis. But when for any reason one of the components of the shoulder joint is damaged, we strongly feel our limitations, because pain can accompany any, even the slightest movement. Often the pain is localized in the left shoulder, which is the most dangerous symptom that can be caused by the most dangerous diseases. Why the shoulder of the left hand hurts, and what measures need to be taken, we will describe in this article.

Pain in the left shoulder

The pain in the body arises for a reason: in this way the body tries to tell us that something is wrong with it, and it is necessary to eliminate the violation as soon as possible. Also, through pain symptoms, the body protects the damaged organ from unnecessary stress, so that we do not do even more harm to ourselves. Pain in the shoulder joint of the left hand is no exception, it can indicate a number of serious pathologies, the elimination of which should be taken immediately.

The causes of pain in the shoulder of the left hand can conditionally be divided into two categories: disorders that occurred directly in this joint and those that speak of problems with other organs or systems of a person.

Causes of Joint Disorders

Severe pain in the shoulder joint of the left hand can be caused by many diseases, it is extremely important to make an accurate diagnosis. An incorrectly established cause can lead to dangerous consequences: as long as you treat a healthy organ, violations in the damaged will progress. Only a qualified doctor will be able to identify the true cause of shoulder pain on the left. As an example, we give some of the most common disorders in the body that cause pain in the shoulder joint, but this information will not replace a full visit to a specialist.

Often, if the shoulder of the left hand hurts, the cause may be in the so-called capsulitis. The disease is expressed in inflammatory processes and damage to the capsule and synovial membrane of the shoulder joint. The violation is also called “frozen shoulder syndrome”, when the muscles of the shoulder girdle are seemingly constrained, which prevents even raising the arm up. Sometimes it is difficult to perform basic actions, for example, to eat food, because because of the pain it hinders just to bring the plug to your mouth.

Tendonitis is expressed in inflammation of the tendons of the joint, often manifested in those who subject the shoulder girdle to excessive loads. Sometimes this inflammation is accompanied by bursitis, which also occurs due to regular overstrain, while the joint looks swollen. There is a disease of tendobursitis, manifested in inflammation of the tendons and bags of the joint, but occurs due to the deposition of calcium salts in the tendons. The pain is severe, it can “give” to the arm and even to the neck, which significantly limits the patient’s motor activity.

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If the shoulder and elbow joints of the left hand are sore, it is likely that there are various arthritis and arthrosis. These diseases are often the cause of such pain. These are inflammatory processes that affect the joints and deform cartilage, sometimes accompanying crunches and creaks can be noticed.

Pain in the shoulder joint on the left is often caused by a shoulder injury, this is mainly observed in athletes and people whose profession is associated with regular uniform movements. However, the circle of patients is not limited to athletes and representatives of certain professions: any person can get a bruise of the shoulder joint, slipping unsuccessfully, hitting a solid object.

Diseases of the organs and pain in the shoulder joint on the left

Pain in the left shoulder joint should be treated with particular care, because they can indicate angina and other heart diseases. If the shoulder of the left hand hurts, you don’t need to look for a reason for a long time, you should immediately contact a cardiologist. Especially if pain is accompanied by a burning sensation in the shoulder and neck, there is a feeling of anxiety, and breathing is difficult. Severe pain in the sternum may be present, but sometimes the condition can manifest itself only in severe pain in the shoulder joint.

Severe pain in the left shoulder joint may indicate the presence of osteochondrosis, an intervertebral hernia of the cervical spine. In such cases, pain occurs in the shoulder and forearm, can be localized in the arm from the elbow to the shoulder, or in the neck and shoulder.


If the left shoulder hurts, what to treat, the doctor will tell you, it is necessary to conduct therapy only with a competent specialist. We will briefly outline some treatment options that a doctor may prescribe. You can find the answer to the question of which doctor to go if your shoulder hurts, in a special article.

In some cases, cold compresses are used to relieve the symptom. Such procedures are allowed no more than once a day for 20 minutes.

It is important to fix the joint in order to eliminate pain as much as possible and reduce inflammatory processes, the load on the shoulder joint must be reduced to a minimum. Doctors recommend special bandages or orthopedic orthoses to their patients.

If there is pain in the left shoulder, medications are prescribed almost immediately, to eliminate the pain syndrome. Often, experts prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to their patients, such as Ibuprofen, Ketorolac, Naproxen and others.

If the left shoulder hurts, as a rule, various ointments are prescribed: Diclofenac, Indomethacin, Ibuprofen, Voltaren, etc. The drugs are applied topically, at least twice a day.

Most of these drugs are designed to reduce pain, but are not able to eliminate its causes. The doctor will prescribe another treatment, advise a course of various procedures. For example, sometimes they try to stop the destruction of the joint with the help of chondroprotectors, which are injected directly into the joint with a syringe. Collagen is delivered to the joint to help cells recover. Joint nutrition will return to normal, pain will disappear in the patient.

Aching pain in the shoulder joint of the left hand, as well as severe pain, are sometimes eliminated, including using physiotherapeutic procedures, manual therapy, reflexology. The main thing is to use a set of measures to treat a disorder under the supervision of a qualified specialist.

Why there is pain in the shoulder joint of the left hand

Discomfort, which causes pain in the shoulder joint of the left hand, can signal a dysfunction. This joint is quite complex, with the appearance of an inflammatory process, destruction of the joint bag or any other pathology, it can perform functions for a long time.

Causes of shoulder pain

Gradually, a person notices that pain in the shoulder joint is disturbing. These symptoms can cause:

  1. Inflammatory processes in the articular tendons (under the influence of the load, its surface interacts directly with the tendons, which is accompanied by pain).
  2. Bursitis develops after prolonged overstrain, causing swelling.
  3. The deposition of salts leads to stiffness of the articular ligaments, pain in the shoulder joint occur suddenly. When changing the position of the hand, there is no relief, it becomes difficult to move the arm even a short distance from the body, in a calm state, improvement does not occur.
  4. Improperly formed joint.
  5. Injury (often in people involved in sports, there is a dislocation, which results in pain in the shoulder joint of the left hand). In older people, the cause is the occurring degenerative processes.
  6. Various neoplasms.
  7. Shoulder-shoulder periarthrosis, the main manifestation of which is pain in the shoulder joint. Gradually, the feeling of discomfort intensifies, the patient loses sleep.
  8. Overstretching of the brachial ligaments is more often observed in bodybuilders, performing many exercises is difficult, sometimes there is a breakdown of the cartilage ring.
  9. Tendon rupture.
  10. Arthrosis and arthritis.
  11. Neurogenic pathology, accompanied by a violation of sensitivity in the arm, neck.
  12. Disc protrusion of the cervical spine, hernia.

Sometimes patients associate pain in the shoulder joint of the right hand with osteochondrosis, but the cause may be pathologies that violate the internal organs:

  • angina pectoris is accompanied by pain in the sternum of a pressing nature, giving to the shoulder, shortness of breath after physical exertion;
  • Myocardial infarction is sometimes characterized only by the fact that in a calm state, the patient experiences anxiety, shortness of breath, perspiration appears on the forehead.

With brachial neuritis, the impression is that the arm hurts both when moving and at rest. This sensation is deceptive, the joint in such cases is in a calm state, and all the unpleasant signs are associated with inflammatory processes that occur in the brachial nerve.

Pain sensations are strongly manifested with capsule, cervical osteochondrosis, arthritis. Capsulitis does not allow you to raise or take your hand to the side. Inflammation of the shoulder joint causes a change in the ligaments, leading to thinning of the articular cartilage and capsule.

Diseases of the internal organs can cause pain in the joints (with pathologies of the liver, pneumonia, tumors in the chest and other problems). In any case, when the shoulder joints hurt, the causes need to be />

With untreated injuries or with a change in weather phenomena, aching pain in the shoulder joint occurs.

Methods of therapy and prevention

Often patients ask what to do if a shoulder hurts, and try to solve this problem on their own. Before treatment, the doctor makes a diagnosis based on the patient’s complaints and symptoms of the disease. Different specialists can treat the shoulder joint depending on the reason: therapist, traumatologist, surgeon, neurologist or rheumatologist.

What to do if the shoulder joint hurts? In no case do not tolerate, for some time you can use painkillers and consult a doctor.

For the period of diagnostic measures, the patient receives symptomatic treatment.

Pain treatment is carried out with anti-inflammatory drugs in the form of tablets, gels, ointments.

  • the use of medications;
  • physiotherapeutic procedures;
  • surgical intervention.

When the shoulder joint hurts, how to treat it, the specialist determines. In some cases, alternative medicine comes to the rescue: with the help of proven folk remedies (compresses, decoctions of medicinal herbs, etc.), pain is relieved.

For preventive purposes, it is necessary to maintain joints in a healthy state, following simple recommendations:

  • do not sleep on a high and stiff pillow;
  • evenly distribute the weight, do not constantly carry the bag on one shoulder;
  • monitor posture;
  • do physical exercises in the morning;
  • avoid hypothermia;
  • Do not undergo too high physical exertion;
  • when performing exercises do not overload the cervical spine;
  • eat right, consume vitamins in the required amount.

Preventive measures prevent the development of pathology, and when the first symptoms appear, you should consult a doctor. In any case, in order to understand how to treat the shoulder joint, you need to contact a specialist and determine the cause of the pathology that has arisen. There can be many reasons, only knowing the exact diagnosis, you can understand how to cure the disease.

Shishkevich Vladimir
Shishkevich Vladimir
Orthopedic doctor, traumatologist
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I have been treating joints for many years. I can say with confidence that the joints are always treatable, even in the very ripe old age.

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Rheumatologist. For more than 20 years, he has been involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of joint diseases. Specialization: diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases and deformations of the musculoskeletal system.