Medical Causes of Shoulder Pain

Grant Dixon, Aditya Raghunandan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reviews sources of shoulder pain that are not directly due to shoulder-mediated pathology as well as their clinical presentations, diagnostic approach, and management options. The most common source of referred shoulder pain is the cervical spine. This includes cervical radiculopathy, cervical spondylosis, and cervical stenosis among other conditions. Rheumatologic causes of shoulder pain, such as gout, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, can also lead to shoulder pain. Other medical conditions that can result in shoulder pain include cardiac sources like myocardial infarction, aortic aneurysms, and angina, as well as abdominal sources including gallstones, hepatic conditions, and splenic rupture. This chapter will describe medical causes of shoulder pain using a primarily systems-based approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Case-Based Approach to Shoulder Pain
Subtitle of host publicationA Pocket Guide to Pathology, Diagnosis and Management
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783031173059
ISBN (Print)9783031173042
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Angina
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Cervical stenosis
  • Referred cardiac pain, Rheumatology
  • Referred intra-abdominal pain
  • Referred pain
  • Shoulder pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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