Bilateral shoulder pain can be caused by many different factors. It ranges from muscle strain or tension, generally caused by poor posture or overuse, to trauma due to an injury. Recent statistics say that shoulder pain is among the most common reasons people visit hospitals.
There is no joint in the body that is as mobile as the shoulder joint. Be it lifting heavy objects or extending to reach heights to pick up things, given the variety of daily activities it performs; you will occasionally experience shoulder pain. Our shoulder structures are built in a way to rotate in many different directions. However, this advantage can become its disadvantage, resulting in an increased risk of a shoulder injury and subsequent pain due to this condition.
Deltoid pain is another name for shoulder pain, which has become a very common medical problem. Osteoarthritis, muscle sprains or tears, tendonitis, etc., are some of the most common causes of shoulder pain. In fact, the anatomy that enables your shoulder to function as it does actually opens up a wide range of possibilities for many shoulder problems.
The shoulder comprises three main bones – the humerus, scapula, and collarbone. Due to the complexity of its structure, problems with any part result in severe shoulder pain. It’s crucial to identify precisely which shoulder area is hurting in order to focus on the best course of treatment for the condition. Let’s examine the causes of pain in both shoulders (bilateral shoulder pain) in more detail in this article.
Common characteristics of bilateral shoulder pain
Your nervous system’s structure may also cause shoulder pain radiating from other areas of the body as well. This is why, when one or both shoulders are in pain for no apparent reason, you should not ignore them.
The following symptoms may occur if you have pain in both shoulders:
- Pain in both shoulders
- Heat and red patches over the joints
- Deep, aching pain is sometimes associated with a burning sensation
- You may feel both your shoulders and arms very tight, particularly while walking or doing exercise.
- Movement of your shoulders also becomes difficult
- Pain coupled with a tingling sensation in one or both the arms and hands
Causes and risk factors of bilateral shoulder pain
Many potential causes result in bilateral shoulder pain, so understanding the symptoms and seeking medical care at the right time is very important. Below are some of the common causes of bilateral shoulder pain:
- Inflammation of tendons and muscles, which is caused by pressure on the neck and shoulder muscles, severe overuse of the joint, and trauma or injury
- Autoimmune diseases that impair the cartilage and bone of your shoulder joint
- Damage to the nerves in the shoulder region
- Infection-related causes
- Increasing age
- Referred pain
- Arthritis — Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Frozen shoulder
- Swimmer’s shoulder
- Brachial plexopathy
- Pinched nerve
Who is susceptible to bilateral shoulder pain?
Likely, both shoulders will eventually hurt if you fall into one of the following categories.
- People who work hard — physical labour that requires a lot of effort, like digging, sawing wood, or moving heavy objects, can result in pain.
- Sports people — Athletes who play specific games like baseball, cricket, volleyball, tennis, or any other sport that involves overhead activities like throwing or hitting.
- People who suffer from certain health problems associated with heart, liver, or gallbladder
- Those who have experienced a heart attack
Is having pain in both shoulders a serious condition?
The intensity of shoulder pain is usually dictated by the source of pain.
Not serious — Pain that gradually develops and improves after taking some rest usually doesn’t cause any serious complications.
Moderately serious — Acute injuries that cause shoulder pain can be treated effectively if addressed quickly.
Serious — Severe pain in both shoulders that occurs suddenly without apparent cause is recognised as a medical emergency that needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Tips for managing bilateral shoulder pain:
Bilateral shoulder pain can be relieved with the following first-line treatments:
- Bilateral shoulder pain can be alleviated by applying heat or ice packs to the shoulder region.
- Maintain proper sitting and standing posture.
- Exercise regularly and ensure you are doing it safely and not pushing yourself too hard. Seek help from a professional if necessary.
- If you are overweight, lose weight so that pressure on the joints is reduced.
- Adopt a healthy diet.
Suppose the treatments mentioned above do not alleviate your shoulder pain or you are not getting any better from the symptoms. In that case, it’s time to seek medical advice. To get more detailed information about bilateral shoulder pain treatment, consult Dr Chandra Sekhar, one of the most senior shoulder specialists in Hyderabad. He has done over five thousand surgeries, including shoulder replacements, with a 100% success rate. For a consultation, call +91 99595 88389 and book your slot.