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Left Shoulder Pain


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Do any of you get pain in your left shoulder that feels like it's referred chest pain? I have been getting pain in the front part of my shoulder, and also some at the tip toward the outside. But it seems like it is coming when my heart is misbehaving. I sometimes feel a tightness in the shoulder too.

Just looking for some "me too" responses to affirm that I shouldn't be concerned. I am 31 and don't have any heart disease risk factors so I am not too worried, but I just find these subtle, unusual symptoms are often common among us here.


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I sometimes get left arm discomfort - not actual pain. Usually in the upper arm and elbow area. It used to freak me out about a heart attack, but it has happened so many times that I usually don't get concerned anymore. I take my Xanax and chill. I would think if it was heart related it would be tingly and actual pain.

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I get it too. It can start in my chest and radiate into my shoulder. I've had it a long time, so don't worry about it much anymore.

It might help to know that cardiac signs in women are very different than men. Women really don't typically have the shoulder pain type stuff (although you may) it's usually more jaw pain and indegestion as opposed to left shoulder and chest pressure. I will think about those things when a bit weirded out by what's going on, especially in the context of arrythmias going on at the same time.

This is certainly not to say that you shouldn't get new things checked out! Just some talking to myself, I guess....you aren't alone! morgan

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I have had referred shoulder pain- 3Xs. Each time from the tiny puncture of a liver biopsy. It can include the arm. The point being, there is a nerve that runs upper quad- chest or liver organ itself, to the shoulder and the arm.


this may be of interest.

Abdominal organs are unresponsive to many stimuli that normally would elicit severe pain.

For example, cutting or crushing of abdominal organs does not result in a recognizable sensation. The pain fibers in the viscera (large interior organs) are generally sensitive only to stretching or increased wall tension. The causes of stretching or tension vary. In hollow organs such as the intestine or gallbladder, nociceptive fibers are located in the muscular wall. Afferent (conveying towards a center) impuses travel along the sympathetic nerves.

In solid organs such as the liver and kidney, such fibers supply the capsule and react to capsular stretching. An inflammatory reaction to microbes or toxins produces organ pain (visceral) through the elaboration of tissue hormones or metabolites (substances produced by metabolism). Four different mechanisms give rise to abdominal pain: (1) visceral; (2) referred; (3) parietal peritoneal; and (4) psychogenic.


Pain resulting from stimulation of sensory afferent nerves innervating abdominal organs.

The pain is often difficult to describe (usually as cramping or aching), dull in nature, and poorly localized to the midline from the upper (epigastrium) to the lower abdominal area.

The pain may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sweating, pallor, and restlessness.

Patients often move about in bed, occasionally finding relief with a change in position.


Visceral pain may be referred to a remote area of the body, where it is perceived as cutaneous pain (sensation of pain in the skin) in an area supplied by the same spinal cord level as the affected abdominal organ. Referred pain is usually well localized and appears when noxious visceral stimuli become more intense. Thus, swelling of the liver capsule by a hematoma (swollen blood vessels) after liver biopsy is first perceived in the abdomen but may be referred to the right shoulder.


When the parietal peritoneum (abdominal membrane that encloses that body cavity) becomes involved as a result of abdominal pathology (disease process), nerves supplying the area are stimulated and generally produce pain that is more intense and more precisely localized than is visceral pain. The classic example is the localized pain of acute appendicitis. Parietal pain is often aggravated by movement; hence the patient's desire to lie completely still.


This is obviously abdominal pain that is perceived but without any local cause.

Unfortunately, this may be a pain mechanism that some physicians choose to attribute to some chronic hepatitis patients' episodes of pain. However, as cited above, physicians should take the time to explain and concede that there are valid causes for different types and intensities of abdominal pain that arise from our internal organs due to inflammation and toxic conditions.


When the hollow structures of the gallbladder and biliary tract dilate due to the disease process, pain is experienced in the upper abdomen or right upper abdomen. Pain may also be referred to the back between the shoulder blades. Pain from the pancreas is also felt in the upper abdomen and is often referred to the middle of the back. In a manner analagous to the liver, gallbladder, and biliary tract on the right, lesions in the tail of the pancreas that involve the diaphragm, may result in referred pain to the left shoulder.

Bacterial or viral infection of any intraabdominal organ may cause abdominal pain.

Interference with venous or arterial blood flow can affect the abdominal organs. Clinically this may present as severe abdominal pain and shock.

Source: FOCUS: On Hepatitis C Newsletter


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Thanks everyone!

I should say "discomfort" instead of pain, because it isn't really that bad, just annoying and worrisome to a worrier like myself. Thanks for all the info, Pat!

I know I've had the discomfort on and off in the past, especially when my POTS gets worse. I wish I knew what the cause was, though.


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along the lines of referred pain (not b/c it sounds like this is the case for anyone who has chimed in, but for future searchers or whatnot), i recently had sharp pain in my shoulder as referred pain from pneumonia. i also had pain around my lower rib (front & back) on the same side that was even worse with breathing, but i didn't have any type of cough & definitely had bad pain in my shoulder. so...things certainly aren't always as they first appear.

:) melissa

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