Can Gout Cause Shoulder Pain?

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Shoulder pain can be triggered or caused by numerous different conditions. While mostly it is related to poor habits that affect your posture, such as wrong position when sitting or sleeping – it may also signal that something goes awry in your body. Yap, it can be a symptom of another problem. But can gout (a joint disease) cause shoulder pain, too?

Common causes of shoulder pain

Again, there are a number of different causes that can lead to shoulder pain. Even having poor posture can make you easier to have it. Other common causes include:

Acromioclavicular joint disorders

Your shoulder is so complex. One of essential joint to support your shoulder is acromioclavicular joint. It is located at the top of shoulder.

The kind of disorder that affects acromioclavicular joint can carry different symptoms. But in general, pain (particularly for pain on top of the affected shoulder) is a common symptom. This joint pain is usually followed with limited range of motion.

image_illustration258Possible disorders that can affect this essential joint include:

  1. Dislocating acromioclavicular joint, this can be partial or complete.
  2. Acromioclavicular joint is supported by some ligaments. And if these ligaments stretch or tear away – acromioclavicular joint can be affected, too.

Shoulder instability

The joint of shoulder is a ball-&-socket. There is the ball at the top of the upper arm, and it fits into the shoulder blade’s socket.

The instability can occur when this ball cannot move properly in the socket, making the movement of your shoulder unstable (typically followed with hypermobility, too large range of movement). In severe case, the ball can come out the socket.

Shoulder instability is commonly found in people aged older than 30. And generally, there are two major ways of how you get shoulder instability; atraumatic and traumatic.

  1. Atraumatic occurs gradually over time. Typically it is a consequence from repetitive movements with your arms, such as swimming or throwing.
  2. On the other hand, traumatic shoulder instability can occur abruptly because it is typically triggered by accident such as injury from a sport activity.

Rotator cuff disorders

The group of tendons & muscles that support your shoulder is called rotator cuff. It can play a key role to help keep the joint of your shoulder in the correct position and move in appropriate way.

Different kinds of disorders that affect the rotator cuff can generate different symptoms. But typically they cause joint pain with the following common features:

  1. It strikes on the side and front of the affected shoulder.
  2. It tends to strike at night.
  3. It occurs when you make a movement with your arm, particularly in an arch way from the body.
  4. It can occur when you pull the arm higher than the shoulder, such as when you brush hair.

Adhesive capsulitis

It is familiar called as frozen shoulder. It can cause an intense pain, followed with persistent stiffness. The affected joint can be very difficult to perform the full range of normal movements.

Like other joints, your shoulder is surrounded by lots of flexible tissues. Adhesive capsulitis can occur when some of these tissues are swelling, tightening, or thickening – causing stiffness and pain. Typically, it develops slowly within months or even years.

Many times, sufferers with adhesive capsulitis find difficulty in performing daily tasks such as driving and dressing. Even in severe case, you may lose your ability to move the affected shoulder at all!

What are the causes? Unluckily, the exact answer for that question is not known. In other words, it is not fully understood yet!

However, some risk factors have been identified, these include:

  1. Age, it is more common in individuals aged 40 or older.
  2. Being female – yap, it affects more female than male patients.
  3. Keeping the shoulder /arm at one position for long periods of time. This is usually common after taking surgery to treat shoulder injury. After surgery, you may need to keep your shoulder still for recovery.
  4. Certain conditions may increase the risk of having adhesive capsulitis, too. These may include diabetes, over-active thyroid (hyperthyroid), lung disease, and heart disease. While these conditions may have an effect in increasing the risk, but experts still cannot explain the reason behind this link.

Does gout cause shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain in arthritis may be commonly associated with osteoarthritis that affects the joint of shoulder. It is not commonly linked to gout.

Gouty arthritis is far less commonly found in the shoulder. However it can affect shoulder, too! For more information about common sites of the body affected by gout, see this section!

Sometime the joint pain of a gout attack can be intense and painful enough to spread (the pain can be felt in other areas of the body) – even could interfere with your daily routines. For instance, when gout attacks the elbow, it could cause pain that can be felt in the shoulder, too.


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