Pain in Shoulder, Right Arm

Updated on November 21, 2011
N.0. asks from Mobile, AL
12 answers

For a few days now I get a horrible pain in my right shoulder blade, through to my ribs & down my arm. I have tried heat pads, ice packs, massage & nothing helps. What could this be? My sister thinks it may be my gall bladder. Has any one experienced this? I do NOT think it is a pulled muscle. It does not hurt all day it just comes in and out. Sometimes I have my husband shove his elbow in my shoulder. It helps to relieve the pressure. I know this is probably a no no but what can I do? I am also 37wks & 3days pregnant but I'm not sure this has anything to do with this. Please help me narrow this down.

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answers from Milwaukee on

Carpal tunnel starts in the shoulder and works it way down. I had both my hands done after my son was bor-- it was THAT bad. Just a thought.

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answers from Washington DC on

If you are pregnant and having pain - you need to call you OB NOW. It is NOT normal to have radiating pain from the shoulder down the arm or onto the rib cage.

It MIGHT be something like a pinched nerve. It MIGHT be anything - but we on here are NOT doctors - you are pregnant - don't mess with your body when you are pregnant - please call you OB and tell him/her EXACTLY what you told us...


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My first thought was your gall bladder. Gall bladder issues are VERY common with pregnancy. You could ask your doc for an ultrasound to check for gallstones.

I've always heard that when the left shoulder hurts its your heart. When the right shoulder hurts its your gallbladder....

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answers from Redding on

Definitely talk to your doctor, but I had all kinds of weird pains when I was pregnant. Some were REALLY painful. As our bodies prepare for the added weight of the baby and then giving birth, things loosen up and shift and get pinched.
I'm very small framed and I couldn't have survived without my chiropractor. My OB was on board and recommended it both times.
Since you aren't sure what's causing it, you need to run it by your doctor so that whatever you do helps instead of maybe making it worse.

I wish you the best.
Your baby will be here soon!

I got to hold a little baby today that just came fresh out of the hospital. She weighs 5 pounds and reminded me so much of how tiny my daughter was. She weighed the same.
Now my daughter has a baby of her own and he's a little chunk.

I hope you feel better. Please let us know when the baby arrives!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

This could be alot of things. Do you have full movement of your arm? If not it could be a torn rotator cuff. I have pain in my shoulder and down my right arm. But, also am limited as I can not bring my right arm behind my back. Hope this helps and good luck shoulder pain is no fun.



answers from Atlanta on

It sounds like it may be that a nerve is being pressed on, maybe by the baby. Have you ever gone to a chiropractor? When I was in my nine months I had a lot of pain in my lower back and legs and the chiro was the only thing that helped.

Have you tried oil packs? This helps for pain among other things. To do an oil pack you need: 1. Pure Castor Oil, cold pressed (Home Health brand is best) 2. Pure unbleached or undyed Wool Flannel, the bigger size is best (Home Health) 3. Heating Pad 4. Put the oil in a glass bowl and soak the flannel in it, just soaked not dripping. 5. Place it on the area and put the heating pad over it. ~~This remedy is good for many many aliments and eases pain. When (if) you do this put down towels and or plastic bags or wrap because of the oil. Leave it on for an hour each day when you can relax like in the evening, do it for three days and then three days off. You may want to wash it off with warm water and baking soda when finished, some do this some don't, it also depends on the aliment too. If your using to rid the body of toxins you need to wash the area afterwards. ~~This is a sticky thick oil and it's process that can seem like a lot, but it works so well for so many things, it's almost magical. It works in slowly and after awhile you realize you're relaxing and healing it comes on subtly. I've seen some amazing results not only for myself but for others. It's even cured certain aliments. ~You can get all of these products on Amazon.

Why does your sister think it's gall bladder, does she have a reason to think so other than your shoulder? More than likely it's a pinched nerve or something like that, again a chiro can help. But you may want to call your doctor and let him know what's going on with you. Sure hope you feel better soon. Sending healing prayers



answers from Oklahoma City on

I agree with Leia on the location of the pain. It doesn't quite sound like the same thing for you, but it probably would pay to get it checked anyway. It is VERY common for women to experience problems with their gall bladders after the birth of their children. I learned this the hard way after the birth of our 2nd. I ended up having to have my gall bladder removed, but before I could even get in the hospital to have it done I had developed acute pancreatitis from the whole episode. I don't say that to scare you, because it can be treated. I am fine now, but it was an ORDEAL. Especially with a newborn. :)
If your episodes are EXTREMELY painful and definitely only last between 30 minutes to 2 hours and it radiates around between your back and stomach, and also around the right shoulder, you might get that checked.
Hope that helps. :)



answers from Pittsburgh on

Crazy idea--maybe make a doctor's appointment?
You're pregnant and you need to be seen by a doctor.
You could have broken ribs, a torn rotator cuff, etc.
Don't guess. See a doc! Good luck!


answers from Chicago on

Definitely call your OB. If it weren't for the rib cage thing, I would suggest a pinched nerve. A few months ago, I had bad pain in my shoulder that radiated down my right arm and caused tingling and numbness in my arm. Just when I was going to make a doctor's appointment, the pain went away. I'm assuming it was a pinched nerve, but I don't know for sure.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Hi Mommyof2,
since you are almost due, you will benefit greatly from a professional massage, and if the massage therapist is knowledgable in triggerpoint, frozen shoulder release, and thoracic outlet syndrome and how to treat it (ask if they are familiar with Eric Dalton or James Waslaski, and their techniques) you will most likely find relief.

And it may be your gall bladder. If you will answer me back, I will send you a safe gallbladder cleanse, and it will make you feel so good. A gall bladder in trouble will cause a pesistent pain between the shoulder blades, but your pain doesn't sound like that.

L. ...... massage therapist
[email protected]



answers from Decatur on

I wish I could see the other answers so I know what you've already been told, but YES, that sounds like gallstones to me! I had them for years, and had that pain off and on. The only reason I even had them diagnosed was because I was about 34 weeks pregnant and had a terrible episode. Because I was pregnant, I decided to go to the emergency room just to be safe. My OB came in, listened to the problem and knew exactly what it was.

My advice is to tell your OB. Gallstones are pretty common during pregnancy, but you'll probably need to have your gallbladder taken out at some point after the baby comes. The surgery is laparoscopic and not hard to recover from - after a c-section it was a walk in the park.

In the meantime, you want to cut way down on fatty foods, especially anything fried and cream sauces (that was the hardest part for me, I love cream-based sauces). That will probably help you avoid any more terrible episodes until you can have surgery.



answers from Mobile on

Go to a reputable chiropractor that has experience adjusting pregnant women. I go sooo much relief during pregnancy and after labor with a great chiro.

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