There are two reasons why you could be experiencing this pain in your shoulder:
Pleurisy is a condition where the two thin tissue layers that cover your lungs become inflamed. The most common symptom is a pain in your chest but it can also be felt in your shoulders. Shortness of breath and a dry cough are also symptoms of pleurisy.
You need to be examined by a doctor urgently. Your GP will listen to your chest. Pleurisy has a very distinct dry sound and your general practitioner will decide if you need antibiotics. Do not delay in getting some medical attention and get well soon.
In the meantime, here’s some more information about the causes of pleurisy and the treatment options available.
The causes of pleurisy
The following conditions may give rise to pleurisy:
Treatment for pleurisy
Ibuprofen is usually used to treat the pain of pleurisy unless this is contraindicated. If you are not allowed ibuprofen, paracetamol or codeine will help.
The management of your pleurisy will depend upon the cause. For example, if you have a bacterial chest infection, you will need antibiotics. If your pleurisy is caused by a virus, these infections will clear up by themselves.
In severe cases of pleurisy, you may need to be admitted to hospital, so that you can receive the support you need to get better.
Call 999 for an ambulance immediately if you develop sudden, severe chest pain. This is particularly important if:
Answered by the Health at Hand nurses
Influenza (Flu) – NHS Factsheet
Chest infection – NHS Factsheet
Pleurisy – NHS Factsheet
We’re here to help you take care of your health - whenever you need us, wherever you are, whether you're an AXA PPP healthcare member or not.
Our Ask the Expert service allows you to ask our team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives, counsellors and pharmacists about any health topic.