Shoulder Pain During Your Period? Unraveling the Possible Causes

Schmerzkarte Schulter

Shoulder pain during menstruation is a more prevalent issue than many realize.

This discomfort can manifest in various forms, from a sharp, stabbing sensation to a burning or uncomfortable pressure in the shoulder area.

The timing of this pain can either align with the menstrual period or have a delayed onset, contingent on the underlying cause. Furthermore, depending on the specific source of discomfort, it may affect either one shoulder or both.

Exploring the Causes of Shoulder Pain During Menstruation

It is crucial to recognize that shoulder pain during menstruation does not always originate directly from the shoulder. The unique connection between the shoulder and the nervous system means that the root cause of the pain might be situated elsewhere.

Endometriosis on the Diaphragm:

Endometriosis can impact various regions of the abdomen, including the diaphragm.

Interestingly, the diaphragm and the shoulder share the same nerve pathways for pain sensation. Consequently, when endometriosis affects the diaphragm, the pain can extend beyond the upper abdomen and radiate to the shoulder.

If endometriosis is present on the right diaphragm, the shoulder pain will be felt on the right side, and similarly for the left side. In some instances, endometriosis may be present on both sides.

It is worth noting that right-sided endometriosis lesions on the diaphragm are more common than left-sided ones.

In cases of endometriosis, the pain can occur repeatedly over an extended period, not necessarily tied to the menstrual cycle.

Various other symptoms are also associated with endometriosis, making it advisable to seek medical evaluation at an endometriosis center for proper diagnosis and management.

Muscular Tension:

Pain during menstruation can trigger involuntary muscle tension. Many women experience muscular back pain, primarily in the lower back, which can radiate into girdle-shaped lower abdominal pain.

Hormonal changes before or during the period can also lead to short-term breast pain, contributing to shoulder girdle tension or tension in the shoulder and neck muscles, particularly in stress response.

In cases of muscular tension, the pain is localized in the muscular region of the shoulder, near the transition to the neck.

Other Possible Causes:

Biliary problems or abdominal scoliosis can irritate the right diaphragm, resulting in right-sided shoulder pain. This pain is unrelated to the menstrual period.

Gallstones, more common in women around 40, may coincide with the period, but there is no direct causal relationship.

Addressing gallstone-related issues can help alleviate shoulder pain.

Additionally, shoulder pain may occur after laparoscopy, where the remaining gas in the abdomen irritates the diaphragm, leading to upper abdominal pressure and shoulder discomfort. However, this discomfort typically subsides after a few days.

Given that abdominal endoscopies are often performed during the reproductive years, shoulder pain in conjunction with the procedure may coincide with the menstrual period

Dr. med. Nadine Rohloff