Can Inflamed Liver Cause Right Shoulder Pain?


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Neil Grayson answered
It is possible that an inflamed liver can lead directly to pain in the right shoulder as this could be the body’s way of letting you know there is a problem somewhere and this problem could in fact be your liver.

The liver is the largest gland in our body, and is present in the upper right position of the abdominal cavity so it is near to your right shoulder. An inflamed liver can be defined as a health condition where the size of the liver becomes larger than usual. Whilst pain in the right shoulder does not correlate with an inflamed liver, it has been known to be an early symptom of liver cancer.

Liver cancer, an abnormal cell growth in the liver, comes in two types; primary cancer means that the cancer started in the liver. Secondary cancer of the liver occurs when a cancer starts somewhere else in the body and spreads to the liver. As well as pain around the right shoulder blade or between the shoulder blades, there may also be other symptoms such as a hard lump in the belly, below the rib cage on the right side, discomfort in the upper belly on the right side, yellowish skin colour (jaundice) or abdominal swelling causing a feeling of fullness.               

There are several factors that can be responsible for causing an inflamed liver. The most common cause is viral infection in the liver. Hepatitis A, B and C are the most common forms of viral infections that affect the liver. Alcoholic hepatitis is another cause of inflamed liver.

Another possibility is a problem with your gallbladder. It has often been found that people with gallstones also have pains in their right shoulder or between their shoulder blades which then disappear when the gallstones are removed. If you are experiencing any pain that concerns you, you should consult your doctor.

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