I desire to learn what unilateral shoulder injuries can develop in one's dominant shoulder (such as of a "right handed" or "left handed" person), from decades of working in front of a computer and particularly controlling a computer mouse with the arm connected to that shoulder (likely in bad posture).

I found accessible information in the web1 for the following conditions, that seem to me to be caused acutely from accidents (such as from sport), or to be idiopathic with no indication of computer usage as a known or well agreed upon cause:

  • Rotator Cuff Syndrome
  • Shoulder fractures (including Dislocated Shoulder)
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Shoulder Arthritis
  • Shoulder affecting Gout
  • Tendinitis

While there isn't much data on shoulder problems in Wikipedia, the only condition I found that might suite this causal pattern is Bursitis, but no Wikipedia article exists for it.

My question

What unilateral shoulder injury will most likely develop from decades of working in front of a computer?

And may I further ask, is Bursitis the only one (if it at all unilateral and not bilateral)?


1. For example, data at Wikipedia, Mayo Clinic including an interview with their own surgeon Christopher Camp, individual Orthopedic surgeons or clinics websites, Physical therapy clinics, etc.


1 Answer 1


The differential diagnosis of a unilateral shoulder pain associated with computer work:

  • Mouse shoulder due to inappropriate arm position during working with a computer mouse (CCOHS, Acta Inform Med)
  • Myofascial pain syndrome: muscle pain associated with a forced posture, repeated movements and stress (Mayo Clinic, Indian J Anesth)
  • Pinched nerve in the neck (cervical radiculopathy): compression of the nerve that goes from the cervical spinal cord to an arm and may or may not be associated with the pain and tingling in the other parts of the arm and neck (AAFP)
  • Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis): an inflammation of the capsule of the shoulder joint; risk factors include shoulder immobilization, diabetes, thyroid disease, etc. (BMJ, OrthoInfo)

Other conditions mentioned in the question (rotator cuff syndrome, fracture, dislocation, arthritis, bursitis and tendinitis) are not specifically associated with computer work but with excessive physical work or other causes.

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