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shoulder/arm pain....

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Lionne posted 1/24/2014 11:33 AM

So, I see a pain management doctor. I have fibromyalgia, can't/won't take narcotics, antiinflammatory drugs are problematic with my migraines, I get a rebound. I get trigger point injections of a plant based steroid and lidocaine about every six weeks, stretch religiously, and do other self care, hot baths, meditation, etc.

August I started with pain in my shoulder, different somehow from my typical pain, not muscle spasms. The pain is hard to localize, and affects my arm. But my arm is not tender. I can do stretches, stretch bands, etc. But certain activities, putting on a shirt, a coat, pulling the covers over myself while lying on my side (I CANNOT sleep on the painful shoulder) those activities set off a garage of pain that lasts for hours, the ache keeping me from sleeping. Xray was negative.

Am I looking at a rotator cuff issue? If so, what can be done? If it matters, it's not my dominant arm....

purplejacket4 posted 1/24/2014 11:42 AM

There are so many different things it can be you really need a doctor to examine you. There are all these specific tests we do to see which muscle it is or what bursa it is, etc.

DixieD posted 1/24/2014 11:42 AM

ScaredyKat, because of your issue with narcotics and ant-inflammatory drugs, have you tried using a TENS unit for pain?

It could be rotator cuff problem. Have you ruled out that it's a trigger point in any area around the shoulder blade which can be hard to locate?

Hope you can figure it out and get it looked at.

woundedwidow posted 1/24/2014 11:44 AM

Kat, you would probably know if you had a rotator cuff tear because you would have had a fall or some other traumatic event that would have caused it. (ETA - But, I'm not a doctor). I broke my left humerus 10 years ago and have never been able to sleep on that side since thendue to shoulder and arm pain. I also tried the trigger point injections, but couldn't take the bruising that resulted, so I wear a 5% lidoderm patch on my left shoulder for 12 hours beginning at bedtime. It has helped tremendously.

Lionne posted 1/24/2014 11:47 AM

Tried lidocaine patches, they don't generally help much, have a TENS machine, it is helpful.

I had an MRI yesterday. Waiting on results. I just want to be able to ask intelligent questions. I'm happy to know there are possibilities other than rotator cuff.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 1/24/2014 12:18 PM

You might have Frozen Shoulder syndrome. UGH! I am just getting over that. It takes a year+ with physical therapy. An ortho dr dx'd me and the PT confirmed.

Good luck!

FaithFool posted 1/24/2014 13:05 PM

This ^^^. I had it for about two and a half years and it is extremely painful.

Calcific tendinitis from a mild trauma when I was walking a dog and it yanked me around the wrong way on its leash.

Because I was doing tons of typing for my job I had to go on disability because keyboarding was agony.

It takes time and physio to break up the calcium deposits. The thing that made it finally go away for me was one really painful acupuncture session.

After that it never came back.


Sad in AZ posted 1/24/2014 16:29 PM

It could also be an impinged shoulder. The ligament gets caught between the rotator cuff and the acromion (the bone covering your shoulder).

Lionne posted 1/24/2014 17:11 PM

Thanks, all! I now have lots of possibilities... Lots of questions and things to consider! Anyone else?

worried_lady posted 1/24/2014 22:42 PM

Another vote for frozen shoulder.........very painful!!

allusions posted 1/24/2014 23:38 PM

It does sound a lot like frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis). I had it in my left shoulder several years ago. I went to the ortho doctor who gave me a cortisone shot and sent me to physical therapy. Neither of those worked at all so the ortho told me I needed surgery. I put it off and several months later my shoulder started to improve. I never had the surgery and my shoulder eventually got better on its own.

A year ago my right shoulder started having the same signs and symptoms. It seems to have run its course and is almost back to normal now.

2yrsblind posted 1/24/2014 23:56 PM

You should try A.R.T. Active Release Technique. its pretty awesome.

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