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User Topic: shoulder/arm pain....
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 11:33 AM, January 24th (Friday)

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....

Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3694 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Member # 34262
Default  Posted: 11:42 AM, January 24th (Friday)

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.

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Posts: 2263 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: Great Southwest
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 11:42 AM, January 24th (Friday)

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.

Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
Member # 36869
Default  Posted: 11:44 AM, January 24th (Friday)

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.

Be careful what you wish for the most - you may get it.

Posts: 402 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: VA
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 11:47 AM, January 24th (Friday)

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.

Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3694 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 12:18 PM, January 24th (Friday)

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!

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Posts: 6604 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
Member # 20150
Default  Posted: 1:05 PM, January 24th (Friday)

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.


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Posts: 17592 | Registered: Jul 2008 | From: Canada
Sad in AZ
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 4:29 PM, January 24th (Friday)

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

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Posts: 20327 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 5:11 PM, January 24th (Friday)

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

Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3694 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Member # 27605
Default  Posted: 10:42 PM, January 24th (Friday)

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

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Posts: 464 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Texas
Member # 25376
Default  Posted: 11:38 PM, January 24th (Friday)

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.

Posts: 308 | Registered: Aug 2009 | From: California Central Coast
Member # 41974
Default  Posted: 11:56 PM, January 24th (Friday)

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

The most damaging lies told are those we tell to ourselves--my grandma

Posts: 95 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Midwest USA
Topic Posts: 12