Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Shoulder, neck, back, and now wrist pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: Alynn5683
  • November 29, 2007
  • 09:48 PM

I am totally frustrated. My right shoulder has been bothering me on and off for two years. I began working out and lifting weights at the beginning of the year and my shouder flared up again. Long story short, I have graduated to neck and back pain along with my shoulder pain. Orthopedic put me on PT regimen- have gone 31 times since September. 3 MRI's later and still no diagnosis. At first doc said impingement syndrome. PT helped a little, but I still go thru cycles of feeling better (and sleeping:) ) and then feeling really bad. It wakes me up at night. I also have a tingly feeling down to my elbow that feels like when your arm falls asleep. My pain is worse with inactivity- like when I am sitting or laying down. Doc mentioned Fibromyalgia, but I have NONE of the symptoms besides pain. I do have trigger points that feel like knots, but the PT worked those out. Doc said nothing more about impingement, but just that my range of motion was better and surgery was not an option. My pain seemed worse with ultrasound Tx, but better with e-stim. I have been on a constant dose of ibuprofen, skelaxin and now vicodin. I don't really get relief from any of them, but the muscle relaxant makes me sleepy enough to get about four hours and the vicodin makes me not care about the pain. Now I have developed severe wrist pain. It hurts to bend it in either direction. Actually, I can't bend it all the way like I can on my left wrist. Was at the doc today. Surprise surprise, the x-ray was clear but she did oder an MRI. (#5!!!) I have no idea if my wrist pain is related to my shoulder pain, but it is the same side. I am a teacher and it is killing me- even to sign my name to a hall pass. I have spent thousands of dollars in the past three months and still, no one can tell me what is wrong. Does anyone have any ideas or a similar story? I feel like no one believes me. I would like to try another pain killer to help me sleep b/c the vicodin gets me all hopped up and my mind racing, but I dont' want my docs to write me off like I am just trying to get pain meds. I really just want to know what is wrong.
Can anyone help?:confused:

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  • I think that they are barking up the wrong tree. It sounds alot more like nerve pain radiating from the neck than it does a primary shoulder problem. Cervical radicular neuralgia from a vertebral impingement or from a cervical disc often shows up as deep shoulder pain at first. Probably at C5-6 level. Forget the PT. Try to get a C spine X ray and maybe a cervical MRI. This explains the tingling , also. Try a really good chiro dr. who will do a full workup. Hope this helps.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 30, 2007
    • 02:23 AM
    • 0
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  • How heavy or how intense are you lifting the weights? Some people just have joint/connective tissue problems. I know, because I'm one of them. I exercise regularly and have for the last 12 years. I go pretty hard in the gym. I know for me, my back, shoulder's, knee's, ankles and wrists are constantly nagging me. If it isn't one, it's the other....and they take turns, sometimes they go away periodically. I've just learned to except the fact that my joints aren't the most stable. This could be your problem too...just a suggestion.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 30, 2007
    • 04:31 PM
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  • I did have a cervical MRI. It showed some bulging of the disc between the C-5 and C-6 (either that or the C-6 and C-7 I can't remember. The dr. said that it wasn't pushing on the spinal cord so it wasn't the cause of the pain. I also had a slight buldge near the top of my spine- I can't remember which two other ones. I also was getting headaches that come and go with the shoulder/neck/back pain. Here is the other thing I fogot to mention- since 2005 I would get these crazy what I would call pinched nerves in my neck. I would be sleeping and turn over and would have a really sharp pain in my neck. So much so that my husband would have to lift me out of bed to get me vertical. I never went to the dr. because it was so hard to get in (had military ins.). Another reason nerves seemed like the problem. Sometimes the pain is generalized in the shoulder/neck/back and others I can pinpoint it- it hurts right in the middle of my shoulder socket. I too thought it made more sense to be a nerve issue, and that was why my Dr. ordered the cervical MRI and the back MRI. But, the issue was dropped. Aren't there other tests they can do? My physical therapists were baffled too. I was getting trigger point massages that hurt so much I would get a headache, but I think they did help some. Problem is that I can't have PT every day for the rest of my life!Good idea about the chiro. I am getting a 2nd opinion from another orthopedic on the 10th, but may look into a chiro in the meantime. Thanks for the advice. Also, to respond to the other post about the lifting: I don't hit the gym hard. I have always been an avid runner( except the last three months) and former triathlete, but never really did weights. I was working with a persona trainer. I really don't have a lot of upper body strength, so I don't think I was over doing it on the weights. This is different than the aches and pains I get from running/exercising. I too get pains in my hips and knees periodically but nothing like this. Thanks!:)
    Alynn5683 2 Replies
    • November 30, 2007
    • 10:35 PM
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