Discussions By Condition: Shoulder conditions

SHoulder Pain

Posted In: Shoulder conditions 11 Replies
  • Posted By: maweitlauf
  • January 31, 2007
  • 09:40 AM

Several months ago I switched my lifting workout to include Incline and dumbell overhead press. I stopped doing these years ago because of shoulder issues, and just not enjoying them. Well, I picked them back up and it was a huge mistake. About three weeks into it I would wake up with sharp shooting pains in my shoulder joints, it felt like I was being stabbed, I had to take some major pain pills to get thru the night, ones left from my wife's c-section. After each episode, it happend twice in the left shoulder and once on the right, my arm would be mostly numb for about ten days, including my ring and middle finger. I thought I must have pinched a nerve, and then thought how odd to pinch the same nerve on both sides. I could not sleep, because I slee p on my side and it hurt too much to lay that way. I would lay awake for hours. Still do, been close to 6 months now. I finally went to a Chiropractor after about a month, no real relief, I was taking between 800-1000 mg of ibprofien a day. I completely stopped lifting, went to my Primary Care dr, there was no direct pain with any movement, just a dull aching esp at night. He took x-rays, and nothing showed up. He gave me a script for 800mg of ibrofrien in one pill. No difference, still aching all the time. Now I have 3 kids, 4, 2, and now 7 months old. It kills my shoulders to hold the baby, I can hold him for about 5 minutes it my shoulders start aching, after they start aching I have to put him down, and that will make the majority of the pain go away, but there is still a dull ache for about 6-7 hrs afterward. I went to a othorpetic, had a MRI, they said it was tendonitis. In both shoulders. Had some Cordozone shots, no help. Had more, no help. There are some nights when I can sleep on my shoulder but most I can't. So I am here 7 months into this. Still can't sleep, can't afford to keep going to a dr who just says take anti-inflam meds.

It seems weird to me that it happened in both shoulders almost immediatley, but the drs seem to dismiss it. I would really like to get thru this, get some sleep, lift again, and actually hold my baby before he is potty trained. Here I am at 4:22 in the morning, because my shoulders ache too much to sleep, even when I try on my back. I read some stuff on the internet about impingement, that might be what I have from the incline and overhead presses. Any PT exercises I can do to help this? I am tired of the wait it out mind set of the drs. I have a life that I would like to live. Kids I would like to play with ... sleep to get. The only way I can sleep now a days is too take sleep medication with pain medication. And that does not always work. I have high deductable insurance, so the dr has cost me so much, close to $1300, for a MRI and a monthly visit of keep taking anti-inflams and come back in a month.

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11 Replies:

  • I know the exact frustration + some, Sept 22, 2006 I fell down a full flight of stairs @ work. I was holding the rail with my right arm nearly the entire time, at one point my feet went airborn & my right hand never let go of rail thus my right arm was straight back & up to the 2oclock position i blacked out & that must have been when i finally let. my body was parallel to the stairs when my body slammed down on the right side. I went to the hosptial they took xrays of the front of my shoulder region & saw nothing but said i needed to see an Ortho the fllwng Mon. My work sd they prefer I see the reg Doc they use & not an Ortho. The doc sd my entire shoulder region was badly bruised sprained etc & would heal in 2-3wks tops. After initial swelling & bruising went down, I was able to move the right shoulder a little & noticed a tearing sensation in the front, it would make a popping sound @ the same time but then followed by hours of excruciating pressure on the outside of the arm from top of shoulder to elbow. The doc finally did an MRI & i had a fracture 3/4 across the humerus head(tip of shoulder).4mos later still getting popping, tearing not as bad & pressure & now seeing Ortho surgeon he sd xray/Mri wont show nerve damage but popping,tearing, & pressure most likely from torn or stretched nerve the runs across the front side of shoulder(injury most often seen in football players from rushing & weightlifters). I go for a nerve test(emp? test) next week to confirm. Eithor way Ortho said if torn Nerve damage is almost always permanent if only stretched & proper steps had been taken in the beginning to supposrt weight of arm on my shoulder there may have been possblty of fixing but doc waited to long to refer me & healing process started while nervs/tendons were still stretched.Its been 5mos & the intensity of pressure has not eased & recently parts of my right arm turn ice cold if i do any repitition foward(ie:typing) or try to carry anything for long periods of time. Please dont delay having it checked out if you pulled/stretched the nerves/tendons with the proper treatment it can heal but waitng can result in 15,20,30,40yrs of excruciating pain/pressure.
    GoldCanyon4577 3 Replies
    • February 3, 2007
    • 08:02 AM
    • 0
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  • I had a MRI, and he didn't say anything about stretched nerves. What kind of tests detect that? What exercises or treatment is there for stretched nerves?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 5, 2007
    • 02:20 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi, Unless done with contrast(where they inject a dye into the area) Mri's are often unsuccessful in diagnosing nerve & tendon problems. iwouldnt limit your search to tendon/nerves but do look into it. I started doing alot of research on my own after going to 15 Dr appt's & 3 Ortho surgeon appt's & no results. What I've read again and again is how complicated the shoulder region is & more so than not problems are misdiagnosed. There arent specific test they can perform, Dr's have to administer several test as a process of elimination. Beings you have to pay a good % of the Doc bill, If I were you I would search the Intranet ie:weight lifting over head shoulder injury & find articles that best describes what you feel once you have a match reqst the doc do that test. The following web site might be a good start. Best of luck, i certaintly know the frustration & the nausiating pressure. http://www.emedicine.com/sports/topic119.htmor an even better one might be;http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/shoulder-injuries.html
    GoldCanyon4577 3 Replies
    • February 6, 2007
    • 05:10 AM
    • 0
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  • The answer is a shot in the shoulder area cortisone will deflate the tendon and once the tendon de-flates it will return to it's place and then the pain will stop . One warning no lifting anything for two or three weeks and then no lifting weights for about another 3 weeks and the you can return to reg. work outs . You see the cortisone weakens the tendon to de-flate it and it is very very weak and can break if too much pressure is put on it the only trouble is most DR. wont do it I don't know if it's fear or they just want to keep you in pain to sell more of their product. A cortisone shot is the answer pain will be gone in 1 day. good luck
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'm a musculo-skeletal physio who spends much of my time treating patients with this type of problem. Shoulder and neck problems very often come together, one usually preciptates the other. The fact that you are experiencing numbness in your middle fingers is indicative of pressure on a nerve - this cannot be caused by a local problem in the shoulder joint. This is most likely to be where it exits your neck - do you have full pain-free range of movement of your neck (forwards, back, rotation, side flexion)? Or the nerve could be trapped further down in the shoulder girdle area. Shoulder impingement often is caused by building up the power muscles at the top and front of shoulder (pecs, deltoid) whilst lifting weights. This can draw the shoulder upwards and forwards and causing it to impinge. However this pain is usually mechanical, ie. experienced when doing particular shoulder movements. e.g putting hand behind back, reaching behind head or elevating the arm. Impingement can be helped by doing rotator cuff exercises with an elastic theraband as this will strengthen the posterior cuff muscles and thereby improve the shoulder position allowing the inflammed tendon to heal. Impingement can be secondary to a neck problem as the nerves to the shoulder muscles are affected, becoming weaker and therefore changing the biomechanics of the shoulder. The shoulder is a very mobile and inherently unstable ball and socket joint - overstrong or weak muscles can pull the ball out of the centre of its pivot point and cause impingement. The fact that the steroid injection didn't help (assuming it was put in the right place) also suggests that this is primarily a nerve problem. Steroid injections work by decreasing inflammation, they do not solve the underlying causes but may give good pain-relief. It is unwise to inject an area more than three times as steriods do cause some long-term weakness of the tissue. Also if the injection didn't work the first time it is unlikely to the second. I would suggest that you see a physio who specialises in manual therapy/musculo-skeletal problems for assessment. I am UK based where we are autonomous practitioners and able to diagnose and treat, however I think you need a doctor's referral in the US. In the meantime I would strongly suggest that you analyse your posture to see if anything is aggravating your neck. Sleep on ONE pillow, don't hold the phone under your ear, make sure your computer workstation is well positioned and don't sit slumped with your head forward - changes like this can have a very positive effect in getting the pressure off the nerve as good posture maximises the space between the vertebrae where the nerve exits and is likely to be trapped. Exercise will help as nerves like movement - try and find a sport you like (not weights) - do it for a few minutes the first time you try - if it really aggravates the pain and it takes a long time to settle - find something gentler. If it's just a bit sore when you do it and soon settles that is OK, keep going. Even circling your arms, shoulders, punching the air, will help increase the blood supply to an irritated nerve - make sure you do some shoulder exercises several times per day. Good luck - these problems are usually fairly easily solved with the correct treatment.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • okay same problem different tho. It started in right shoulder, mri, 6 weeks of phisio therapy, only a quarter better. Xray with dye (very painful!), ortho says impingement, 4 more weeks of phisio therapy. About 3/4 back to normal. Has not gotten any better than that. 3 mos later, starting in left shoulder with same restricitions on movement. My non doc's opinion: My muscles going from my neck and on the inside of my shoulder blades are very, very tight. When I have the most pain(in the morning-I am a side sleeper), I will lean against a corner on the wall on the tight muscles and litterally press until it is bruised to try to relax these muscles. I have family and friends trying to get these muscles to loosen with massage but they just tighten up again during the day. I believe the muscles are so tight they pull on the tendons and do cause the tendonitis but the problem seems to start in these tight muscles. I have tried to watch my posture but again the worst pain is in the morning when I wake up. I am resorting to sleeping on my back and using 400 mg naproxen 2x's a day for the last month but this has not stopped the problem, only temporarily relieves it sometimes.So muscles tightening in sleep seems to be causing this. Many people I know have come up with this same problem, no matter what age. Could there be a virus or bacterial issue with these muscles or in the neck/shoulder region? Has anyone ever heard of that?
    lakewoodviper 1 Replies
    • January 21, 2009
    • 06:11 AM
    • 0
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  • Recently, after having pain in my hips from an injured ligament, and hip flexor, I was referred by my doctor to a specialist that does prolotherapy. Prolotherapy is a non-surgerical way to repair tendons and ligaments, as well as cartilage in some cases. You may want to ask your doctor about it. Although, he may be a skeptic, as many drs. do not know too much about this. You might ask an orthopedic Dr. as they may know more on the subject. Its going to be the newest wave of treatment this century.It is fairly new, and not covered by insurance, but worth a try if you are in constant pain. They say results are about as good as 80 - 90% for most people who have ligament or tendon injuries. Prolotherapy is a therapy where they inject the injured ligament or tendon, or joint in some cases, with a dextrose solution to stimulate repair of the tissues. Its a way of creating a false injury, and tricking the body to fix itself. Many times our tendons or ligaments do not repair themselves fully, and they become weak, causing more injury. Prolo with stimulate the area to heal. I am going to be receiving the treatment in the upcoming months, as I have not had full pain relief of my injuries. Do some research on it! You will be amazed to find out what is available these days!okay same problem different tho. It started in right shoulder, mri, 6 weeks of phisio therapy, only a quarter better. Xray with dye (very painful!), ortho says impingement, 4 more weeks of phisio therapy. About 3/4 back to normal. Has not gotten any better than that. 3 mos later, starting in left shoulder with same restricitions on movement. My non doc's opinion: My muscles going from my neck and on the inside of my shoulder blades are very, very tight. When I have the most pain(in the morning-I am a side sleeper), I will lean against a corner on the wall on the tight muscles and litterally press until it is bruised to try to relax these muscles. I have family and friends trying to get these muscles to loosen with massage but they just tighten up again during the day. I believe the muscles are so tight they pull on the tendons and do cause the tendonitis but the problem seems to start in these tight muscles. I have tried to watch my posture but again the worst pain is in the morning when I wake up. I am resorting to sleeping on my back and using 400 mg naproxen 2x's a day for the last month but this has not stopped the problem, only temporarily relieves it sometimes.So muscles tightening in sleep seems to be causing this. Many people I know have come up with this same problem, no matter what age. Could there be a virus or bacterial issue with these muscles or in the neck/shoulder region? Has anyone ever heard of that?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I am a physical therapist. I hope you are using ice to help minimize your pain. Ice your shoulders 10 minutes at a time a few times a day. If you are continuing to have pain with rest you still have inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medication only works to decrease inflammation when taken on a regular basis. I am suprised that you have not gotten any relief. I wish you would have had formal physical therapy...they could address your specific issues (stiffness vs. weakness of specific areas). Check out this website for specific exercises for shoulder tendonitis: http://www.joint-pain-solutions.com/shoulder-tendonitis.html
    JTrempe 101 Replies Flag this Response
  • The answer is a shot in the shoulder area cortisone will deflate the tendon and once the tendon de-flates it will return to it's place and then the pain will stop . One warning no lifting anything for two or three weeks and then no lifting weights for about another 3 weeks and the you can return to reg. work outs . You see the cortisone weakens the tendon to de-flate it and it is very very weak and can break if too much pressure is put on it the only trouble is most DR. wont do it I don't know if it's fear or they just want to keep you in pain to sell more of their product. A cortisone shot is the answer pain will be gone in 1 day. good luckNot at all true. I have had shoulder, tricep, underarm (armpit), lat , and upper back (shoulder blade region) for 7 months now. MRI with dye found no problems with the shoulder. They gave me a cortisone shot one week ago and I have felt absolutely no difference in the pain level. I'm still hurting big time and I'm getting really sick of it.My pain all started when some big moron yanked my arm at a party. It hurt slightly initially but then got worse as I kept going about my daily business and not resting it. Now 7 months later I have burning pain on the back of my shoulder blade. I have pain reaching across my body with my right arm, my lat muscle often seems tight for no reason, even my neck gets tight often for no reason. I have a strange tightened pain seemingly in my armpit. Every time I raise my arm out to the side or in front of me and then let it go back down it feels like a very tight painful muscle is inside my armpit / tricep or upper tricep. Pain in the upper back and forward part of the shoulder as well. Sounds like a lot of spots with pain, well ya it's really really hard to see where the root of the problem is and I am starting to believe that there is not one specific spot that if healed would stop this problem. The whole REGION is screwed up. Cortisone and physical therapy have been completely ineffective. I just don't know where to turn to now?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Pains especially shoulder pain or back pain is a problem to consider and if you are seriously having chronicle pain than you must take help from Dacula GA Chiropractor. they even consider insurance therefore take help from them.
    Marshall 4 Replies
    • January 4, 2011
    • 04:13 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Pains especially shoulder pain or back pain is a problem to consider and if you are seriously having chronicle pain than you must take help from Dacula GA Chiropractor. they even consider insurance therefore take help from them. I think you are right financial help
    Intitadoinded 2 Replies
    • January 18, 2011
    • 05:16 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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