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Burning Next to Left Scapula, Pain in neck, down arm, in elbow, wrist, ...
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Burning Next to Left Scapula, Pain in neck, down arm, in elbow, wrist, and hand

Ok, I'm almost going to be 30 years old. I have had pain on my left side for 2 years. I work in the sales/marketing field, sitting at a desk for 8 hours straight, vigorously typing and talking on the phone. I also was lifting heavy bins at work too. I told my boss in 2008 that I needed a headset, he got me one since I had pain in my neck and burning in my shoulder. I went to see a Chiropractor in Aug of 2008. He tried Active Release Technique on me since he thought I had nerve entrapments. He also requested an MRI of my C spine. The MRI came back inconclusive but he continued the therapy with me which only made me feel worse. It ached whenever he did the therapy. I had to stop him. He tried also muscle stim and that only aggravated my nerves. I stopped seeing him in November of 2008. I wasn't getting any better. I told my boss I NEEDED to STOP LIFTING! HE DIDN'T LISTEN.

Over the year of 2009, I was progressively getting worse with pain in my arm so bad. I had to have my poor boyfriend rub me which didn't help at all. It was for piece of mind that I wanted someone to rub me. I was in so much pain everyday. In November of 2009, pain was worse than ever and traveling to other places in my body now like in my lower back and over my left pecs which I didn't have before. I only had pain in my neck, back, shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist and all my fingers only on my left side before feeling worse. I saw another Chiropractor. He thought it was a bulging disc from my C spine and thought it was from bad posture. He tried the Mackenzie method with me and it made me feel sick to my stomach. He also had me get massages. They did NOT help me. I had to stop.

Finally in January of 2010, I was lifting something heavy again at work and I felt burning and straining bad in my neck, arm, and shoulder. I had to work the next day. I did it one armed. Thank Goodness I'm right handed. The pain just got worse by the days after that incident. I couldn't wash my hair and I was beginning to get numbness in my left leg. I was so freaked. I finally went to an Ortho Surgeon 3 days later. He ordered another MRI for my C spine which came up inconclusive - Again. He then ordered me to have an EMG done to see what nerve issues I had going on. The EMG showed only Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. My doctor shot cortizone in my left wrist and it did me no good. He also prescribed all types of medicine for me with the diagnosis being radiculopathy of the neck and wrist. The medicines he's prescribed have not worked at all.

I have realized something in the past few days. I realize that my doctor is trying a trial and error method with me. He shot the cortizone to see if that would stop the pain in my arm. It didn't. This pain is coming from my neck and my shoulder.  He also put me in physical therapy for 2 weeks, which was making me worse. I had to stop that too.

Whenever I sit at the computer, I have burning in my shoulder over left scapula, and my shoulder hurts at the front, side, and next to left scapula. It is very sore. My elbow still aches also as well as my neck on the left side in between the side of my neck and shoulder. I am not able to rotate my shoulder much anymore and I also feel like it's grinding when I rotate the left one as opposed to the right one where I feel no grinding. It also hurts down my left side under my armpit and also now in my lower left back which I never had before. My thoughts are I hurt my Rotator Cuff. It is the only thing they have not looked at yet and nothing else has helped. No massages, no medicine of any kind, not even Lyrica, no Cortizone, no Physical Therapy. Nothing helps me. Even when I'm laying down I have pain. I have an appointment with my doctor on the 16th of this month. What do you all think? Do you think it could be Rotator? And if so, what happens now? And if it's not, then what? Help!

Thank you!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a couple questions, first have they done anything for your carpal tunnel besides the cortisone shot? Carpal tunnel can sometimes refer pain as far up as the shoulder and the surgery to fix it is really minor.

Its possible, but not common that a shoulder injury refers pain to the neck, usually its the other way around. Have you ever had any whiplash type injuries to your neck?

I have the majority of the symptoms you do. The neck and scapular pain, burning shoulder pain, although since surgery mine only goes to my elbow. I've also lost a lot of the rotation of my shoulder. However, I have fairly extensive documented cervical spine problems, I've had surgery and probably will be having another one soon.

Like I said before, its possible that your rotator cuff injury is causing you all this pain, its just not that common. I have never heard of an MRI report being called inconclusive, its just not the type of terminology that's generally used. Can you post your cervical MRI report, so we can take a look at it, it might be helpful.

Take Care

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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Kalvin,

The MRI's being inconclusive means that they showed no herniated discs. I did have neck pain before shoulder pain. I actually had the burning in my back next to my scapula first out of anything, then came the neck, then the pains down my arm, elbow wrist and hand.

Yes, my doctor did tell me that carpal tunnel can cause pain all the way up my arm. He has done nothing else for my carpal tunnel since I have yet to follow up with him, however, my pain is now starting to localize in my shoulder. I have it in my shoulder neck and elbow more than anything now. My thumb still hurts, but the tingling in my ring finger and pinky has gone away, however I have much weakness in my left hand. I wouldn't be able to push against you and if I spread my fingers and you tried to close them I couldn't resist against it.

I have my MRI's on disc. I'll have to request all my reports when this is all done and the case is closed. For now I'm very interested to see if this is my rotator or muscles of my rotator and if so, I will be relieved because then I will have some sort of answer. Thanks for responding.
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Avatar_m_tn
There are many other disorders of the cervical spine that could be causing your pain. Disc Herniation or a disc bulge is just one of them.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I was reading your story and I know exactly how you feel. All of the symptoms you describe is what I am experiencing too. I am yet to find a doctor that can figure it out and I've seen them all... Ortho surgeons, chiropractor's, pain specialist, and have done physical therapy and acupuncture. It is so frustrating and I truly feel for
you because I know how debilitating and painful it is! I know your post is almost a year old and hopefully you have found the right treatment. Do share if you have and I will do the same as I continue my search to figure out what is causing all this pain and treatment that will make it go away!!  
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Avatar_f_tn
I feel your pain. Mine first started with my fingers going numb, pain in my wrist and what I thought was a small cyst on the inside of my wrist. I went to an orthopedic surgeon and he gave me a cortisone shot.  That actually worked for about 6 months. Then the pain all came back and then my elbow started hurting.   I've had an EMG done also and the doctor told me I had carpal tunnel and cubidol or however you spell it, tunnel in my elbow.  Once again another shot in my wrist and one in the elbow.  Those only worked a couple weeks. Now my pain is in my right scapula and if I tilt my head back it burns even worse in my scapula and moves into my armpit, all down my arm and into my hand. I have gotten 13 shots now in my arm, scapula and neck.  I've had an MRI on my shoulder and it didn't show much but the doctor said I have impingement in my rotator cuff.  I can't even reach for anything with my arm because it feels like my neck, arm and hand are all burning.  I don't want any more shots do I am at a loss as to where I go next, but I'm tired of the pain and all the sleepless nights.
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