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Shoulder pain/sleep issues
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Shoulder pain/sleep issues

I've had pain in my shoulder as a result of workers comp. My ortho says I need to get my rotator cuff shaved down. I've been given carisoprodol (generic soma) but only 20 of them...I've had the bottle now 5 months, they don't help. I still lie awake in pain...and when I use my Enar device it rarely helps. I've used Biofreeze as well...that usually tells my brain to sleep. I've tried stupid mind games to get me off of thinking of the pain ie: comp games, reading, music...I'm able to sleep maybe 2 hours when I awake in pain yet again...most nights I'm wide awake waiting to get ready for work.  I see my doc in a few weeks (since it's been 6 months since I last saw him) he is to rechack my shoulders and schedule an appt for surgery and hopefully newer drugs.  
Is there anything in the meantime I can do to make the pain end so I can sleep at night? Ie seems the more I try to massage the shoulder/neck the more it becomes painful and tender. i can ont afford continues massage therapy either.  I don't want to rely on sleeping pills to get me thru each night because they will become immune after awhile.
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A little over 2 years ago I had surgery for a torn labrum in my right shoulder that had been torn for about 16 months due to a cheerleading accident.  It's similar to a rotator cuff injury, but is still its own unique injury.  The labrum is the cartilaginous cup that holds the head of the humerus in place.  Anyways, even after surgery it took about a year to start feeling better.  Once you get to your doctor, whether you have surgery or not, make sure you get into physical therapy for AT LEAST 12 weeks!  In the long run, it does help.  Just make sure you find a good physical therapist.  In the meantime, I can recommend a position that may help you sleep.  Just a warning though, you will probably sleep in this position for the rest of your life, because it becomes a habit quickly.  My PT told me to lay on my side of my good arm, and let my bad arm rest in front of me with a pillow under it.  I also keep a pillow between my knees because the accident tore ligaments from my cervical vertebrae and caused sacroiliac dysfunction.  You'll figure out how to make it comfortable, but even now, I hate sleeping without a pillow under my right arm.  I don't recommend any lifting or shoulder exercises until you see your doc and a PT.  Stretches could help some, but again, you need a PT to show you what you can and can't do :)  

There's a cream called (Maximum Strength Analgesic) THERA-GESIC pain relieving cream.  I tried biofreeze, and icy hot, but this stuff is incredible.  It really helps when my traps and ribs hurt due to a pelvic slip that screws up my entire left side.  (I'm almost 19, by the way, and a college freshman...at least this has made me want to be a doctor even more!)  Anyways, this cream really feels great, especially when you use it in a few layers.  Wal-Mart has it, and most drug stores and grocers probably do too.

Also, don't get discouraged if you try a few different drugs and they don't seem to work.  Even if you give each one enough time, each person needs a different medicine.  Muscle relaxers like Skelaxin don't work on me, so I'm on an arthritis oral medicine, Voltaren, twice a day and I take flexeril (cyclobenzaprene) in the evening to help me sleep.  I also take a multivitamin, fish oil and calcium+D.  It's a lot of pills, but I actually notice a difference when I have to stop taking my fish oil and voltaren before spinal injections or my upcoming second round of radiofrequency ablations.  What I'm saying is be patient, and don't give up on finding what works for you!  

Hope you find relief soon!

Ellie  
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Ellie is right that about different drugs not working.

I've never tried Skelaxin but I am under the impression it's similar to flexeril and soma. Flexeril offers me a small amount of relief, and soma offers me about 10x that amt however I developed an addiction to the soma and had to get off of it.

my pain mgmt doctor has suggested Voltaren Gel (also called "diclofenac", it's an NSAID) and it goes on the skin.

I have to take ambien or unisom to sleep most nights. I try to rely on the unisom since as you said prescription sleeping pills stop working after a while.

is the Enar device like a TENS unit?  it's a machine with small electric leads that are put on the muscles and it uses electric pulses to help with pain.

I have a 19 year old brother with a messed up elbow that he hurt in wrestling. he actually broke the elbow and will need surgery to fix it but until then he deals with alot of pain from it. He won't take pain meds and will hardly even take ibuprofen.

I'd suggest putting a call into your doctor and asking if Lidoderm patches might help. They are patches that you stick on your skin and they have lidocaine which is a non narcotic medication in them. it's absorbed into your skin and basically numbs the area mildly where you have pain. it's great for stuff like muscle problems and some arthritis problems but it only works when your pain levels aren't super high.  Most doctors are ok with them because they're non habit forming.
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