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Constant ache in right arm
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Constant ache in right arm

I have a question about this shoulder pain I'm having. I'll give some hx here. On May 5th I was changing a tire and as I was pulling the lug wrench, I felt a slight twinge. I had shoulder pain for a few days and then it went away. Somewhere around the 20th of May I started having this slight ache in my shoulder. It would come about for a few days and then go away. In June the ache became more constant. Occasionally I would have elbow pain(almost like I had thrown 100 pitches in a baseball game), and some tingling in my fingers. Sometimes it would be my thumb, index, and middle. Then pinky and ring or even the back of my hand. Wrist would give me problems for a few hours during the day.(this happened twice). As we speak today, my shoulder really doesn't feel sore. My bicep does when I move around. Shoulder occassionally say hello. All the while, the pain was never too overwhelming. I have been able to continue with my normal activities. I'm a right handed bowler and I did that once, no problems then. I've played softball without issue. I've even taken up golfing. (which I thought might have been the cause) I've never golfed before and my swing is somewhere between tiger woods and charles barkley. I figured, maybe I pulled something or strained something. But I've ruled that out because anytime I done it between then and now, it does not make it worse. I'll admit the ache is still there. The other possible cause I thought about was when I was working on my house. I carried 3 whole sheets of drywall up 3 floors by myself. Now, I remember that day vividly and I didn't tweak or torque anything that I know of. The only thing I can think of that happened right before is, I was getting this burning sensation in my clavicle at the base of my neck. Actually I should mention that I had that on both sides of my neck. And in the beginning both shoulders were bothering me. never at the same time. One week it was my left, the next my right. Now my right has taken charge.
Like many of the readers here I went looking online for answers. I found TOS, but I also found pancoast tumors. I did have a hx of smoking(14 years, started when I was 17 and stupid) . I went to my PCP and I begged her to send me for a chest ct scan 2 months before the shoulder thing bc of chest pains that I was having. She thought it was Chondritis. But I wanted to be sure. She thought that because of my age(32) that it wasn't so likely that it would be cancer. Eitherway, my chest CT was clean.
Not to get too far off course here, but I wanted to know A.) Is anyone else going through this? B.) If it is nerve pain, how long should I give it to heal, before I need to panic? C.)If it is muscular, how long does it take to heal, generally?

I have an appt tomorrow with an Ortho, my next step is a Neuro.
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6 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

How are you feeling today?
The pain in the shoulder could be due to muscular injury or even a minor dislocation which is pressing on the nerves to cause tingling sensation in your hand and finger. Especially so since you have a positive history of shoulder injury.
Are your shoulder movements restricted in any way?
It is a good thing you are seeing an orthopaedician as a physical examination coupled with tests like an X ray of the shoulder will be helpful in making a diagnosis.
Do keep us posted!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the quick response. Today is about the same. I can move my shoulder in any direction. Sometimes I get a slight twinge, sometimes I don't.
Hopefully I will have a better idea after my appointment later today.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have another question.. If it were any of the things you mentioned above, is it normal for the symptoms to last this long?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

Yes the symptoms of nerve compression can last this long.

Do keep us informed about your further tests and diagnosis. Take care!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,
I have another question. I recently obtained a copy of my ct scan report and I think my doctor blew me off and shouldn't have. Can you translate? Or maybe shed some light as to why my Dr. blew me off?

Findings: Amorphous density in the anterior superior mediastinum could represent residual thymus and/or lymph nodes. Several nonpathologically enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes are seen in the aorticopulmonary window and right paratracheal region. While evaluation of the mediastinum and hilum is limited without contrast, no other large abnormality in seen. The lungs and pleura are clear. Slightly prominent lymph nodes are seen in both axillae. There is soft tissue asymmetry in the portion of the larynx.

I'M NO DOCTOR, BUT SOUNDS TO ME LIKE SOME STUFF NEEDS FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

Impression:
1.Possible residual thymus in anterior superior mediastinum. Findings suggest 2.nonpathologically enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes.
3.Mild soft tissue asymmetry in larynx requires clinical correlation
4.Slightly prominent axillary lymph nodes
5.No pulmonary or pleural abnormality
6.Followup requires a decision based on the clinical background

WHILE I KNOW #5 IS A GOOD THING, WHAT ABOUT 1,2,3,4, & 6?
ESPECIALLY SINCE NOW I HAVE SWELLING IN MY RIGHT AXILLAE. WHICH IS WHAT I SUSPECT CAUSED/ING MY ARM PAIN. IF I LIFT MY RIGHT ARM YOU CAN'T REALLY TELL ITS SWOLLEN, HOWEVER IF I PUT MY ARMS AT MY SIDE. I CAN FEEL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOTH ARMPIT AREAS.
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE(IF THERE IS ONE) MY SHOULDER NO LONGER HURTS. BUT I DO FEEL SOME PAIN IN THE LYMPH NODE AREA UNDER ARM.

PLEASE HELP ME DR.

OH AND I DID GO TO THE ORTHOPEDIC MD AND HE DX'D ME WITH BICEP TENDONITIS.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

Yes residual thymus needs to be evaluated further. A biopsy or a PET scan will help to diagnose if it is malignant or not.
Residual thymus is most likely reason for the chest pains that you are having.
Please discuss this with your pulmonologist or your primary care physician. Do keep us posted!
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