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Right Shoulder Pain
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Right Shoulder Pain

I have had a dull/burning pain in my right shoulder for almost 3 years now.  I woke one morning and felt like I had pulled a muscle.  But after a few days the pain never went away.  I went to the Chiropractor , he said I had a mis-alined rib, but the adjustment did not help.  A week later I went to a regular MD, he said you have just pulled a muscle and put me on a bunch of medication.  None of which helped.  After about a month, I got scared and went to the ER, because I smoke and thought it might be my lung.  The chest x-ray was fine.  The ER doctor said he thought it was a pinched nerve and put me on Robaxin.  Within a few days the pain was gone.  I had no more problems over the summer but when it started to get cold weather the pain came back and lasted off and on all winter.  Once again I went to the doctor and he said he agreed it was a pinched nerve and sent me to an orothopedic.  He said it was a scapula strain, gave me a shot of cortizone and physical therapy for 3 weeks.  No improvement.  Got scared and went back to the doctor for another chest x-ray.  It was fine, so he sent me for an MRI on my neck, thinking it was referred pain from a nerve in my neck.  MRI clear.  Finally got so frustrated just gave up.  Still to this day I have problems all winter long.  I started taking tetracycline to clear my complexion, and guess what no more shoulder pain.  Doctor says it could be bacterial arthritis.  Well I have taken it so long now it doesn't help anymore.  So I just chalk it up to bad posture and stress.  I am anxious for summer so I can get rid of this pain.  I still think sometimes its my lung because it is worse after I have been sick and cough alot. But how many more test can I have?  Anyone experiencing the same thing?  At the time it started I was exercising a lot and toting around to small children.  Maybe it could be my gall-bladder which can cause upper right shoulder pain.  Who knows, I have just learned to deal with it.  I would appreciate any input someone might have.
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6 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
hello dear Spropst,
To me it looks like pinched nerve problem more than anything else.Due to this you had pain and discomfort. Cold weather aggravated this condition as all the muscles,incold climate, are in a state of more contractility(less length)  than normal, which can increase this condition. Where as in summers, the length of each muscle fibre is normal, so space is adequate.
I would advice you to do a nerve conduction velocity study, which will help you more to know about the region where the nerve is being pinched.
Co-incidentally as this condition was healing, die to cold weather, you might had developed sub-normal bacterial arthritis, which was not allowing the pain to subside. And after taking the tetracycline, it also subsided, thus making you full pain free.

Hope your question is solved,
keep asking more and more questions,
regards
abhijeet
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your comment.  I think it is a nerve also, but can't help and get scared sometimes.  I really feel like to doctor should have ordered an MRI of my shoulder and not my neck.  I wonder how long this can go on?  The rest of my life?
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144586_tn?1284669764
No, the question has not been answered or solved.

You should have had an MRI a long time ago. Yes, the doctor should have ordered an MRI of your shoulder and your cervical vertebra to rule out spinal stenosis.

One simple test which should have been performed is the so-called "axial traction challange."

While you are having pain the skull is pulled axially upwards. If the pain diminishes at once we have defined the problem as a pinched nerve in the cervical area.

What you have is referred pain. The referred pain is called a dermatome. If I was examining you in person by knowing precisely where the pain is I would tell you what "nerve" is pinched.

If you have in fact had an infection, it may not have been resolved, but only encapsulated. It may be necessary for you to undergo additional treatment with anti-biotics.

While rare, tuberculosis has been known to lodge in the joints and produce these symptoms. So you should have a TB screen. Contrary to popular belief TB is not a lung disorder.

There are specific exercises to help with this problem which can be taught by an experienced physical therapist.

Generally non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (i.e. motrin/ibuprufin) are prescribed.

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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks.  You sound like you know a lot about this.  Are you an MD?  I have a TB test every year at work.  It's a requirement.  Test is always fine.  I have also noticed it gets worse when I am under a lot of stress.  Which seems to be all the time here lately.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello.  Well the last couple of days my shoulder has really been bothering me.  The other day it ached from my shoulder all the way down to my fingers.  It was a heavy/numb feeling.  Scared me the way it felt.  My fingers were very cold, anymore ideas?
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Avatar_f_tn
I have experienced the same symptoms, numbness/ heavyness in right arm. It feels like a blow torch is held on my shoulder :( After I had my son it felt this was, went away after infant stage...so i thought it was bc i was holding a baby all the time, then 3 yrs later another baby...same thing, now she is 3 and i have pain everytime i get stressed. Had an MRI everything came back fine. I think the doc thinks I am lying...I cannot pinpoint an exact point of pain, it just hurts in my  shoulder and down my arm at times!! I want answers too...I also had a never test(which is painful)...no nerve damage. I was put on Gabapention it seemed to help a little but made me extremely tired....This pain comes and goes :(
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