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rotator cuff bursitis or tendonitis???
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rotator cuff bursitis or tendonitis???

please help!  I am 51 female and seem to have a debilitating problem, with a lot of conflicting advice. Dr says push through the pain, keep it moving. Physio says DONT.  
History/symptoms.  11 months ago I was picking up some groceries and suddenly got a really sharp pain in myshoulder - sort of very high upper/outer arm area. I screeched but the pain only lasted a few seconds. Having said that, from that momnet on I couldnt lift my arm up from my side. Every time I tried it was like it just wouldnt go, the same sudden piercing stabbing pain would stop it. I put up with it for 6 weeks before finally going to the doctor, I figured it was a pulled msucle and time would fix.  Also from that day on I was totally unable to lift my arm in any direction, if lying down. Heavy, and the same sudden yelping type pain.  I mean the only way you could tell I tried to lift was f you placed yor hand over the shoulder and felt it, the lift was so slight you couldnt tell it had at all!   Lying down I can lift about half a centimeter - at most. This makes sleep hell !!!! every time I flinch it in my sleep I cry out. Standing, i can lift it to the side about 12 inches - on a good day.  Sitting down, but leaning slightly back, I cant lift it from my lap - unless sitting very straight upright eg if resting back on the lounge with my laptop, I have to use my left arm to lift my right one onto the keyboard.  If not moving I had no pain.  Over recent months though, I now have a more ongoing pain as well even at rest, it burns.  I have had to compensate a lot by using my left arm (which now has the same burning sensation but full movement) and by using my right arm more from the elbow.  That tendon on my forearm is now also agonsiing (overuse I guess).. Now, when I extend my right arm out, I get bad tingling in my thumb and the two fingers beside it. Its like the symptoms  are now spreading down to toher areas of my arm (due I guess to the way I now have to use it).
I have had cortisone injections into the shoulder (5 over 6 months) and physio. still it worsens. I cannot take anti inflammatories (the only thing that relieves the pain) as I have kidney disease. I am even on oxycodone now and that does nothing at all!!!  It helps sedate me at night so I am not as inclined to move my arm in my sleep but gives no pain relief.
I have heard a lot of terms bursitis, rotator cuff, supra something tendonits. What on earth have I done???  REcnetly I also noticed it is now starting to click.
Need some advice here as there are now big probelms in my "good" arm due to having to take the whole load for 11 months!!!  I dont understand how picking up two grocery bags can do all this!!
re adivce.  One says suck it up and push past the pain, the other says do not - move it passively though to prevent the shoulder freezing, two very different lots of advice!
3 Comments Post a Comment
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1613542_tn?1366472143
Have either of your drs done testing to see exactly what is causing the pain? It sounds to me as if you have a pinched a nerve in your back and it is affecting your arm.

Nerve pain is very different from any other type of pain you will ever have. The only medications that relieve it are nerve meds such as Gabitril, Valium, Xanax ect. You should ask for a MRI of your upper back/ neck area.

There is a picture on my profile of a nerve conduction chart. Please go look at it. Best wishes, Sissie
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4822967_tn?1367660296
HI and thankyou. Had a cervical spine CT in case was what you said. Showed nothing re cervical spine causing any nerve issue. However wasnt a total waste, in fact it identifed a very serious issue in my thyroid lol. Shouldnt be laughing though.  Found 2 large nodules in left lobe. So then had bloods which showed thryoid overactive. Then had ultrasound to confirm CT and found both lobes multinodular with goitre.  Ultrasound showed that there were not all fluid filled, some solid.    Need to have another test next week called iodine uptake to see if hot or cold, cold suggests malignancy.  Either way have to see urgent endocrine :(  So glad I hurt my shoulder.  Saw shoulder surgeon Thursday.  Told me that the nerve issues were due to a lot of tendon and joint inflammation. Torn rotator cuff.  He said that the usual,  after time to heal, cortisone shots and physio, was surgery. However he said as I have too many my pressing issues, eg he saw the thyroid on CT, plus on lifelong warfarin for clotting problems and kidney disease (another lol as youd think id be 80)  he said he wouldnt consdier surgery as too dangerous.  He said, no more physio, complete rest, so now is in a shoulder sling . I told him I was trying to push it through the pain for 11 months to keep it moving. He replied that I was already well and truly in the "frozen shoulder cycle" anyway and it was inevitable.  So the only fgain pushing it would make would be more pain.  He said on the upside, once it totally seizes the pain will be TOTALLY gone!!!!!  downside, cant do a thing to get a frozen shoulder mobile, just sit it out for 18 months (but pain freee cant wait)  and eventually it will start moving.  Funny the thing I have dreaded the most happening, frozen shoulder, I now look forward to, how ironic!
He also said that I may have developed, as 11 months, a thing called Chronic pain syndrome.  Has prescirbed anti epileptics (Lyricka) as that apparently slows the nerve pain impulses. and has increased (not good) the oxycodone. Is doing an MRI regardless but doesnt seem any purpose now if he cant do anything about it!
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1613542_tn?1366472143
That is good news I have hashimoto's you should join the thyroid forum there are some fantastic people on it. Your thyroid can cause a lot of joint pain and inflammation also so maybe some of your pain will be better when you get it fixed. Bad news about your shoulder though, I am so sorry you have to wait so long! I was also on epileptics (Gabitril) it helped tremendously and you can always lower your pain meds as things get better!!! An mri is a good idea as it shows a clearer picture of soft tissues than a ct scan. I hope you are soon on the mend and I am really glad they caught your thyroid!!!! I will pray for you to have a swift recovery if you have any questions feel free to send me a message or add me as a friend. Best wishes, Sissie
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