Hi, it sounds like issues related to your cervical spine. I am not a doctor but your symptoms are similar to ones others with C4-C7 degeneration and/or nerve compression have. You might want to have your doctor investigate further... recent Xrays and CAT scan imaging. Other than that... physio can help tons.
Welcome to our Pain Management Community. I am delighted that you found us and took the time to post your concern. Thank you!
When arthritis strikes our spinal column it's often referred to as, DDD - Degenerative Disc Disease. It's exactly what it sounds like, degeneration of discs and often other structures in our spines. The results are pain.
Cervical Spine issues often cause pain on the top of our shoulders and side of neck - pain can also radiate down the arm and into the fingers. I agree with Alberni, this may be the cause of your pain. An MRI will provide you with the correct answers.
I have a C5, C6 issue - the pain can be difficult to manage some days - other days I have little to no pain. I've found what I sleep on (pillow) and in what position can make a difference in my pain level. Heat helps me - though heat can increase swelling in some instances. You may want to try rotating heat and ice to see what feels better.
Most importantly consult your PCP. Be assertive and don't be dismissed with "Oh that's your arthritis." Of course it's probably arthritis but it needs to be evaluated and treatments offered.
If you are not consulting a Rheumatologist I encourage you to do so. They are the true expects in nasty arthritic and inflammatory conditions. They are not afraid to refer you on to a Neurologist or Neurosurgeon if needed.
I hope you'll keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. I'll look forward to your updates. I hope something we have said has been helpful.
Take Good Care of Yourself,
I also wanted to welcome you to the Pain forum. You will find the people here to be very nice, caring and knowledgeable. Tuck is our CL and we are so blessed to have her because of her experience, knowledge and compassion.
I'm so sorry that you're going through this. Almost all of us on this forum are dealing with some form of pain so we do understand.
I hope you keep posting here. We're here to help anyway we can.
I went through something very similar with my GP. A word of caution - some physicians are so concerned when a patient is involved in litigation that it can effect their judgements and care.
The GP or PCP (Primary Care Physician) that I had at the time of my MVA turned out to be a true deficit. He had been my PCP for nine years when I had the MVA. I thought he was awesome.
Sadly he had some strong feelings about litigation and feared he would become involved in it. I had many physicians involved in saving my life including, a 2 thoracic surgeons, infection control specialist, OB/GYN, orthopedic surgeon, gastroenterologist, endocrinologist and more. All of those physicians attested to my injuries and what they saw as lifelong struggles. Most continued to follow me for years. My PCP said I should have no lasting issues and I was faking symptoms. Granted everything he claimed was disputed by the multitude of specialists that extensively documented and verified my claims. I was deemed 70% permanently disabled within the year following my MVA by 2 independent practitioners. The PCP looked like what he was - an idiot that hated lawyers and me!
I tell you this because things were missed that shouldn't have been missed by this PCP. Indeed had I had the right DX and treatment from the get go I may not have ended up disabled - at least not as early. I did continue with a career - refusing to take the disability label for close to 20 years.
Your PCP - sorry GP - may be in the same school of thought as my former PCP. It took my 3 years to realize my PCP was not in my camp and was working behind the scenes to discredit me. I didn't listen to my close friends or attorneys. I had to read all my medical records and hear it from other practitioners before I changed PCPs. Please don't let this happen to you. I would seriously consider changing physicians. Your GPs opinions will greatly affect everything - for year - even if he is wrong. Your medical records follow you wherever you go.
Rather than an x-ray you may require an MRI. You are your own best health care advocate. Be assertive. Insist on answers. You have nothing to apologize for - you deserve the best of care. That includes proper investigations into your pain and correct DX (diagnosis).
Best of luck to you. Please keep in touch my friend in pain. And I also suggest that you request a copy of your medical records - and read them!!! I look forward to hearing from you again - soon.
Take Good Care of Yourself,