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Old 05-06-2011, 11:58 PM   #1
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"Out of the blue" shoulder pain! Any ideas?

I went to sleep last Sunday night and woke up with an aching left shoulder on Monday morning. I assumed I just slept on it the wrong way and that the pain would subside rather quickly, but it got progressively worse as the day wore on and has not improved throughout the week. Although I have never had shoulder problems before, I regularly lift weights and had worked out my shoulders two days prior yet felt no pain or anything out of the ordinary. I'm now a bit baffled and frustrated.

Specifically, I have zero pain in my shoulder when my arm is at my side or I press on my shoulder. I can move my arm straight out to the side and up over my head without pain and with the same range of motion as my "good" arm. The pain only occurs when I lift my arm forward and out in front of me and doesn't "kick-in" until my arm is at about a 60-70 degree angle away from my body, but goes away if I continue to lift my arm higher past the initial point of pain. However, if I follow the same plane of motion on the way back down, the pain kicks back in at the same point/angle. Also, it intensifies a bit if I rotate my wrist and forearm away from my body but decreases when them turning inward.

The pain itself is not sharp or unbearable, more of a annoying dull/deep pain that gives me the feeling that something is just not right. In addition, the pain is pretty localized to the front part of my shoulder, starting from my upper-bicep at it's lowest point on the arm and traveling up to and throughout most of my deltoid. Finally, the last and maybe the best way I can describe the pain is that it also feels as though there is a tightening sensation or as if my arm is being somewhat painfully pushed down from above.

After reading through many of the posts on this forum I did not come across any similar descriptions and the fact that I can lift my arm up to the side and over my head completely pain-free leads me to believe it is not a RC injury. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to see a doctor right now so I will likely just let it be for a while and see what happens but in the meantime, I was hoping someone may have some clue as to what might be wrong. Thanks!

 
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:42 AM   #2
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Re: "Out of the blue" shoulder pain! Any ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leibowlips View Post
I went to sleep last Sunday night and woke up with an aching left shoulder on Monday morning. I assumed I just slept on it the wrong way and that the pain would subside rather quickly, but it got progressively worse as the day wore on and has not improved throughout the week. Although I have never had shoulder problems before, I regularly lift weights and had worked out my shoulders two days prior yet felt no pain or anything out of the ordinary. I'm now a bit baffled and frustrated.

Specifically, I have zero pain in my shoulder when my arm is at my side or I press on my shoulder. I can move my arm straight out to the side and up over my head without pain and with the same range of motion as my "good" arm. The pain only occurs when I lift my arm forward and out in front of me and doesn't "kick-in" until my arm is at about a 60-70 degree angle away from my body, but goes away if I continue to lift my arm higher past the initial point of pain. However, if I follow the same plane of motion on the way back down, the pain kicks back in at the same point/angle. Also, it intensifies a bit if I rotate my wrist and forearm away from my body but decreases when them turning inward.

The pain itself is not sharp or unbearable, more of a annoying dull/deep pain that gives me the feeling that something is just not right. In addition, the pain is pretty localized to the front part of my shoulder, starting from my upper-bicep at it's lowest point on the arm and traveling up to and throughout most of my deltoid. Finally, the last and maybe the best way I can describe the pain is that it also feels as though there is a tightening sensation or as if my arm is being somewhat painfully pushed down from above.

After reading through many of the posts on this forum I did not come across any similar descriptions and the fact that I can lift my arm up to the side and over my head completely pain-free leads me to believe it is not a RC injury. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to see a doctor right now so I will likely just let it be for a while and see what happens but in the meantime, I was hoping someone may have some clue as to what might be wrong. Thanks!
Welcome, this is an easy one, you have a "painful arc syndrome". The more difficult part is which part of your shoulder is causing your grief. The pain should come on at around 40 to 60 gegrees and disappear at around 120 degrees. In some cases when the arm is on the way down you try and drop it quickly to minimise the pain. The most likely scenario is you are aggravating your supraspinatus tendon. When you rotate your arm one way the tendon is only impinged slightly and when you rotate outward the tendon is compressed under the part of the tip of the shoulder formed by the collar bone and the shoulder blade. You may have caused it by lifting improperly, or sleeping in an awkward position, sometimes you never know. I lift weights and get it at times, I take an anti infammatory if it lasts but it usually settles in a few days. If it does not see a PT, they see this sort of injury regularly. Good luck,
James

 
Old 05-07-2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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Re: "Out of the blue" shoulder pain! Any ideas?

Thank you James!

I had been searching online for days to figure out what might be wrong but somehow never came across the "painful arc syndrome" or anything that came close to my specific symptoms. I am thankful to discover that this is most likely the problem and not something more serious, especially after reading some of the posts in this forum. I consider myself lucky and I really feel for people with on here with more serious shoulder problems. And finally, I am happy to note that my shoulder/arm is actually feeling a bit better today and feels as if it is beginning the healing process. I'll stay away from the weights for another few weeks and take it easy when I start again.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my post and for sharing your knowledge with me - it is greatly appreciated!

Mike

 
Old 05-08-2011, 10:29 PM   #4
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Re: "Out of the blue" shoulder pain! Any ideas?

My pleasure.
James

 
Old 08-14-2011, 01:09 AM   #5
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Re: "Out of the blue" shoulder pain! Any ideas?

I read your post and was taken by the detailed way you described your pain. I also have a shoulder problem at present caused by similar description of your problem (weight training). I had a fall on my left shoulder playing tennis about 2-3 months ago and the pain did not show until a month after. I ignored the accident and thought it was just a bruise and i felt okay quickly after the fall. After the fall the pain in my shoulder came on about two week later and it persisted for about a week and so I had an MRI of the shoulder and it showed that I had what is called a SLAP lesion by the medicos.. This is a tear of the superior labrum muscle which runs at the outer edge of the clavicle and under the arm causing pain when you extend the arm behind the body.
If you haven't had an MRI I think you should get this done to define the injury correctly.
The pain you are experiencing could also be referred pain from a disc bulge in your cervical spine as the nerve root travels down the neck/shoulder/arm. I have had tests done on my spine and a nerve conduction study to clarify what is happening. I am awaiting the results of the nerve study this coming week (17th Aug 2011) before I proceed with any surgery.

 
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:52 AM   #6
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Re: "Out of the blue" shoulder pain! Any ideas?

i just read your post and i to have been having simaliar problems. I am waiting to get an mri on my shoulder as we speak. My doc thinks my problem might be a repititive strain injury but he also thinks there is a possible labral tear which is why i am getting the mri. I am having a lot of pain and soreness in my shoulder blade aswell along with muscle spasms and or trigger points along my scapular area. I was just wondering if you got your results back from your tests?. Did you have to get an arthrogram when you got your mri and if so how was that? because i have to get an arthrogram b4 my mri and i am scared to death!!!!!!

 
Old 10-23-2011, 05:02 PM   #7
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Re: "Out of the blue" shoulder pain! Any ideas?

Dear NFLD,
I did not have and arthrogram but had an MRI which showed a labral tear, two torn tendons, and a bone spur. Had arthroscopic surgery for these on 20th of September, two days in hospital and now one month post surgery and having weekly physio until end of year. Surgery took one hour and am completely pain free. Had to wear a sling for first two weeks. I would recommend that you have MRI and see a good orthopaedic surgeon. I was fully covered with medical and only paid $400 out of pocket. I tracked down cost of surgery without cover - $12,000 au. Don't be scared of the surgery as it is minimally invasive and if you are in good shape and do everything that is required to heal then you should sail through it. Good Luck! .... Danhum 60

 
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