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Old 03-03-2009, 09:53 PM   #1
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Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??


Hello...For the past 6 days now, I've been experiencing this escruciating pain in an area inside my left shoulder blade that shoots from my left deltoid area down to my fingers. The pain will NOT go away. I do have spine and back issues already, but this new pain I have is so unbearable and is something I've never experienced before. I have not had any surgery or injured my body in any way, so I'm a bit confused on what I'm experiencing now. I've done everything you could imagine to try to relieve any of the pain (massages, hot and cold compresses, neck and back stretches, taking pain medications, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory meds). Still...nothing is helping. If anything...it's getting worse.

When my arm is down, it hurts..when my arm is up, it hurts. I even have a hard time sleeping because the pain is still there. I don't know what to do. I even saw a doctor (not my main doc) yesterday in hopes that he could explain or check out what's going on with me. Of course, you would think he would at least check out the area, maybe even ask to take a look at where it hurts the most, etc.....but nope. It was just talking talking talking. I explained all my symptoms, and all he said was, it sounds like a pinched nerve in my back and to make an appointment with my physical therapist. Ugh...I even got a shot of Toradol before I left the hospital, which only made me sleepy, but of course when I got up, the pain was still there.

I'm noticing that my left arm is getting weak and I could barely carry anything. Thank God I'm right-handed, but still....I need both my arms! Is there anyone out there who has possibly experience the same thing I'm going through right now? I'm so frustrated because I know what I'm feeling is not right and I'm obviously not getting properly checked out for it. Even when I called the advice line, the nurse basically told me that I'm already doing everything that they would recommend while I'm at home and if I wanted to, I can go to the ER for pain management. Pain Management?!! I'm already on a bunch of pain meds!

Someone PLEASE help me and let me know what has been done for you (tests, advice, etc.). Is this related to something? Am I developing something new that they're not catching? Is this something that I shouldn't really worry about? Any kind of help would be so appreciated. Thank you so much! Listed below are some of the issues I've already been diagnosed with.

- Herniated/Bulging Discs C4-C5, T11-L1
- Osteoarthritis of the Spine
- Borderline RA
- B12 Deficiency
- Spondylosis
- Cervical Radiculopathy


 
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:22 AM   #2
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Re: Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??

It sounds like what I have.It's to do with the nerve in your neck.I have had it for 2 years and now I am to suppose to get an operation.Go to your doctor it could be a nerve root injury.I hope this helps.

 
Old 03-04-2009, 04:54 AM   #3
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Re: Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??

Of course I am only taking a guess here but sure sounds like its your cervical. Since you already have herniated discs perhaps it has progressed or causing problems at another level. Geez the fact that no position relieves it should be enough for you doctor to do something. Do you have a pain management doctor or a surgeon? If not get your doctor to refer you to one right away. If you end up in ER I would think your doctor would move on that. I am convinced that when it gets that bad no meds can take all the pain away. Even though I would get some relief I was never pain free. I am surprised your doctor is not moving on this since you already have herniated discs, thats not right.
You know I am probably out of line for saying this but I think doctor should not order PT unless they are pretty darn sure of whats going on in there.
You may have to tell your doctor your concerns & give him/her a push there.
Good luck & let us know what happens, Sammy

 
Old 03-04-2009, 03:13 PM   #4
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Re: Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??

It sure does sound like you've pinched a nerve at C6 or 7. The nerve that exits at C7 goes down into your pinky and affects that deltoid area. Could be from a disk or a bone spur from arthritis. The only way you'll know is an MRI. PT is usually ordered to see if the pain can resolve on it's own. If it doesn't resolve within 6 weeks, time for an MRI. Then a spine surgeon can help you decide if surgery or medical care is best.

gentle hugs............Jenny

 
Old 03-09-2009, 02:15 PM   #5
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Re: Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??

Hi EVERYONE. Thank you ALL for the great information. I just had an x-ray done of my cervical area. I was hoping for an MRI, but it looks like they have to go through x-ray first. Ugh...HMO. Anyway...these were the results.

There are no fractures or malalignment. There is no prevertebral
soft tissue swelling. Moderate bilateral foraminal stenosis is
demonstrated at C4-C5 and C5-C6. Mild right foraminal narrowing
is demonstrated at C3-C4.

I still haven't heard a word yet from my docs to see what they would want to do now. My left shoulder/back and neck is STILL hurting to this day. It's now been 12 days since I've first complained of the pain. My left hand has barely any grip anymore, and I'm noticing my middle, ring and pinky fingers are the most affected ones when I try to carry something. Weird. What do you guys think?? Again...THANK YOU ALL lovely ANGELS!

 
Old 03-09-2009, 08:49 PM   #6
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Re: Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??

Make sure to communicate to your doctors how the pain and symptoms have worsened. You need to see an orthopedic spine surgeon or neurosurgeon as soon as possible.
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Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
C5-C7 foraminotomy 08

 
Old 03-10-2009, 08:56 AM   #7
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Re: Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??

Although my MRI showed problems only at C5&6 the 6 was pressing on the C7 & I would get the same from time to time into the pinky & ring finger. Then during surgery the C7 found to be not in the best shape so what Jenny is saying makes some sense. I no longer think any test can show exactly whats going on in there. Your body tells you more then the tests do. Good luck I know it seem like an eternity to see whats going on. let us know how your doing & take care. Sammy

 
Old 03-10-2009, 08:48 PM   #8
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Re: Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??

I agree with Sammy in that your body tells you as much, or more, about what is really going on. And, I had a posterior foraminotomy last year for what was supposed to be mild stenosis at C6-C7. The doctor said he was amazed at the severity of the stenosis - he only saw the full effect when he went in - he said he was amazed I had lasted that long without having something done.
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Fusions: L5-S1 (87), L4-S1 (93), C5-C7 ('06), L3-S1 ('10)
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:34 PM   #9
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Re: Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??

Hi Everyone...again THANK YOU so much for all the feedback! I just received a letter from my medical doctor in regards to my most recent x-ray and the only thing it said was, "It shows arthritis, which we already know. We scheduled you to follow-up with your spine doctor". *sigh* Now I have 3 appointments coming up: follow up with my spine doc, an EMG nerve conduction test and physical therapy. All happening next week. In the meantime, my medical doctor prescribed me more medications (this time Robaxin-muscle relaxer). I can't stand these meds. I already have a hard time swallowing pills, so adding more just makes me even more frustrated. I'm a bit concerned about this recent x-ray. It mentioned something about my C6-C7. This is the very first time I've heard anything wrong in that area. When I was first diagnosed with this spine disorder, they always mentioned C4-C5. Is this part of the degeneration? And yes, I do agree with you guys about how your body tells you more. I know for a fact I am not the same or feel "normal". I still feel the pain on the left side and still have a weak grip. The sadness and nervousness of the situation is beginning to sink in pretty deep. I'm trying my best to keep strong, but dealing with this and the thought of being sent around in circles isn't helping. I can barely play with my kids and it breaks my heart. I'm getting ready to turn 30 this Monday and I seriously feel like I'm turning 90......no birthday excitement here. =( Thanks again and I'll give you guys an update after my appts. Stay Blessed.....

 
Old 03-11-2009, 05:00 AM   #10
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Re: Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??

The Dr whom did my acdf told me that if i didn't have the surg soon, I'd end up in the ER because of so much pain. I said "then I would tell them you are my Dr.?" He smiled and said yes... Just a thought about speeding up the process... I had all the tests done though.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:52 AM   #11
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Re: Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??

this would make at least a bit 'closer" sense with the possible involvement of that c 7 in some way. it is actually the c 8 nerve(ulnar) that innervates the last two fingers in our hands. tho we do not actually have a c 8 vertebrae,we do have that c 8 nerve. this is the one that is giving you problems in those last two fingers. the thing here is,trying to track it back to the area of affectation. this could actually not even BE a c spine issue per se,but a rotator cuff area problem with the tendons/muscles there. the huge loss of ROM you mentioned would fit with that area too,not just the c spine,trust me.

if you reach behind that shoulder to just above your armpit area and press down,do you feel ANY pain or wadded up type of tissue? this is where that ulnar nerve passes once it comes out from the c spine and starts to travel down your arm. i too recently had both ulnnars(in both shoulders) impinged right at that same area and it did casue me to have recurrent numbness in that ring and pinkie too.

this is just one possible area that could be invloved as well as you also haveing c spine issues too. i have the very same. my c spine is a mess,so when i started getting pain in my shoulder and blade,i just assumed it was all stemming from c spine. a few years later now,and when my top tendon that runs across that shoulder just completley snapped on me,it went thru the roof as far as pain along with almost immediate loss of ROM too. it actually took an MRI done on that shoulder to really see what a freaking mess it was. had surgery on my rotator last year in feb to fix it.

this is just one other possible area of involvement considering the symptoms you described and where they are located. i seriously would speak to your doc about having that MRI done on that shoulder/rotator area, soon. you just need to rule this area out or in as the new trigger for what appears to be c spine symptoms. it just may not be at all. having that EMG done is also a good idea,it would at least show whether or not there is a true compression/impingment going on and where it actually is at. just make darn certain they go all the way up to your c spine area with it. it just needs to be checked out from where it starts and all the way down that arm to find the area of affectation.

i do wish you luck with this. but DO get that shoulder area at least MRIed if possible,your symptoms really could be being casued by some level of rotator involvement. i had no clue just how really awful things were in my shoulder,espescially witht hat already torn tendon,til that MRI revealed it. sammy went thru the very same thing with hers too. just get that area either ruled in or out,then at least you would know whether or not this is true radiculopathy(c spine) or rotator cuff issues. thats huge for you right now, just to know for certain. i do wish you luck with this. please keep us posted. Marcia
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:43 PM   #12
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Re: Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??

Hi Everyone...just a little update here. I finally saw my spine doctor again last Friday and sure enough, my cervical area has been affected. Which explains the numbness, tingling and pain on my left side. He did some strength testing with me and the left side is definitely very weak. Again, he still wishes he could give me steroids...but we all know I get an anaphylactic reaction to it. He put me on Neurontin now in hopes it could help out with my nerves. He checked out my B12 levels and noticed it's very low for my age. He sent me off to get my Vitamin D levels and guess what.....YES, the results came back very low. My vitamin D level is at 12. He did mention that if everything else fails, we're going to have to think about surgery. Of course that is the last resort, but I'm going downhill pretty quick. Another MRI will be set soon, so we'll see how much more has changed. I've been noticing too these past few days that I've been getting alot of body aches. Do you guys think this could all be related? I don't know what to think anymore. Any other advice?? I'm so lost.....very lost. Thank you all again. You guys are amazing.....

 
Old 03-24-2009, 12:17 AM   #13
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Re: Left Shoulder Blade/Neck/Arm Pain! What's going on??

So you might not need an operation.I have had the pain for two years and the doctor is making me go for another MRI scan and then the operation.I really don't want the operation,so left me know how you get on with the way your doctor's going.I am on painkillers everyday and it just dulls the pain and sometimes don't work at all.If there is another way of getting rid of this instead of surgery which scares me because the surgeon said chipping away at the bone in my neck c5-c6 and c6-c7 because of the narrowing pinching on my nerve.I hope it will work for you the way your doctor is going and hope the pain goes away soon.Good luck.

 
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