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    Old 12-26-2004, 07:09 PM   #1
    NancyH
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    Shoulder pain

    This just recently started, When I sleep any pressure causes pain in the shoulder, it doesn't matter which shoulder but the left one is the worst. I do have arthritis in the hands and have had ulnar nerve and carpal tunnel surgery in both hands in the last couple years. I have arthritis in the neck and mid spine, knees and toes as well but they are more tolerated than in the neck and hands. Lately my sleep has been interrupted by discomfort and it is usually the shoulder that wakes me up. I just started nexium as I have severe GERD and put a lift under my mattress to help nighttime acid reflux, seems to help but I think it makes the neck more painful. I don't want to go to the rheumy again with "another" painful joint so I want to work on it myself, do any of you have some solutions that help with sleeping on painful shoulder? I can't sleep on my tummy, never have been able to!!!! My shoulder hurt at other times to but nothing like when I lay down to go to bed or lean against a hard back chair.

     
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    Old 12-27-2004, 12:54 PM   #2
    Kissa
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    Re: Shoulder pain

    Your shoulder pain could in fact be caused by several things, not just arthritis.
    It could be a case that in fact there is arthritis in the joints causing the pain but it can also be caused from spur growth in the joint.
    Bursitis will cause similiar pain and often have some swelling in the joint.
    Because you do in fact have arthritis in the neck you may be having the shoulder pain as a result.
    I was improperly dx'd with a torn rotator or arthritis of the shoulder when an acute onset of pain appeared in my shoulder. I had emergency surgery only to find out it was not the source. I suffered for a month before pinning it down to my neck.
    C4 - C7 were herniated with c6-c7 completely crushing the spinal cord. I had it fused.
    My pain started in the very same manner as yours, at night only, and was this way for nearly a year. I ignored it as being my old bursitis acting up, that was my first mistake.

    I do suggest you get not only your shoulders xrayed but your neck as well and rule out something serious or the start of something serious first. See a neurologist about this or ask the rhuemy.

    As far as sleeping goes, I lay on my side with a supportive neck pillow, I also hug a pillow for shoulder support. I've done this since a child and it does help immensely.
    I do sleep on my sides because I can't sleep on my back. It's awkward to explain this but I hug a pillow with the arm that is not on the bed and place the arm that I am laying on straight out as if I am reaching for something in front of me, I don't bend it under my head or any other part of my body, this will only induce more pain for you. My husband has grown accustomed to me "reaching out to him" and actually takes that opportunity to hold my outstretched hand as we sleep.

    I hope that is of some assistance, I really do think you need your neck checked based on your description. Hopefully you can figure out what the problem is and get some resolution and some relief.

    Cheers
    Barbie

    Last edited by Kissa; 12-27-2004 at 12:56 PM.

     
    Old 12-27-2004, 06:58 PM   #3
    MarianJ
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    Re: Shoulder pain

    Hello Nancy
    I am sorry to hear of your recent pain in your shoulder's. This is something that I sure can relate to. First let me start by saying that I do agree entirely by Kissa's posting. I also have herniated disc's in my cervical area as you can see in my very long signature. I started out just like you with not be able to sleep on either side because of shoulder pain. Well, come to think of it I did have bicep pain first for a couple of months but that is what may have come from my cervical area. I also do have compression on my spinal cord so the doctor's thought my arm and shoulder pain was coming from my cervical injury. My story is a little different from Kissa's. I guess is it hard for the doctor's because many symptom's can mimmic differential diagnoses. After a few months of pain my Rheumatologist finally took an x-ray of my left shoulder and found arthritis and Tendonitis of rotator cuff. He just assumed that was also what was wrong with my right one. Months later I developed Bilateral Frozen Shoulder. My Pain Management Doctor took a good look at me one day and said I need some MRI's. Finally someone was taking me pain serious. So Far I have had 3 mri's and have be seeing an orthopedic surgeon. I am told that I will be like this for 9 months till 1 year. My shoulder's do not move and I can barely sleep at night because of the pain. I still have to have another mri on Jan 5th at the hospital because they found so much wrong they wanted better images. So Please take Kissa's advise and tell your doctor and get an x-ray. If nothing show's on the x-ray and you are still in pain, Request and MRI..... I will keep you in my prayer's.
    Jeanne

    ____________________
    ~LUMBAR~
    Posterolateral Fusion & Infuse with Laminectomy & Discectomy on L4,L5,S1 June 2003
    Instrumentation = 2 Rods, 6 Screws, 2 Disc Spacers
    Lumbar CT Scan 9/24/03
    Impression:
    The thecal sac appears to be deviated slightly to the left around L5.
    Mild posteior subcutaneous edema.
    L3-L4 mild circumferential disc bulge.
    L4-5, L5-S1, mild disc bulges are noted.
    Follow up MRI recommended. (Neuro surgeon said report was incorrect)
    Lumbar MRI 1/20/04
    Impression:
    Small amount of post operative fluid collection at level L4 which does not appear to communicate with the thecal sac.
    Encasement of the thecal sac at L4-5 level by enchancing soft tissue, consistent with epidural fibrosis.
    Displacement of the left S1 nerve root, consistent with epidural fibrosis.
    Lumbar Myelogram 2/26/04
    Impression:
    Mild indentation on the subarachnoid space is noted at the level of L4-5 & L5-S1 where there is non-specific soft tissue slightly displacing the subarachnoid space.
    Lumbar Post Myelogram 2/26/04
    Impression:
    L4-5 non-specific soft tissue is noted in the dorsal & ventral epidural space..
    L5-S1, there is non-specific soft tissue noted in the ventral epidural space slightly displacing the dural sac posteriorly.
    EMG 9/13/04
    Distal Peroneal Neuropathy Bilaterally
    Bilateral Chronic L4 versus L5 Radiculopathy
    ~CERVICAL~
    Straightening of the Normal Cervical Lordosis.
    Mild Congenital Narrowing of the Spinal Canal.
    C4-5, C5-6, C6-7 Herniated Discs
    C4-5 & C5-6 , Cord Flattening at these levels.

    Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Pre-Diabetic,
    Anemia, Asthma, Acid Reflux, Migraine's, Sleep Apnea

     
    Old 12-27-2004, 08:20 PM   #4
    NancyH
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    Re: Shoulder pain

    I'll be seeing my orthopedic in a couple weeks, he wants another MRI of the cervical area as well. I do have facet joint disease, cervical myelopathy, several of the mid thorasic vertbrae are bulging, cervical and lumbar stenosis so you can see why he want sto have an MRI done again. Sleeping or sitting still is more uncomfortable for me than walking about, except if I put too much pressure on the fingers and hand. Have ulnar nerve damage, and arthritis in both hands brought on by repetitive injuries I guess. So it is a waiting game still. I just finished PT this summer for the hands and neck, they helped alot with the neck and I have more range of motion now than in the last 20 yrs or so. The pain in the mid back, right around the shoulder blades I guess, is like a burning ache so it leads me to think pinched nerve in the neck area as the neck is by far much worse the last couple months than in the last 30 some years when it all began, youthful stupidity cars and speed and poor skill makes for bad injuries and boy you pay much later to.

     
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