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shoulder problem

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Old 01-06-2006, 09:12 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
munsterman HB User
shoulder problem

Hi all,

I'll share my problem and maybe someone will advise me or share their experiences.

I am a kayaker. About 7 months ago I started getting a sharp pain in my upper arm between my elbow and shoulder. It would only appear rarely and didnt realy concern me. Assumed It was something I had did kayaking.

then in early october after a heavy day of kayaking I woke in the night with a pain from my shoulder to my hand. Dull ache really rather than a sharp pain.
Pain from then on was more regular down my arm and in shoulder. Went to see work doctor who did quick exam and sent me to a physio.
Physio said my range of movements was excellent and began to treat my shoulder working in behind my shoulder balde where she said it swelled and got hot when she worked on it. about 5 sessions with and still had pains again in shoulder upper arm and sometimes down into thumb and finger.
I then saw her partner who assessed me and said the problem was my posture. She said my spine wasnt curved enough and this was causing my problems. By this stage I was having some low back pain and some pain into my left leg. She did some heavy work on my spine but at this stage I was getting a bit ****** off with it and more concerned that the physio wasnt working.

Over xmas I visited a chripractor who worked on me and said he didnt think it was anything to serious just something slightly out of line. " sessions with him and no real improvment.
One night did some back streches and shoulder streches and was in a lot of pain in bed. This was the final straw for me.

The pain is more of an ache and isnt that intense just annoying. The pain down my arm as well as my leg can be a short kind of sharp pain . Do have some stiffness in my shoulder after using computer for a while and in morning.

Anyway went to my own family doctor yesterday who examined me quite thouroughly which is something the work doctors didnt really do. Although my range of movement is excellent some of the movements he got me to do with my arm did cause pain in upper arm near shoulder. He has said that he believes I strained my AC joint and it never healed. He gave me a steriod injection in Jjoint and asked me to come back in 2 weekss. Said leg thing is something else. I beleive my back and leg are just achy because I basically have done no exercise since October. I just hope this works and this is the right diagnosis. I am beginning to get concerned and a bit depressed beacuse I am usually so active.

What are peoples Ideas, views? anyone with same injury?

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Old 01-06-2006, 09:56 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 164
zephyrqueen HB User
Re: shoulder problem

Hello there munsterman I am a longterm shoulder sufferer. I can only dream of kayaking. Oh how'd I'd love to find a calm cove or lake all to myself. Anyway.......... I have Osteo Arthritis in my left shoulder which is impenging on my bursa. I'm getting ready to have it scoped so that I can have some relief. I also have Bursitis, Tendenitis and Degenerative Joint disease in them both. I also have an ulnar neuropathy in my left arm which was picked up on an EMG study. I'm wondering if this is what is going on in your case. The reason I'm wondering is because your symptoms are simular to mine. I also went to therapy and it ony aggitated my symptoms. I had the sharp shooting pain down my arm into my thumb. It sometimes makes my pinky numb too though. Do you get severe spasms up under your shoulder blade? Or pain up under your shoulder blade? Also do you have any other symptoms such as burning between the shoulder blades in your muscles there? The reason I ask is because, if so this could be related to nerve problems associated to the neck. I have nerve degeneration in my C-6/7 level with axonal neuropathy. So, I also have shoulder pain with that as well. So, I have to be able to seperate the two. Hope I was some what helpful

Old 01-06-2006, 03:42 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
munsterman HB User
Re: shoulder problem

zephyrqueen hi how are you? You have frightened me now with all that stuff. Im only 26 , do you mind me asking how old you are? Are these injuries you have due to any particular injury or overuse of the shoulder? Is it an age related thing?

Ya my pain varies from a pain just below the shoulder in the arm or radiates down the arm to above my elbow , just at my wrist or into my thumb or index finger.

Kayak rolling has the potential to put huge strain on left shoulder and my neck. I am convinced I did it kayaking and then aggravated it even further which brought it too a head. I remebr the day it happened, I tired to roll a boat which was unknown to me, full of water, this would have put huge strain om my shoulder and neck

Your right my chiro thinks its my neck/spine joints may be slighty out of line. then again my physio said spine/posture.

Doesnt explain the pain I know have in my midand low back and radiating down into my leg on same side. I wonder could this be just due to the intense physio I had on my spine.? and the fact that im very inactive since?????

Have pain in behind my shoulder balde alright thats where the physio originally went at and said it got inflammed and hot when she treated it.

I wonder is the doctor right though. Is there a small strain of the AC joint. This would explain the pain in top of arm (delta muscle) and behind my shoulder baldes and mid back (trapeziss). The pain agian in these places is more of a sharp pain than an ache

I have excellent movement, no restrictions.
Had a bllod test at work yesterday anyway so that should rule out anything untoward like spinal cancer.

Bit of a sick tummy too last few days but guess thats just after xmas overeating lol

Old 01-06-2006, 05:13 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Virginia
Posts: 70
IngyW68 HB User
Re: shoulder problem

Hi there,

I am a 37yr old female who likes to lead a very active life. Love kayaking but have never done any fast water. Love to rapell, do photography, travel, and was in the fire dept. for 8 years. No, this isn't a singles ad I am happily married, just mentioning some things that I used to love before my neck, shoulder/scapula pain and what could cause these issues.

I just had my second cervical fusion on Dec. 12th since my first one in 2001 did not fuse at all on one level. They used bone from my hip on the first surgery but not this one thankfully.

I have had Right shoulder/scapula pain for about two years that has gotten progressively worse and my Pain Mgmt. doctor has ignored this and only addressed my neck so I am now in your position of finding an answer and went to an Orthopaedic on Wednesday and he did x-rays and is sending me for an MRI which I will get next Tuesday. He thinks it might be rotator cuff.

My most pain are top of shoulder, down the outside to the elbow and there is a hard lump on the top of the scapula that is excruciating when touched. (I only just found this a few days ago when I was rubbing my shoulder) I also have extreme pain in my throracic spine and mid scapula and my shoulder actually looks like it's double jointed and moves in many more positions with a poppint/crunching sound that my left shoulder doesn't do.

Not trying to scare you in any way but just letting you know that a blood test will not rule out a spinal cancer or bone cancer. That would be seen on MRI's CAT scans... Blood cell counts are usually for leukemia type cancers.

Now, please know that this is very rare but it has certainly crossed my mind as well because of this hard bone-like lump I have but most likely not this.

I am also seeing a Spine Specialist on the 24th since they are hard to get into see and would recommend this for you in case you have thoracic issues or cervical spine issues. That way you can rule that out and if it is something that is just a shoulder issue than an Ortho can handle.

I personally don't recommend a Chiro because if you have a disc problem, this could make it worse by manipulation and do more damage. Just my opinion...

What tests have you gotten done?? X-rays, MRI's???

My pain is also really bad at night and makes it hard to sleep..

It definitely could be the lack of activity causing your leg pain. I do some interesting streches that really help and stretch the hamstring and sciatic nerve from sitting so much after my surgery.

I will pray that you find a quick answer and get the appropriate treatment. Also be careful of having too many cortisone shots as they can be harmful with too much steriods in your muscles.

Hope that I helped some with my shoulder story and feel free to write back and please keep us updated on your progress.

Many blessings,

Old 01-07-2006, 06:49 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 164
zephyrqueen HB User
Re: shoulder problem

First off I'm only 36. I did play a lot of softball and was very ACTIVE!!! I'm not now due to spinal issues. That could be some of it but the other could be heriditary. Don't know. If I were a horse I'd been shot by now. LOL! I agree with Ingy about the Chiro. People have suggested this to me but for the same reason, I do not go. I have bulging disks and my L-5 is gone. I'm currently waiting for artificial disk replacment now. Wouldn't be a good idea for someone poping my vertebra. Also my bone density in my lumbar region is low. Anyway.............
I think they need to rule out any possible rotator cuff tear first. Anything like that. Usually that would be picked up on an MRI. You seem to have good range of motion. I do to , most of the time....except when my left one is empenged. Do you have any burning in your shoulder? You can develope early bursitis or tendenitis in your shoulder with extreme repetive sports. I was told this by my PT years ago. Since I did play softball...........I pitched. I also, rockclimbed, wieght trained 6 days a week. It was bound to happen. Since your having radicular pain down your arm, I'd make sure your doc runs and EMG. Just to be on the safe side. To make sure your neck's not envolved. Since you are so active and young. Wouldn't want to damage anything any furter. Keep us posted.

Old 01-07-2006, 02:58 PM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
munsterman HB User
Re: shoulder problem

Ingy ,

The lump on your shoulder would suggests an AC joint injury from the knowledge I have of it anyway. But guess your doctor will know more when he gets the MRI.
All i've had is a thourough examination by my doctor last week and he seemed quite confident it was AC joiny trouble. Havent visited him to often but he hhast set me wrong yet.
I havent had any trouble sleeping really. I am convinved I did it kayaking or at least aggravated it kayaking from the simple pain in my upper arm to the pain from my shoulder to my fingers after a days kayaking.
whats makes me concerned is why I am now having pain down firther in my back and down into my leg at times.


No burning between my shoulders. some pain just under and to the side of my shoulder.

Originally I thought and poeple advised me that it must be a trapped nerve or something like that. Both docs ive seen have bent me this way and that and dont seem to think I have any spinal trouble.

Am determined to get this sorted though. By the end of next week if this iusnt any better cos of steriod injection im straight back to doctor

Old 01-09-2006, 07:07 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 164
zephyrqueen HB User
Re: shoulder problem

I think that would be advisable. You could just have a nerve traped there at the elbow. They can give you some techniques at PT called radial glides to help that situation, if in fact that is what it is. At any rate your doctor should get a full history on you. I wanted to make sure to tell you mention to him what you told me. Make sure you tell him about the time you pushed over the kayak that had the water in it and your neck was sore. You don't want to leave anything out. The doctors always like to know things like this especially when it comes to diagnosing. This helps them out a lot. They always ask if you injured yourself. In my case, if did not. Mine is just repetive wear over time. I am curious to know what the outcome is though, so let us know. I'm wondering if it's the AC as Ingy pointed out or the Labrum. ??? Take care.

Old 01-09-2006, 05:01 PM   #8
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 224
Josie115 HB User
Re: shoulder problem

I've learned more about shoulders this last year than I ever ever wanted and I used to think the back stuff was bad. I've had ddd, spondy, spurs, etc. NO surgery, osteo arthritis etc. etc. I had a bad ski injury last winter, broke my humerus at the greater tuberosity...that had to heal for six weeks and then assess any other damage. Ended up with torn rotator cuff and torn labrum..The rotator cuff and labrum tears don't often show up on mri.. possibly with contrast..mine did show up so we knew what was going about PAIN.. I couldn't sleep except sitting up, propped up on pillows and even the good side wouldn't work. It's now almost 10 months. PT through the spring once the bone healed..have to try to keep rom..but in the process I froze up. Frozen shoulder is a whole nother issue..good thing you haven't had that happen. It is a disease in itself and I am also diabetic which predisposes one. I also tore a tendon in my hand and that was operated on in July..was going to have shoulder surgery and decided after the 3rd opinion to cancell it. There is great debate on what to do, when to do it and how to proceed.. My shoulder aches.. deep, constant ache through and around and under the shoulder blade, plus down the arm. It crunches and sticks and I am just now thawing out and getting some rom back. I could not raise my arm to my head, could not reach behind me to tuck in a shirt and I'm a shooter so, my right arm shooting was out of the question. (Although before I froze up I did shoot 300 rounds in a competition about 4 days after the injury).. I would suggest that anyone suffering shoulder pain like you all are describing keep looking for a orthopedic sports doc who if they say surgery does a arthoscopic first. That is really the only way to be able to see what's going on and they can clean up any debris at that point. You can have a combo of things going on and if you've done pitching..overhead stuff..falling on outstreathed arm, rolling a kayak can do a variety of things..the acl joint and the tendonitis issues..yeah.. and the muscle spasms from H*ll.. I feel like I have a knob on my back up on my's a muscle cramp. For me, I'm not sure what Ill do because I am deathly afraid of another frozen shoulder..can't really stand this though and I'm on tons of pain's at least let me sleep, work, and do some of the things I like to do. Long time coming back..

As far as the back goes and the cervical spine area...the nerves and referred pain from that is certainly a consideration and can be a part of the problem. the shoulder is the most complicated joint in the body so..hard to isolate one problem from the next. Get good help, get second and third opinions and then don't do aything that doesn't feel right.

Old 02-13-2006, 04:40 PM   #9
Mary Anne9998
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Dresden OH
Posts: 386
Mary Anne9998 HB User
Re: shoulder problem

I have had pain like you describe on and off for several years. I mentioned it to the doc again in Dec and he started me on PT. I told them the first visit that I thought it was rotator cuff. After three weeks of PT, they determined that it was indeed a torn rotator cuff. I go Thursday for the MRI finally. Kills me all this hurry up and wait stuff. I am to a point that I can't sleep at night for the pain. Started out half way between my elbow and shoulder, and after PT is now in the joint of my shoulder and behind my arm, just far enough that if you try to put your left hand back behind your right arm, which the therapist said is part of the rotator muscle. Same with the pressure point on top of the shoulder by the neck. I am constantly putting my hand up there and rubbing to no avail of relief. Ice and then moist heat helps. I had a friend that had it(we both work for the postal service) and they say it is a common complaint of people like us that have repetitve jobs. Anyway it was instant relief for her so am hoping it is for me as well.

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