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Upper/mid back problems w. Shoulder issue

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Old 09-30-2012, 12:57 PM   #1
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Upper/mid back problems w. Shoulder issue

Hi! My names Ashley, I'm 24 and obese (195). Before you read on, I want to make note that I have a big chest and most of my weight is in my mid section. In January, 2012, I started having worse back (low/mid/upper)pain and IBS issues, which I was seeing a chiropractor 3x a week for about 5 months. He helped SOMEWHAT but didn't really fix the issue, per-say. I kept having subluxations in my thoracic spine, which he couldn't exactly figure out why. He thought it was PERHAPS because of my sleeping positions (I tend to flip flop around a lot) and because I kept subluxating, it was causing me muscle spasms and such. I was overweight at the time (226.8) and I've so far lost 30 pounds (started my healthy lifestyle change June 3rd, 2012). My IBS has gotten under control and my back doesn't hurt as nearly as bad as it did 30 pounds heavier, though for the past 4 1/2 months I've been dealing with right shoulder aches that come and go. There was a point in between those 4 1/2 months that my shoulder pain was at bay, but until recently it's been bothering me a bit more, but not with increasing pain. Of course I wanted to try to self diagnose the culprit behind my shoulder pain, and all I kept getting was "the first signs of lung cancer is right shoulder pain". Now I've been freaking out for almost a week thinking for sure I have lung cancer, as I also have random (not as often though) aches in my right knee and I've always kinda had a chronic cough (I seem to have nasal drip a lot, especially after I eat, regardless if it's hot or not.) I got so nervous the other day that instead of going to my vocal lessons, I went straight to an immediate walk in clinic, where they took blood tests (they came back all fine) and scheduled me next week for X-rays of my shoulder and lungs. The doctor didn't really calm my nerves when I asked him "could this be a sign of lung cancer" as he looked at me and said "yeah, it can be". My face literally dropped and he asked me to lay on my stomach (to check for gallbladder issues). I couldn't stop myself from asking him "Do you think that's a possibility for MY shoulder pain" and he said "No, I highly doubt it". I kinda just wished that after he said it could be a sign, that he would of followed up with the "I doubt you could have it". He did tell me that my shoulder seems to have muscle spasms (I also have mid back muscle spasms, and any type of ache I get in my body usually is right sided) and that could be because of the back issues I deal with. I'm just hoping I don't have cancer. I'm scared to death about taking these X-rays and them telling me I have a mass or something. If anyone has ever had a scare like this or has unfortunately happen to been diagnosed with lung cancer, could you tell me more about it? If you had shoulder pain, was it a constant pain? What type (dull, aching, sharp)? Were there any times that the shoulder pain went away for a few days and reappeared? For those that have read this, thanks for taking the time out. I hope I can get some answers.

Last edited by adbukovsky; 09-30-2012 at 01:02 PM.

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Old 10-06-2012, 11:14 PM   #2
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Re: Upper/mid back problems w. Shoulder issue

I too am suffering from pain in the right arm and shoulder. I have been having it for 3 months. I finally went to the dr. last week. She ave me a shot for bursitis in the shoulder but also told me that I had two issues going on. The first was the bursitis but the second was that I had a extremely tight trapezius muscle and it was spasming. She said when it is spasming, it will contract and the entire area is affected. She even said that the steroid shot for the bursitis may not even work as the spasm was also affection the arm and shoulder. (I also have a sinus infection and I was put on antibiotics/I tell you this because you said you were coughing and had post nasal drip so that also sounds the same). I have no fears of lung cancer and think that it is good that you are being checked out but I doubt that is what it is. There is a saying that when you hear hooves, you look for horses not zebras. I hope you get it under control. I use a heating pad when I am in bed. I don't sleep well. I am hoping this is over soon for me too.

Old 10-07-2012, 09:01 AM   #3
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Re: Upper/mid back problems w. Shoulder issue

Of course I am not a doctor, so I cant' diagnose you, but I really doubt you have lung cancer. Do you even smoke? I know one doesnt have to smoke to get this, but it certainly increases the chance. I would think it would more likely be a muscle or tendon thing. However, it could also be due to impingment in your neck somewhere. At least, that is usually the first thing that comes to mind for me.

I had a long time (and it still recurs) where I delevoped massive, excruciating left shoulder pain. Sometimes my right shoulder was also involved. It started several years while I was also having severe low back pain. My rheumatologist sent me for MRIs and x-rays of my low back and I was diagnosed & ended up having surgery for disc herniations and lumbar stenosis a couple years later. At one point during my low back pains, I developed this severe pain in my neck and mostly my left shoulder. The spasms got so bad that even my arms, hands, face, and neck were spasming. In my neck, it felt like someone was trying to choke me or wring my neck. I kept telling my Rheum about it, but he just would not send me for tests on my neck area. He knew all about my low back issues and urged me to have surgery, but just wouldnt check into my neck/shoulder symptoms. One point he saw my hands in spasms and said it looked like tetany. He knew what was wrong w/ my low back, but didnt' think anything could be wrong in my neck as well!!???!!?? He actually diagnosed me w/ fibromyalgia and kept giving me tons of lidocaine injections in my shoulders, neck, and all down my spine. It killed getting all those needles stuck into rock hard spasming muscles and made them spasm even more. Well, needless to say, I ended up stopping going there. A few yrs later I had to see a new Pain management doc...he sent me for new low back x-rays and well as for my neck. FINALLY someone was checking my neck. Well, there it was....cervical stenosis, several herniations, and one massive herniation causing myelopathy. This is what was causing all my shoulder and neck pain. I should really have surgery on my neck now, but I just cant afford it.

Just wanted to let you know that your issue could be due to herniations or some other compression in your neck (cervical spine). Of course it could also be muscle/tendon related, sore, etc...but if it's been causing you pain for several weeks and not getting better, or is getting worse, you should really ask about having an MRI on your neck. It really is something how many areas of your body can be affected from an impinged nerve in your spine.

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