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    Old 06-17-2004, 05:01 PM   #1
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    seveppa HB User
    wondering about aching left arm

    My upper left arm is aching. The pain is like a cramp or aching muscle and seems to be isolated in my deltoid muscle. It is not radiating or affecting any other part of my arm. I have had this ache before but I am beginning to wonder what could be causing it and what could help it. Normal pain relief does not seem to touch it. I have not done anything particularily steneous today; however, i do have carpal tunnel in both hands and some problems with arthritis. It sometimes hurts to lift my arm, especially over my head. has anyone else experienced anything like this? I am a 42 yr old female with no serious health conditions. I would appreciate any feedback.

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    Old 06-18-2004, 04:04 AM   #2
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    Laurie2 HB User
    Re: wondering about aching left arm

    It sounds like arthritis in the joint there. but it could also be impingement from an old traumatic rotator cuff injury too. There are many reasons why your shoulder is hurting like that. One place that helped me understand is from the "American Academy of Family Physicians" website about management of "Shoulder Impingement Syndrome and Rotator Cuff Tears".


    It goes into how the doctor checks for any possible impingement with good clear photos of the methods used to diagnose the problem, possible causes (...including Osteoarthritis of the joint), anatomy of what the shoulder looks like and so on. Not a commerical site, by the way and written in 1998. At least you will have some idea what might be going on.

    I have both some arthritis, impingement and an old traumatic RC tear that was my problem. Only found out about the latter when overexercising one semester while taking a college women's strength class (lifting). Some latent weakness with my left while lifting was causing some frustration ...although I did manage to build the strength to match my dominate right. But my other symptoms was having some pain twinges from the front of my shoulder when crossing with my left to touch my right shoulder. Not being able to reach behind my head to my back as well as I could with my right. Or bringing up my left behind my back as high when trying to reach an "itch". My left shoulder would hurt if I slept on that side afterwhile. When lifting moderately heavy weights, my left arm still lagged a couple of reps behind my right and was always "just" abit weaker. Even though I did build it up to nearly match my right in strength. Lateral (side shoulder) raises HURT to do them. My instructor told me this exercise should be dropped for that reason and I did. Figured it was just arthritis.

    Over the years, I had lost some flexibility and was very overweight. Took the classes to lose bodyfat and regain flexibility. Did both but had been taking two classes a day one semester and over exerciseing. This caused some tendonitis to form. I knew I had some arthritis in that shoulder but my family doctor also figured it might an impingement problem. So he ordered a MRI.

    The MRI did show an old traumatic Rotator Cuff tear in the front Supraspinatus tendon and I have a type II acromion. The orthopedic doctor figured the tear was from an old fall and not from lifting. Many people, he said, could have one and never know it...especially at my age then ( I am 52) No surgery was needed and would be worse for me if I did. I just had to pull back on my poundages, rest abit and do some alternative shoulder exercises. Learned to include Rotator cuff exercises to help that area.

    There was an impingement and another reason for the tendonitis. Went to an accupuncturist for the initial pain and rested the shoulder for a few weeks.

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