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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

tight/tense shoulder muscles from rsd in lower arm...

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Old 06-10-2004, 10:11 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Coffeyville, KS
Posts: 275
msdrea83 HB User
Question tight/tense shoulder muscles from rsd in lower arm...

ok so as most of you know, or don't know, i have rsd in my left arm from like my elbow down. it pretty much stops at my wrist (as far as pain goes), but i get swelling and temp. changes in my hand/fingers. when i was in p.t. they said that i was using my muscles in my shoulder when i'd do simple tasks with mu hand to try to subconciously create less pain while doing things like pick things up, hold things, etc. so they had me do simple exercises to retrain my hand to "work normal" again so my shoulder, right below my shoulder blade and the top part by my neck wouldn't tense up and get so tight, cause by the end of the day it'd hurt just as much as my arm almost. so i'd do the exercises, and they'd massage out my shoulder like every other day since it'd be like one huge knot. but eventually it'd stop getting all tense like that. well i'm still doing the exercises, about 2-3 times a weeks now, not every other day since i work and i've built up the muslces already, and they've been used to working right again for sometime now. but in the last week or 2 my shoulder has been killing me again. i started doing the exercises more frequently again, and that hasn't helped. does anybody have any suggestions? i don't know if its from my hand this time... i have been having more frequent spasms, and i do take baclofen for them, which does calm them down. both me and my mom were thinking a while back that a muscle ewlaxer might help this, like the spasms make my shoulder tense up, and since i'm only supposed to take the baclofen 3 times a day.... i don't know, that was just something she brought up the other day again, so i thought i'd through that out there, and see what kind of ideas you guys could give me to try and help my with my shoulder, i really don't think its spreading, cause i mostly feel it at night, like after i'm done being on the go, and i try to relax, i just can't. my boyfriend will massage my shoulders/back everynight, it'll help my left shoulder a little but not too much, it just won't stop being all tense. can anyone suggest something? i do see the new pm on the 21st, so i'll definately bring it up with him, but for the mean time, i'm looking to all of your wonderful wise minds out there! i hope you all are doing and feeling well, let me know what ya think! thanks~

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Old 06-11-2004, 06:19 PM   #2
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Location: NY
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sharon1030 HB User
Smile Re: tight/tense shoulder muscles from rsd in lower arm...

Hi Andrea,

Have you tried putting heat on your neck and shoulder? That might help. If you put heat on and then do your exercises, it might help to relax and loosen them. Are the exercises to stretch or to strengthen? Once in a while, I get tightness in my neck where I can't move my head back and forth. My P.T. gave me an exercise to do to help stretch it and it works like a charm! Maybe you can go back to your P.T. and see if they can give you something like that. Hope it feels better soon.


Old 06-12-2004, 10:49 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Coffeyville, KS
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msdrea83 HB User
Re: tight/tense shoulder muscles from rsd in lower arm...

thanks for the suggestions sharon , but i've been heating. and while i was in PT and my shoulder did this my PT gave me stretching exercises to do before i did the strengthening. which is why i don't understand why i'm getting like this.... i work at a day spa so i think next week i'm gonna get a massage done on my back, shoulders, neck and see if she can work on my arm a little bit like the PT did. so we'll see.... I hope that works, if not I know it'll feel good!

Old 06-12-2004, 01:27 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Durango, Colorado
Posts: 1,432
Jewel2 HB User
Re: tight/tense shoulder muscles from rsd in lower arm...

Hi Andrea,
I've been dealing with compensation pain in my elbow and shoulder during this whole ordeal. For the shoulder I hold my bad arm out straight to the side, then tip my head toward my other shoulder and slightly tipped forward, then slowly bring my arm down and across the front of my body for a nice stretch. If your boyfriend can slowly stretch out the muscle while you are doing this it is even better. I take ibuprofen with some caffeine when mine really hurts.

I think the massage is a great idea - both physically and emotionally!

Take care,

Old 06-15-2004, 11:19 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: LA USA
Posts: 169
brighteyes_007 HB User
Wink Re: tight/tense shoulder muscles from rsd in lower arm...


I have RSD affecting my left arm, shoulder, arm , and hand. I have very little use of my left hand.

My neck muscles and down the left side of my back are always tense.
Nobody seems to know why but they are. Alot of times the pain from there is equal to or exceeds that of the RSD.

I understand what you are going through.

I dont take much medication by choice because I don't wanna live as a zombie but recently I have had some really bad episodes and have been taking a good bit of pain meds.

Wishing you well and God Bless,


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