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Having pain in shoulders, arms, neck and scapula. Pain increases while eating or coughing. Concerned

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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I have moderate pain in my left shoulder along the top, outside near my arm, and inside toward my neck, and now slightly down my back along my scapula. This has lasted for 3 days and gotten worse as time passes. Each Time I eat, cough, burp, etc the pain increases sharply. I believe this was brought on my heavy pushing and pulling. what is this? Should I go to the emergency room?
Posted Sat, 1 Sep 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Prasad 13 hours later

Thanks for the query.

I see your query has been unattended by the available orthopedicians of this forum which is a rare occurrence. So let me try and answer them on their behalf.

Yes, your symptoms were probably brought on by heavy pushing and pulling. Strenuous exercises very often bring about muscular strains. Further activities may have worsened this pain. I see such events very regularly at my clinic.

If you do not have problems during the movement of the affected shoulder, then I do not think you have caused a major injury. The need to visit the emergency room in such cases depends on the intensity of pain. If the pain is severe, say above 8 on a pain scale, then emergency room visit could be worth it.

If the pain is not such intense, you may consider waiting for few more days. Ice the affected part frequently. Avoid any activities involving the affected shoulder and definitely no physical exercises, pushing and pulling. Anti-inflammatory treatment like topical pain balms application and oral drugs like Advil (ibuprofen) 400mg twice a day after food will give added relief.

You can consult an orthopedic directly / through your local physician if the pain remains despite the above measures. X XXXXXXX of the shoulder and cervical region are entailed.

Hope I answered this query to your satisfaction. Feel free to ask me if you have more concerns; I will be glad to assist you.

To your speedy recovery

Dr. Prasad
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