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Severe pain in the shoulder after an injury. Pain radiating to neck, back and wrist. Symptoms persisting after taking Ibuprofen, prednisone and mobic

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I injured my right shoulder 2 months ago when lifting a heavy object. I have always worked out and had good arm strength even though I am 46 year old female. The pain has gradually worsened and now there is sharp sometimes throbbing pain in the front. The pain radiates to different areas - back and side of shoulder, down the arm and wrist and even towards the neck. Have already visited primary physician - did icing, ibuprofen, then prednisone. Now taking mobic once per day. However, symptoms keep worsening.
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 53 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
After going through the description provided by you, I feel that you might be suffering with Tendonitis and Tenosynovitis which are both types of tendon injury. They can often occur together.

Tendonitis means inflammation of a tendon and tenosynovitis means inflammation of the sheath that surrounds a tendon. The main symptoms are pain, tenderness and sometimes swelling of the affected part of the tendon.

In addition to x-ray, the investigation of choice for soft tissue injuries of such sort is MRI scan which tells us the degree of damage or any degeneration of the tendon.

Here are some general treatment measures which you can follow:
1) Provide complete rest and avoid overhead activities.

2) Apply cold compresses and take some anti inflammatory pain killer as you are already taking.

3) You may use a splint or a removable brace to help keep the tendons still.

If the symptoms are severe then after confirming the diagnosis by MRI, you may need steroid injections or surgical release of tendons(kept as last resort). Before that, shockwave therapy that allows the shockwaves to be passed through your skin to the affected area can be tried but it should be done under local anesthesia as it is painful.

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Severe pain in the shoulder after an injury. Pain radiating to neck, back and wrist. Symptoms persisting after taking Ibuprofen, prednisone and mobic 2 hours later
I haven't had any diagnostic tests at this point. I am scheduled to go back to my primary physician on May 18th. My main concern right now is the increasing pain. Is it common for the pain to continue to increase before things start to heal? Also, what is the normal timeframe for a condition like this to resolve itself?

Thank you,
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 6 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
The pain will continue if you do not provide adequate rest and support to the affected area. After adequate rest, the inflammation will subside and things will start healing.
If adequate treatment and physiotherapy are given then usually the symptoms are relieved in 4-6 weeks.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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