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What is the remedy for shoulder pain?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 43 Questions
I am 26 years old female and my shoulder/upper back has been feeling like it is on fire and very tight. I have gotten massages to ease the tension, but it is still some of the worse shoulder pain that I have felt. I threw out my shoulder a few years ago in karate. Currently I am studying for the bar exam, so I have I have been sitting in front of my computer studying and doing practice exams for 12-14 hours a day. I am slightly over weight, my bmi 31.5. I work out 3-5 days a week on an elliptical machine, or do stair runs. I am 5'10", 220lb. I need to find a remedy for my shoulder pain because all things I have been doing when it normally flares up are not helping, and neither is taking pain killers all the time to try to mask the pain.
Posted Fri, 27 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Sangeet 9 hours later

Thanks for your query.

You seem to be disabled with your shoulder pain. The past injury to your shoulder could very well be linked to this issue. Kindly go through your previous medical reports and let me know if it was a pure dislocation of your shoulder or was it a fracture dislocation.

Either of these can produce long term effects to your shoulder which should be addressed to in its early stages. Depending upon the type of injury you had, I would advise you to go for an X-ray or an MRI to know the changes around your shoulder region.

In my opinion, it could be a setting of early osteoarthritis (wear and tear) of the shoulder. If neglected now, it can worsen. So I would suggest you to go back and check your records and give me the exact diagnosis.

With respect to the current symptoms, I would advise not to continue vigorous exercises during flare ups. Ice fomentation will be of help. You can continue gentle passive movements of the shoulder as advised by your physiotherapist. If not, please avoid karate practise till this problem is sorted out.

However, you need to visit an Orthopedician at the earliest to diagnose the cause of pain.

Please get back to me with your diagnosis and if possible the previous MRI/ Xray report too @ YYYY@YYYY with the subject: ATTN 'Dr Sangeet'. And please do confirm sending of the reports by writing here as to reply you back at the earliest.

I hope my response was satisfactory. I will follow up your further queries.

Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What is the remedy for shoulder pain? 1 hour later
After writing my question last night and trying to get to sleep, I realized I misspoke and this is the shoulder I did not injure in the past. My current exercise routine does not include karate anymore, but rather is just an elliptical machine and/or stair runs for cardio.

The pain seems to be at its worse while I am at my computer, with little or no pain if I am doing almost anything else.
Answered by Dr. Sangeet 13 hours later
Hello again,

Thanks for writing back.

If the pain is from your opposite shoulder, I guess its coming from your neck (cervical spine). The neck bone gives off nerves from the spinal cord to your shoulder, arms and hands. Its compression at any site could cause pain radiating down to your shoulder.

This pain could also be related to your sitting pattern as one of the most common causes of upper back pain in the youth is bad posture, often due to long hours in front of the computer.

A careful examination of your cervical spine by an Orthopedician along with X-rays and if needed, MRI should sort out the issue.

Avoid painkillers over a long term. Use it wisely.

For exaggerated pain, use warm water bags- this will reduce your muscle spasm (contraction) and pain gels or sprays.
Keep moving your spine to the maximum limits once in every hour to keep it flexible.
Get Vitamin B capsules prescribed. It works over the long term.

However, a clinical assessment of your problem is the best approach to your problem. Hence, please visit your Orthopedician at the earliest. Once the diagnosis is made, its treatable.

Thank you.

Hope my response was satisfactory and precise. i will be available to follow up your queries.

Don't worry and all the best for your exams. Wish you good health.
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