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Why am I having pain in the shoulder which started when working?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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Hello my left shoulder suddenly started hurting while I was at work. I have limited mobility and it is ferry tender to touch at the top of my arm in the fold. I did some exercising but it wasn't an arms workout. I ran and did AB work. Any ideas it is really painful
Posted Thu, 2 May 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 2 hours later
Thanks for your query. Three points are important to be taken into consideration when thinking of the possibilities in your case. These are your age and the pain in the shoulder which started when working and the work / activity which suddenly aggravated the condition.

There are a group of muscles and tendons which form a covering around the head of your upper arm bone and attach it to your shoulder blade. This group is collectively called the rotator cuff muscles and from your symptoms the possibility of rotator cuff tendonitis is more likely. This is found in young or middle aged people and while doing activities like swimming, tennis, baseball, paper hanging, construction, or painting (which is there in your case). The other possibility is of shoulder bursitis which can cause similar symptoms.

It causes local swelling and tenderness in the front of the shoulder and initially it presents as minor pain from the front of the shoulder to the side of the arm but gradually it causes severe pain and loss of motion.

You need to get an MRI scan done which is a more sensitive test for soft tissue and muscular injuries .
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 after consulting your doctor.

If the symptoms are severe then after confirming the diagnosis by MRI, you may need steroid injections or surgical arthroscopic technique (kept as last resort).

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries. Wishing you good health.
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