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Having pain in pectoral muscle, shoulder blade, upper arm. Tried hot, cold massage therapy. Suggest?

Hi, I have been experiencing pain for about 4 months now which started in what I thought was my pectoral muscle. I thought it was a strain or tear but it worsened and I began to feel pain in my shoulder blade and then my upper arm . Now it is extremely tight and painful in my shoulder/bicep area. I can barely lift my arm without feeling a shooting pain that occasionally goes all the way to my hand . I have tried heat, cold, massage therapy and nothing has helped. Any thoughts on what it could be?
Asked On : Sun, 3 Mar 2013
Answers:  2 Views:  42
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement 's  Response
Feb 2014
Thanks for writing to us
What you are experiencing is called 'Radiculopathy'. It basically suggests entrapment of a nerve root in your cervical spine in its origin or course.

If it has been persistent or even increasing since few days, you need to visit your orthopaedician. Depending upon the clinical findings they might ask you to get an MRI done, which shall help establish a diagnosis and in turn allow one to formulate a treatment plan.

I do hope that you have found something helpful and I will be glad to answer any further query.
Answered: Tue, 27 Aug 2013
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad's  Response
Jul 2013
Hi, thanks for writing to HCM.

Shooting pain down the entire upper limb is most often associated with cervical disc disease wherein a protruded disc might be causing pressure over the nerve root resulting in symptoms.

An MRI scan of the cervical spine helps in establishing the diagnosis.

The treatment guidelines for this condition is as follows -

* Soft Collar: Soft collar allow the muscles of the neck to rest and limit neck motion. This can help decrease pinching of nerve roots with movement. Soft collars should only be worn for short periods of time, because long-term wear can decrease the strength of neck muscles.

* Medicines: Analgesic are needed in the acute phase. Muscle relaxants are essential for relieving muscle spasms once the acute pain subsides. Neurotropic vitamins like METHYLCOBALAMINE (activated Vit B12) or PREGABALIN will help in alleviating the neuropathic pain.

* Cervical traction: may enlarge the disc space, permitting the prolapse to subside. Intermittent cervical traction for not more than 30 minutes at a time. Weight upto 8kg can be added.

* Physiotherapy: Once the acute phase of pain has subsided, Isometric strengthening exercises of the paravertebral muscles are started. Improving neck strength and flexibility with simple exercises may lessen discomfort and pain. Moist heat can be useful

* Epidural steroids: are useful for patients with severe radicular pains in the limbs. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory preparation and so its injections in the "epidural space" can decrease swelling as well as pain.

Hope this information is helpful. Good day
Answered: Tue, 27 Aug 2013
I find this answer helpful
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