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Severe pain in shoulder, neck, arms. No breathing problem. Chest x-ray clear. Arthritis?

Previously, when I would get paid behind my left shoulder , I knew I was getting a cold or lung infection. I have since being going to a naturopath and have breathed better than I have in years. Over the last couple of years I have had no problem with my lungs or breathing . Recently I am getting the same type of pain, but much more severe, and now it seems the pain radiates to my shoulder and up my neck. I have been for massage and physio which seems to help for a bit, but is still very painful. I am having pain now down my arms to my elbows. Please help. My doctor seems to think it s arthritis . I have had a chest x-ray and he says my lungs are clear.
Asked On : Tue, 26 Mar 2013
Answers:  2 Views:  23
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement 's  Response
Jul 2013
Hi, thanks for writing to HCM.

Your description suggests that you have CERVICAL DISC DISEASE producing typical symptoms of pain in the neck,shoulders,arms and radiating into elbows.

This is generally due to a protruding cervical disc causing pressure or compression over the nerve root.

The initial management for this problem would be as follows -
Rest : A collar will prevent unguarded movement; A soft cervical collar is advisable. However, it seldom needs to be worn for more than a week or two.

Medicines: Analgesic are needed in the acute phase. Muscle relaxants are essential for relieving muscle spasms which follow acute 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. Ice, moist heat application can be tried.

If the symptoms do not resolve with the above measures, consult an orthosurgeon and follow his advice.

Hope this information is helpful. Good day
Answered: Sat, 13 Jul 2013
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General & Family Physician Dr. S. Jegadeesan's  Response
The pain you are complaining need not have any connection with your lungs or breathing. The area of your pain has only one joint (shoulder joint) - shoulder joint arthritis will not have pain similar to what you have. You can also take x-ray shoulder joint including scapula to rule out arthritis.
Your pain needs an MRI cervical spine. The result will reveal the possible cause of pain. Take treatment accordingly.
Best wishes
Answered: Sat, 13 Jul 2013
I find this answer helpful
Disclaimer: These answers are for your information only and not intended to replace your relationship with your treating physician.
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