Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
177 Doctors are Online

Having pain in shoulder, elbow and neck. Feeling like severe torn muscle. Any ideas?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10460 Questions
I have dull persistent pain in my left shoulder for the last 10 days. It starts at the "top" & back side of the shoulder...moves down the back of my left arm...and ends about the elbow. Over the last 3 days, the pain is now also in the side of my neck on the left side. When I move, i can make the pain worse or better. If i lean my head back, the pain on the upper arm & shoulder gets worse. Turn my head to the right...the pain gets worse "behind my left shoulder blade & outside of my left arm". If I pull my left arm across my body, it hepls some as it feels like i am "stretching the shoulder out". Letting my arm hang down at my side makes the pain increase somewhat. Putting my arm over my head & resting my forearm on top of my head makes the pain lessen. Grabbing a bar above my head with my left arm & pulling down also seems to help "stretch" the muscles back out and lessens the pain a little. It feels like a severe torn muscle, but it is not getting better with rest...The pain is getting worse each day. Ideas?
Posted Tue, 16 Oct 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.
From the symptoms that you have described, it seems to be Rotator cuff tendonitis or shoulder impingement syndrome which causes irritation and inflammation of the rotator cuff and the bursa.
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 commonly found in people who do activities like swimming, tennis, baseball, badminton, paper hanging, construction, or painting.
It causes local swelling and tenderness in the front of the shoulder and initially it presents as minor pain 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. An Orthopedician is the best person to be consulted.
Here are some general treatment measures which you can follow:
1) Provide complete rest and avoid all painful 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).

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
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Medical Procedures
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask an Orthopaedic Surgeon

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor