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Shoulder clicking, pain in arms, elbows, sore wrists, not injured, pain in muscles on waking up. Causes ?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
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my shoulder joint will click (bone on bone) aching arms and elbows,no strength in hands and wrists are sore as well.
I just woke up with these symptoms one morning,I have not hurt myself,or injured myself playing sport.
its been about 3 weeks now,when I go to bed its the worst,I wake up with my muscles in my upper arms aching like a tooth ache.I have an appointment to see a doctor on 12th Oct,I can't get there any sooner due to work commitiments.
Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 39 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

You have provided with good history, but I would like to know few more things to suggest you better.

1. Do you have the shoulder and wrist problem present on both sides?

2. Do you have any skin rash?

3. Do you get fever, body pain?

4. Do you have any back pain?

5. Do any other joints in the body hurt?

6. Do your finger joints pain in the morning?

According to your history you seem to be having possible arthritic changes in the involved joints.

Usually due to age and wear and tear, many joints become less mobile and also become painful to move. Depending on the type of presentation, the type of arthritis can be found out.

Since you mentioned larger joints being involved, it's possible it could be related to wear and tear due to excessive use like Osteoarthritis. Other possibility could be due to pinching of the nerves in the neck due to cervical spine spondylosis which can also cause muscle pains.

You can take pain killers like Paracetamol/Acetaminophen under medical supervision for relief of the pain for now. If possible apply pain relieving gels like Diclofenac gel or any pain relieving balms will do. Avoid lifting heavy weights. Get proper rest and sleep.

Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol as they can increase gastric acidity.

You need to consult with an Orthopaedician to get a thorough clinical evaluation to rule out arthritis, frozen shoulder which can be common in your case. X-rays will usually be ordered. Sometimes blood tests to look for particular type of arthritis like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus may be ordered as well.

I hope I have answered your query.

Awaiting your reply with the answers to my questions to guide you better.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Shoulder clicking, pain in arms, elbows, sore wrists, not injured, pain in muscles on waking up. Causes ? 1 hour later
Hello Doctor, yes both arms, no rash,yes fingers on left hand worse than right,
when i make a fist (left hand) the big finger pain runs up to (nearly to ) my elbow.
mainly the left shoulder is the one that clicks the most.
the pain in my muscles is short and sharp, very intense for 5 /10 seconds.
no back pain,no fever
the pain in the wrist seems to come from the bone ,the bone that stands out on the right wrist,there is the same bone on the left wrist but that is not hurting.
the main point is that I just woke up with these pains 1 day,
I had no symptoms 1 day, and then the next day i wake up it was like this.
I have had some pain killers Difelene 50mg,they were of little help.
the pain will wake me up when I am asleep.I am right handed.the pain in my upper arms seems to me to come from the muscles,thath wher it feels it is coming problems with appetite,I am eating well.
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 37 minutes later

Thanks for replying.

According to the history, it could be due to nerve pain. Possibly due to injury or inflammation at the neck region since it is on both sides.

You can try taking Nervigen-P under medical supervision as this has a pain killer for nerve pain, but ideally it would be best to consult your Doctor and get tested for this possibility first before starting this medication.

Pain in the fingers could point to possible muscular or arthritis pain but more in favour of muscular because sudden presentation without any joint stiffness or decreased joint movement capacity.

Do get an Electrocardiogram (ECG) to rule out possible heart pain because even heart pain like angina can present with just shoulder and arm pain as well. Better to be safe and get it done as well.

Do get a thorough evaluation which can include nerve conduction studies and accordingly the treatment will be administered.

I hope, I have answered your query.

Wish you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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