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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest treatment for severe shoulder pain

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3129 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 8 Jul 2016 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I have had severe shoulder pain for 11 weeks now. The pain is between the round part of my shoulder and inward toward the collar bone. It is in both shoulders. The pain is sharp, stabbing and I never know when it will happen because is seems to come with certain movements of my arm. The pain does radiate down the upper portion of my arms. This came overnight and after a March stomach and intestinal virus in our area.
The day that came to an end, I felt wonderful and when I awoke in the morning I could not move my arms for the pain. No one seems to be able to help me and the pain is becoming unbearable. I am 71 and have been in good health all my life, taking no medications to date. I so long for relief of the pain and to understand what is wrong with both of my shoulders. They are identical in symptoms and pain levels. Thank you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Some suggestions:

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX

I read over your history and then waited to see if a rheumatologist would pick up your question. As none have, I will offer some suggestions:

I don't know if you have seen anyone other than your internist or family medicine physician so far. As your history sounds like it is some sort of post viral neuropathy or post viral rheumatological disorder, I suggest pursuing consults with any or all of the following:

A neurologist
A rheumatologist
An infectious disease/immunology specialist

I suggest that at least for the infectious disease/immunology doctor, you try to see one at a university medical center.

I also suggest that you make appointments with all 3 types of doctors ASAP, as it can take awhile to get in to see these types of specialists. So make appointments now, and you can cancel them if you don't need them.

And consider Acupuncture with a well trained Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner. The best trained are those who were formally trained in China. Acupuncture can be very good for unexplained neuromuscular problems.

If the pain is out of control and unbearable, consider going in to the ER for pain control (and possible admission to try to get your pain under control).

I am very sorry for your suffering and I hope you can get relief soon.

If you want other thoughts on what might be going on, you can copy and repost your question and write at the beginning of the question a request for one of the types of doctors I listed above. Do this one at a time. For example write "For Neurologist ONLY" at the beginning of the reposted question. The moderator for this website will tag it for a neurologist (or whatever specialist you specify) and most likely one will respond tonight.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
I'm not certain how to copy and repost. Could you get it to a Neurologist for me?

Can you please forward to "For rheumatologist ONLY", rather than Neurologist.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Can also ask an infectious disease/immunology specialist.

Detailed Answer:
Hi - I see you found how to repost. Is your pain any under any better control this evening?
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 9 hours later
Thank you Dr. XXXXXXX . . . I went to be early last evening so received your response this morning at 7:30. I had a good night and feel a bit better this am. Still have the sharp, stabbing pain as I described so find myself holding my shoulders tight and elbows close to side of my body. I'm doing this almost unconscientiously now, but will try harder to be mindful and relax the shoulders. I think that would help some I'm so grateful for your kindness and how much you care.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
Glad to hear you are having a more hopeful day.

Detailed Answer:
It's natural to tighten up when there is pain so your doing so is not unexpected. But yes, trying to relax those areas if you can, might help.

I don't know if you have access to one, but a warm water therapy pool might help with the mobility too.

Again though, if pain gets worse, do go in for pain control.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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