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Tenderness in shoulder and back. Clear CT/PET combined scan for melanoma

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Answered by

Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 961 Questions
Hi there,
For while now, I've had a tenderness around what I think is the brachial vein running from under my right shoulder blade towards the middle of my back round, under the muscle to, underneath my right arm. There isn't any obvious sign of swollen lymph nodes or anything like that and a couple of weeks ago I had a completely clear CT/PET combined scan as part of continued monitoring for melanoma and the doctors are extremely confident this isn't related. I feel completely fine in myself too, bar this. The pain is a kind of throbbing and the area is quite tender along the vein if I push on it.
Posted Fri, 14 Sep 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Prasad Akole 2 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
In all likelihood, it looks like a muscle or soft tissue pain. Since you say there is no swelling, redness there, it is probably not infective , and not melanoma related of course.
Please answer the following questions to allow me to help you better:
Do you remember any sudden jerk/ pull/ strain or weight applied to the right arm of late? Or any fall on arm/ trauma? Do you have any associated difficulty in breathing, cough and fever? Are you on any long term medications? Have you noticed any other change in your symptoms? Does a good hot bath reduce the pain? Does the aching area roll under rubbing fingers or it is bone deep?
As of now, you can apply spasm relieving liniments/oils to the area or massage the area gently. Take rest and be worry free and see if it reduces. You can also take Tablet Tylenol 1 tablet as and when required (upto 4 times daily)
There is really no 'brachial vein' running there as you thought. it runs under the collar bone to the arm.
I do not feel it is in any way related to melanoma. Please. ask someone to see this area daily for any changes in appearance.
Take care and please keep me informed of your progress.
Good Luck !
Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Tenderness in shoulder and back. Clear CT/PET combined scan for melanoma 2 hours later
Thanks - I don't remember any sudden jerking but I play a lot of sport so who knows. It's been like this for quite a while now so I am a little bit confused about it. It definitely rolls under the fingers, rather than being bone XXXXXXX What can you recommend for relieving spasms?

Answered by Dr. Prasad Akole 1 hour later
Hi and thanks again for reverting with useful information.

I really think it is a muscle pull/ spasm.

Locally you may apply capsacin containing irritant liniments or diclofenac gel available over the counter. There are also pain-relief sprays (like Relispray or Roll-on) available for such painful spasms. You may try these and see if the symptoms improve.

If severe you can take tablets containing chlorzoxazone (muscle relaxant) and NSAIDs which can be prescribed by a doctor.

You can give hot fomentations (taking care to avoid heat burns) to the area affected.

You should take sports a little lightly - to avoid repeated muscle injury. Better if you consult any sports physiotherapist for appropriate guidance about sports.

I hope this helps you.

Getting better is more important than sports for now and I hope you take care.

Please keep me posted on your progress.

All the best!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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