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    What causes back pain when diagnosed with arthritis?

Posted on Wed, 5 Jul 2017 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: For background. I am 75 years old. I have a chronic bad back which has been diagnosed as caused by arthritis. I have been seeing a pain management doctor and have had multiple steroid shots in back and a unsuccessful rhisotomy in the L1,L2,L3 facet joints. Buy the treatment is underway and that's' not the subject of my question.

I have a very uncomfortable issue with my left arm. If I raise my left arm, as if I were going to ask a question in school, my arm locks up with extreme pain. If this happens in bed, I even have difficulty getting out of bed to straighten arm and relieve paid. This has been going on for probably close to 9 month. There was no specific event that triggered the pain.

I saw an orthopedic doctor to examine shoulder and he thought it could be bursitis. I got a steroid shot in left shoulder and I had one about a year ago in same shoulder.

The shot seemed to help shoulder pain as it did a year ago, but it hasn't helped the problem with the arm locking up when raised. I am able to play golf without any left arm issues. (mostly issues with back during and after golf)

Any thoughts on what might be going on with left arm and what might be helpful?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 31 minutes later
Brief Answer:
seems to be Rotator cuff tendonitis or shoulder impingement syndrome

Detailed Answer:
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 when doing overhead activity.
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 overhead 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.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
Answered by
Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 12074 Questions


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