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What causes cough with clear mucus and pain in shoulder blade?

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Posted on Thu, 24 Jul 2014
Question: Cough with clear mucus. Pain next to my right shoulder blade seems to go into my chest, relieved by heat. I had been taking Levaquin for a sinus infection and it seemed to get better while taking it. I use saline solution twice a day. I have have been taking Mucinex, Nasonex, Advair Discus, Singulair. I have asthma, post nasal drip (7 sinus surgeries), sliding hiatal hernia with reflux, gallbladder is out. I have cervical disc disease and L4-5 spondylisthesis, sciatica (do PT exercises every day). I have had aortic valve replacement, CABG x2, atrial septal defect closure in 2010, pacemaker in 2011, follow with cardiologist, no problems there at this time. I am not a smoker, never have been but lived with a mother who smoked 3 packs a day, father and brother and ex-husband also smoked. Lungs were checked by MD and clear but no chest x-ray was ordered.
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Answered by Dr. Bhagyalaxmi Nalaparaju (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Could be sinus infection.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Cough with clear mucus could be related to multiple reasons.Since you have history of sinus infection, asthma, they may be cause of your symptoms. I do not order chest X-ray when chest is clear on auscultation, perhaps the reason why a chest X-ray was not performed. In such cases, shoulder blade pain is most likely secondary to persistent cough. You can discuss with your treating doctor.

To summarize, these symptoms could be due to sinusitis and secretions might be trekking down into the lungs. Accordingly, you seem to be taking good medications. Please continue same medication. Additionally I would suggest you take steam inhalation 3-4 times a day.

Pain killers can be helpful if shoulder blade pain is severe. However I use pain killers with caution when there is history of asthma. You can safely take a pain medication - one that has not causes problems in the past.

Besides that, I also suggest you visit an ENT specialist for clinical examination. You can ask if a nasal decongestants could be added.

Hope I have answered your question.
If you have any queries I will be happy to help you.
Thank you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Bhagyalaxmi Nalaparaju

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 492 Questions

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What causes cough with clear mucus and pain in shoulder blade?

Brief Answer: Could be sinus infection. Detailed Answer: Hi, Cough with clear mucus could be related to multiple reasons.Since you have history of sinus infection, asthma, they may be cause of your symptoms. I do not order chest X-ray when chest is clear on auscultation, perhaps the reason why a chest X-ray was not performed. In such cases, shoulder blade pain is most likely secondary to persistent cough. You can discuss with your treating doctor. To summarize, these symptoms could be due to sinusitis and secretions might be trekking down into the lungs. Accordingly, you seem to be taking good medications. Please continue same medication. Additionally I would suggest you take steam inhalation 3-4 times a day. Pain killers can be helpful if shoulder blade pain is severe. However I use pain killers with caution when there is history of asthma. You can safely take a pain medication - one that has not causes problems in the past. Besides that, I also suggest you visit an ENT specialist for clinical examination. You can ask if a nasal decongestants could be added. Hope I have answered your question. If you have any queries I will be happy to help you. Thank you.