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What causes severe pain in abdomen, neck, shoulders and shoulder blades?

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Posted on Thu, 12 May 2016
Question: I have undiagnosed pain X1.5 years with developing pain primarily in the neck, shoulders and shoulder blades. The pain remains in neck, shoulders, shoulder blades, but now it is focused on the torso region (ribs, back, upper and lower abd pain). Yesterday, had eaten spicy sandwich at lunch, and this morning I woke to severe pain throughout the entire abd....all for quadrants. Severe pressure under the ribs, lungs or something.
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Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
some limits on answers if not present

Detailed Answer:
First, one should mention that severe abdominal pain that lasts is a medical emergency. There are many potentially fatal disorderes that are painful in the abdomen. Heartburn, indigestion, hiatal hernia, even ventral hernia cause abdominal pain and are not serious but the degree of pain in those is minor and generally pretty brief. That may interrupt the rest of the discussion and require a trip to the emergency room for evaluation like with a cat scan and physical exam.

There is not much of a connection between shoulder girdle pain and abdominal pain. Nothing connects between them. If the pain happened at different times, wtih different circumstances this would support that there is no connection between the two.

Shoulder girdle pain is often from the spine in the neck having a problem (disk, arthritis, thin bones, deformity, etc). Furthermore, the spine is in the center so the pain can easily go to both sides. Other disorders like with the shoulder joint, or where nerves pass through the shoulder are usually only on ONE SIDE. MRI's of the neck region can usually show where the problem is but sometimes nerve conduction tests can be more helpful. Frankly moving the various structures and seeing when the pain is triggered and if strength is affected is a very good test also.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Matt Wachsman (14 hours later)
Thank you. The pain is more of a progression, was primarily upper joints, back and distal (upper arms, upper thigh). I still have all this pain with nm MRI C/T/L, some minimal bulge discs. Per Dr, nothing to justify the pain. EMG/NCS small abnormality left upper inner thigh muscle.
Then I developed dry cough and nausea. Then, one morning, in Feb 2016, woke up very nausea and began vomiting. To ER....zofran, prednisone 60mg x5 days....D/C w/Mild bronchitis with Anxiety. No lab work done, not the flu...as I did not have a fever.
Last couple months, I began having problems with swallowing medication pills. Not a problem with food, just pills in the PM. Extreme burning pain in the esophagus.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman (43 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
well... could be....

Detailed Answer:
an autoimmune disease. Even then, it doesn't seem likely to be ONE problem that causes all the different issues.

So, esophageal irritation is quite common. If it follows a particular pattern that would imply progressive narrowing (progressive problems with more and more food starting with the biggest chunks and working downward) then that would be a serious problem. Many people have trouble with pills.

pain can often be localized to nerves, joints, or muscles and this delineates the problem.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Matt Wachsman (31 minutes later)
I tested weakly positive ANA and dsDNA, but rheumatologist has ruled out Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, lyme disease, etc. He dx as osteoarthritis (I am 46 w/primary osteoarthritis). Where does that leave me at age 65? Also, polyarthralgia is the other dx. Low Vit D (OH), which I take 25,000 or 50,000 prescribed Vitamin D x1, per week.
After eating spicy foods, the next morning I could not move or position myself, as the entire abdomen had severe pain.
As for as genetics, my pain and locations are presenting identical to my Mother's. She went to every specialist, scans, corticosteroids & injections, antibiotics, etc. After 2 years, she is dx w/Neuroblastoma, stage IV, primary site extra axial tumors around orbital region. From there Bone Sscan revealed diffuse metastatic disease throughout the bones. CT showed 1 enlarged LN in her L Pelvis, which was bx and confirmed by 3 different Facilities to be Neuroblastoma at the age of 62. She died 3 years later. The wierd about this cancer is it does not invade soft tissue, but destroys Bones and involvement of the CNS.
My brother, 4 yrs XXXXXXX is also having the same symptoms, but nnl test results....except minor disc bulge.
Every Physician I shared this with, stated it is impossible for this to be symptoms of Neuroblastoma.
Finally, to my Neurologist, I brought copies of my Mother's pathology report and Oncologists unprecedented noting of this cancer in a 62 old women.
My Neurologist could not believe it.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
not quite sure of the question

Detailed Answer:
If pain is due to a tumor, then if the tumor isn't there, then there wont' be pain from it. The pain would be where the tumor is, and not where it isn't. It needs to be large enough to be visible and testable/scanable for it to be big enough to cause pain.
If something causes pain on contact the problem is going to be at the spot of contact. So, if swallowing causes pain, then it is in the throat esophagus and not from a spinal tumor. This is pretty common. Hiatal hernia, irritation/erosion of the throat can cause this. Like any other scrape, direct contact especially with irritants (physical irritants like shape, size temperature) or chemical irritants will be more likely to cause a scraped area to hurt when in contact.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Matt Wachsman

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What causes severe pain in abdomen, neck, shoulders and shoulder blades?

Brief Answer: some limits on answers if not present Detailed Answer: First, one should mention that severe abdominal pain that lasts is a medical emergency. There are many potentially fatal disorderes that are painful in the abdomen. Heartburn, indigestion, hiatal hernia, even ventral hernia cause abdominal pain and are not serious but the degree of pain in those is minor and generally pretty brief. That may interrupt the rest of the discussion and require a trip to the emergency room for evaluation like with a cat scan and physical exam. There is not much of a connection between shoulder girdle pain and abdominal pain. Nothing connects between them. If the pain happened at different times, wtih different circumstances this would support that there is no connection between the two. Shoulder girdle pain is often from the spine in the neck having a problem (disk, arthritis, thin bones, deformity, etc). Furthermore, the spine is in the center so the pain can easily go to both sides. Other disorders like with the shoulder joint, or where nerves pass through the shoulder are usually only on ONE SIDE. MRI's of the neck region can usually show where the problem is but sometimes nerve conduction tests can be more helpful. Frankly moving the various structures and seeing when the pain is triggered and if strength is affected is a very good test also.