Author Topic: shoulder and arm pain  (Read 11494 times)

Offline bakermom

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shoulder and arm pain
« on: October 15, 2007, 07:29:34 AM »
Does anyone get shoulder pain that originates under the arm?  The dr thought it was a tendon under there.  I saw a chiropractor and he did not help at all.  I am thinking of seeing and orthopedic dr about it and seeing what is really going on under there.  Ice does not help.  This has been there for months.  When we were at the beach a few weeks ago, I used an innertube and putting my arms over it and hanging on in the waves was just terrible.  I can go about my business all day without feeling anything pulling but there is always an underlying pain under the arm and down the arm at times and into the fingers.  Some things hurt it and others don't make a difference. sometimes it throbs.

Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2007, 02:03:39 AM »
bump

Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2007, 02:41:33 AM »
bump. I'll try one more time

Offline littlemama24

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2007, 02:53:36 AM »
Where EXACTLY under the arm?  Are we talking armpit, right in the center or more towards the back?  Is it the part of your underarm that caves in at the armpit or the part that becomes taught when you raise your arm?  What motions make it worse? What helps alleviate it?  What does the pain feel like (stinging, throbbing, aching, buzzing, stc)  sounds silly but could help me tell you what kind of tissue is damaged.

Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2007, 06:35:28 AM »
It is in the uppermost part of the arm on the inside and is on the back curve of the armpit. Then it is also deep in there but I can't seem to find a sore spot that feels bruised or anything.  Also seems to go under the breast and in the back of the shoulder blade .  Sometimes it goes around the shoulder like a purse strap.  The main pain is under the armpit somewhere.  It does get  sore where it gets taut ( that ball-like thing that sticks out but it was not doing that last month)  Does not feel like swollen glands.  No lumps. 
It aches -does not hurt sharply.  It aches often even when I don't move it. 
Last night I finally took two tyleno and it helped the worst of it.  Today I am trying not to vacuum with that arm or lift heavy things. It is mostly the driving postition, vacuum (arm out in front).  I had started lifting light weights again and the motion of lifting a 5lb weight out in front of me and stopping the motion right in front hurts it a lot.  I am thinking of buying a sling to keep me from using it so much.  Even my daily walk today had me feeling it afterward.  That's another symptom, I often feel pain after doing things.

It could have started when I gave birth. You know how you hang onto the hospital bed when you are pushing and pull toward you.  Also we got a new vacuum at that time and also removed tons of wallpaper. It went away from Jan to May.

Offline littlemama24

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2007, 06:46:06 AM »
I am trying to visualize what all you're saying.  It could be a tendonitis but with the armpit/under the breast region it is tricky with lymph nodes, etc.  I wouldn't want to tell you it's a pec muscle tendon or infraspinatus tendon and then find out it was more serious.  If it continues to hurt, you might want to get it looked at.  Are you currently taking anything with synthetic hormones in it?  Icing can't hurt either way and should help.  Heat might make it feel better, but if it were something more serious (probably isn't, but...) heat could make it worse (potentially). You can do an "ice massage" to get very local pain relief by taking a chunk of ice and rubbing it where it hurts until it is literally numb feeling. Keep the ice moving though, don't just hold it still (let it get wet and drippy, too, that permeates the skin faster).  This can also slow down the nerve conduction of the pain.  Did you say there was a certain action you recall doing that started the pain?  Possibly labor?  That's hard to say; did it start hurting right then?

Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2007, 01:24:52 PM »
It started hurting when the baby was just 7 weeks old.  It was very week pain then. My ob dr says it sounds like the tendon . The family dr says the same thing and to see a chiro.  I did but he did not help it after many visits.  He said I should try a message therapist.  Well now i am going to see an orthopedic but he can't see me until next Friday.  I can't believe I have to wait so long.  It was much better this morning but now it feels terrible, especially in the arm.  I feel achy in my hands and feet and knees too today. Who knows why? 

I had stomach issues all summer and last month, my Iga serum count was high . He treated me like it was a water born illness so I took an antibiotic.  Now that seems better but I have only been off those meds for 2 days. 
Now I need to take care of my arm.

My dad is dying from cancer and it has taken a turn for the worse this week.  It could be any time now.  Could stress cause this to be so much worse?

Offline littlemama24

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2007, 01:52:09 PM »
It started hurting when the baby was just 7 weeks old.  It was very week pain then. My ob dr says it sounds like the tendon . The family dr says the same thing and to see a chiro.  I did but he did not help it after many visits.  He said I should try a message therapist.  Well now i am going to see an orthopedic but he can't see me until next Friday.  I can't believe I have to wait so long.  It was much better this morning but now it feels terrible, especially in the arm.  I feel achy in my hands and feet and knees too today. Who knows why? 

I had stomach issues all summer and last month, my Iga serum count was high . He treated me like it was a water born illness so I took an antibiotic.  Now that seems better but I have only been off those meds for 2 days. 
Now I need to take care of my arm.

My dad is dying from cancer and it has taken a turn for the worse this week.  It could be any time now.  Could stress cause this to be so much worse?


Yes stress can make anything worse.  Sometimes when we are emotionally drained and stressed our physical pains become more exacerbated.  Partially because our brain wants a distraction, partially because the body feels neglected, partially because the sensory part of the brain is on over-drive.  It probably is a tendon.  Which one isn't as important as determining that it IS a tendon.  Determining which one DOES help in rehabilitating it, but overall - shoulder tendonitis is treated primarily the same.  I still would suggest seeing someone if the pain persists (if you can $).  It might help to give your body this extra attention especially if it is interrupting your life.  I am slightly biased toward physical therapy (so I would recommend PT instead of a chiro for arm prob's).  I wouldn't be able to give you good descriptions of exercises through the internet and I haven't done any good searches for sites of pics so it is best to see someone hands on and they can do massage too!  Let us know how you're doing...

Offline freshisbest

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2007, 02:33:28 AM »
Shortly after the birth of my daughter I had what sounds like a similar pain in my wrist. I couldn't lift her..it was terrible..I felt like I had to hold the wrist with the other hand to support it . Even laying it across my stomach while lying down hurt it. It went away after treating it very gingerly..I believe I even took Aleve because I had some in the house and that helped a lot.  I read somewhere that the tendons in your body relax naturally in preparation for birth. So it is very easy to injure them by doing routine ( and not so routine!) tasks. Afterwards, the body re-adjusts . I assumed thats what happened to my arm/wrist...maybe I picked her up one time a little differently or in preparing for her birth ( setting up the crib! ) overdid it. I've never had it since then ( she's 5).

Offline healthybratt

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2007, 06:32:35 AM »
It is in the uppermost part of the arm on the inside and is on the back curve of the armpit. Then it is also deep in there but I can't seem to find a sore spot that feels bruised or anything.  Also seems to go under the breast and in the back of the shoulder blade .  Sometimes it goes around the shoulder like a purse strap.  The main pain is under the armpit somewhere. 
Here's a shot in the dark.  Your symptoms sound very similar to some I had earlier this year.  I have a bulging disk in my neck that causes some of my pain, but when I went to a physical therapist, he also found that I had a problem with my rotator cuff muscles.  My chiro also had previously had to pop my shoulder to put my arm back where it belongs and relieve some of the pressure.  These two things were pretty obviously related.  Anyway, my chiro assures me that the pain down the arm and into the fingers is related to the compression in my spine, but my PT told me (and showed me diagrams) that the muscles in the shoulder can compress the same nerves that get compressed in the neck causing, pain, tingling, numbness, etc.

All this to say, if you have the opportunity, you might consider seeing a physical therapist.  He will offer less invasive treatments that an orthopedist and he will teach you things you can do at home to strengthen and reduce the inflammation in the muscles causing your pain. 
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Offline littlemama24

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2007, 05:10:54 PM »
It is in the uppermost part of the arm on the inside and is on the back curve of the armpit. Then it is also deep in there but I can't seem to find a sore spot that feels bruised or anything.  Also seems to go under the breast and in the back of the shoulder blade .  Sometimes it goes around the shoulder like a purse strap.  The main pain is under the armpit somewhere. 
Here's a shot in the dark.  Your symptoms sound very similar to some I had earlier this year.  I have a bulging disk in my neck that causes some of my pain, but when I went to a physical therapist, he also found that I had a problem with my rotator cuff muscles.  My chiro also had previously had to pop my shoulder to put my arm back where it belongs and relieve some of the pressure.  These two things were pretty obviously related.  Anyway, my chiro assures me that the pain down the arm and into the fingers is related to the compression in my spine, but my PT told me (and showed me diagrams) that the muscles in the shoulder can compress the same nerves that get compressed in the neck causing, pain, tingling, numbness, etc.

All this to say, if you have the opportunity, you might consider seeing a physical therapist.  He will offer less invasive treatments that an orthopedist and he will teach you things you can do at home to strengthen and reduce the inflammation in the muscles causing your pain. 

I can also add to the great advise HB had, by saying that although in some areas you must have a MD order to see a PT, in others you can walk in and ask to have an evaluation and then they contact your doctor for the prescription without you having to have an office visit (or you may not need one at all).  The field is changing more toward that as the degree level of the PTs is rising.  Just and FYI from a PT person...  ;D

Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2007, 01:59:51 AM »
Thanks!
I will call my primary care today and get their list of PTs.  He did suggest that so maybe I won't have to go to the ortho.

Yesterday, I bought some turmeric tabs and it really helped!  I also got CLO and black cherry concentrate and a pineapple.  I think the turmeric was the key.  It is now feeling like it did awhile back. Like I can still do things.  I am going to have the kids do most of the lifting again today and while I do my walk, try not to swing it.  I noticed the difference in the arm pain about an hour after the turmeric.  I took another last night and this morning there is a bigger difference.  I am also having joint pain and numbness in other areas different than the pain in the shoulder so I think my body is having a hard time fighting things. I am going to look into mold allergy or I think my body might  have a hidden virus in it that keeps coming back.  I had a wicked one 6 years ago where my knees swelled up and had terrible pain in my joints.  I heard that can happen.  I have suspected fibromyalgia for a long time too.

Offline littlemama24

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2007, 03:48:59 AM »
Thanks!
I will call my primary care today and get their list of PTs.  He did suggest that so maybe I won't have to go to the ortho.

Yesterday, I bought some turmeric tabs and it really helped!  I also got CLO and black cherry concentrate and a pineapple.  I think the turmeric was the key.  It is now feeling like it did awhile back. Like I can still do things.  I am going to have the kids do most of the lifting again today and while I do my walk, try not to swing it.  I noticed the difference in the arm pain about an hour after the turmeric.  I took another last night and this morning there is a bigger difference.  I am also having joint pain and numbness in other areas different than the pain in the shoulder so I think my body is having a hard time fighting things. I am going to look into mold allergy or I think my body might  have a hidden virus in it that keeps coming back.  I had a wicked one 6 years ago where my knees swelled up and had terrible pain in my joints.  I heard that can happen.  I have suspected fibromyalgia for a long time too.

Parvo-virus (commonly called 5th disease in children) usually has no symptoms in adults but CAN cause "unexplained" sore joints in adults.  Just another possibility.  It also lays dormant for a long time - at least that's what I have been told, I have not researched for myself.  SOmething to consider...

Offline healthybratt

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2007, 06:38:18 AM »
It is in the uppermost part of the arm on the inside and is on the back curve of the armpit. Then it is also deep in there but I can't seem to find a sore spot that feels bruised or anything.  Also seems to go under the breast and in the back of the shoulder blade .  Sometimes it goes around the shoulder like a purse strap.  The main pain is under the armpit somewhere. 
Here's a shot in the dark.  Your symptoms sound very similar to some I had earlier this year.  I have a bulging disk in my neck that causes some of my pain, but when I went to a physical therapist, he also found that I had a problem with my rotator cuff muscles.  My chiro also had previously had to pop my shoulder to put my arm back where it belongs and relieve some of the pressure.  These two things were pretty obviously related.  Anyway, my chiro assures me that the pain down the arm and into the fingers is related to the compression in my spine, but my PT told me (and showed me diagrams) that the muscles in the shoulder can compress the same nerves that get compressed in the neck causing, pain, tingling, numbness, etc.

All this to say, if you have the opportunity, you might consider seeing a physical therapist.  He will offer less invasive treatments that an orthopedist and he will teach you things you can do at home to strengthen and reduce the inflammation in the muscles causing your pain. 

I can also add to the great advise HB had, by saying that although in some areas you must have a MD order to see a PT, in others you can walk in and ask to have an evaluation and then they contact your doctor for the prescription without you having to have an office visit (or you may not need one at all).  The field is changing more toward that as the degree level of the PTs is rising.  Just and FYI from a PT person...  ;D
I probably should have mentioned this myself.  My PT said they take referrals and walk-in's, but it's mostly determined by what your insurance will pay for or if you're a cash and carry customer.  ;D
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Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2007, 07:14:20 AM »
I am researching fibromyalgia.  It is amazing how many symptoms I have including stomach issues
I have tender spots the last few days in my arms especially the one with the hurting shoulder.  The backs of my knees are swelled and the bottoms of my feet and my hands ache.  My upper back aches too.  I was feeling around this morning under the arm area where it hurts and you can't pinpoint one spot that hurts.  It is several tender areas.  I am not sure the turmeric is helping at this point.  My stomach is all in a tither now too and I am wondering if the turmeric caused it. 

Offline gramadebbie

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2007, 03:05:14 PM »
I may be completely off base with this because one tends to see your own symptoms in others problems.... but, earlier this year I had upper back and shoulder pain with numbness in the fingers.  I did a couple of gall bladder clenses and some liver support things and am MUCH better.  The liver issues also cause joint pain.  The gall bladder can put pressure in strange ways.

Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2007, 01:35:32 AM »
I did have a gallbladder sonogram a few weeks ago as well as liver etc..  It showed it was ok.  My stomach issues seem to be in the stomach on the left side and I have terrible gas pains each day.  Enzymes don't help.

Last night my upper right back became all knotted up and the back of that shoulder.  I had my dh rub the tender spots and it really seemed to help that under shoulder pain after awhile.  My chiro did that last month and it helped but only short term. 

My swelling in the knees has gone down. 

Do you think using the computer too much can cause things like this?

Offline littlemama24

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2007, 04:16:20 AM »
I did have a gallbladder sonogram a few weeks ago as well as liver etc..  It showed it was ok.  My stomach issues seem to be in the stomach on the left side and I have terrible gas pains each day.  Enzymes don't help.

Last night my upper right back became all knotted up and the back of that shoulder.  I had my dh rub the tender spots and it really seemed to help that under shoulder pain after awhile.  My chiro did that last month and it helped but only short term. 

My swelling in the knees has gone down. 

Do you think using the computer too much can cause things like this?

Yes, using the computer too much can put your body in a "compromised" position.  Any position for a long period of time can make one stiff and sore anyway.  Especially if your position at your computer causes your shoulders to "hike up" toward your ears.  You gotta relax those trapezoids! :-)  Also, shoulder rowing exercises or "scapular retractions" are excellent for increasing your shoulder girdle strength and unloading the extra strain on your actual shoulder. 

Offline gramadebbie

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2007, 06:32:05 AM »
I did have a gallbladder sonogram a few weeks ago as well as liver etc..  It showed it was ok.  My stomach issues seem to be in the stomach on the left side and I have terrible gas pains each day.  Enzymes don't help.

Last night my upper right back became all knotted up and the back of that shoulder.  I had my dh rub the tender spots and it really seemed to help that under shoulder pain after awhile.  My chiro did that last month and it helped but only short term. 

My swelling in the knees has gone down. 

Do you think using the computer too much can cause things like this?

Have you read the book "Pain Free" ?  It has helped me with my back/neck/shoulder issues.  Egosque (not the right spelling, I fear) is the author and he is an exercise therapist.  He says that we overuse some muscles too much and not the way they were intended - noting computer use as a big culprit- and therefore cause some muscles to pull other things out of joint.  His exercises stretch muscles you wouldn't believe were even related to your pain, but the pain goes away or gets a lot better.  My upper back pain is related to my knee turning in and is caused by the inside muscles of my legs being too tight.  If you can get a copy, you would at least possibly be able to tell if your pain is in your muscles, a pinched nerve, or some such.  Worth a try possibly??!!

Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2007, 03:01:03 AM »
I am seeing the dr this morning.  I am going to ask about lymes, epstein bar, mold, thyroid etc.  These are all tests I have had in the past though.  I do not know why my knees would swell and everything hurt from no real exercise.  I do not know if this is even related to my shoulder hurting.  I still see the orthopedic on Friday. 

Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2007, 02:11:43 AM »
All my bloodwork is great for all the usual things they test for and all the things that cause joint pain. 
The pain is less today but my calves and feet are shaky and numb feeling and  my feet are tingling.  I am just beside myself. I could not sleep because of the feeling and I had high anxiety because my body seems to be falling apart.  All of my stomach problems are back full swing too and that is so discouraging.
I am not sure what to do about the feeling in my legs.  I really need to use them!  I took a calcium/magnesium a bit ago and my supermom.

Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2007, 01:38:26 AM »
I went to the orthopedic and he said there is nothing wrong with my shoulder.  He said I am in my 40s and will have aches and pains.  Even his wife has them.  He said there is nothing located where I am hurting so it may be a pinched nerve or muscle inflamation.  He wants me to take a steroid and get physical therapy done.  I will do the therapy but am now afraid they won't take me seriously.

I have been taking bromelain for 3 days and it has made quite a difference.  Last night,though , the pain was really rough.  There are tender spots there so I was messaging them and maybe that is what made it worse.  I wonder if it could be coming from the breast.  We can't feel any lumps though and the pain is really under the arm and goes into the fingers.  I could quit nursing and get a mammogram but baby needs me during the night still.  It also takes a full month without nursing to get one done and have it be valid.   

Offline Mrs. B

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2007, 01:58:07 AM »
I went to the orthopedic and he said there is nothing wrong with my shoulder.  He said I am in my 40s and will have aches and pains.  Even his wife has them.  He said there is nothing located where I am hurting so it may be a pinched nerve or muscle inflamation.  He wants me to take a steroid and get physical therapy done.  I will do the therapy but am now afraid they won't take me seriously.

I have been taking bromelain for 3 days and it has made quite a difference.  Last night,though , the pain was really rough.  There are tender spots there so I was messaging them and maybe that is what made it worse.  I wonder if it could be coming from the breast.  We can't feel any lumps though and the pain is really under the arm and goes into the fingers.  I could quit nursing and get a mammogram but baby needs me during the night still.  It also takes a full month without nursing to get one done and have it be valid.   
Have you seen a chiropractor?  I think that this was mentioned above and it would be where I would start.  I would also consider a massage, they have wonder therapeutic effects and a good massage therapist can really help.  Do you exercise?   TTapp is a good program IMO for those with other health issues especially muscular aches/pains and while nursing.

Offline Maria/NHM

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2007, 04:12:18 AM »


I have been taking bromelain for 3 days and it has made quite a difference. 

If taking bromelain helped it could be that while there is no damage to the shoulder it  is inflamed. I have inflammation problems and taking codliver oil, cutting out all sugar, white flour and adding fats and probiotics has helped me immensely. Just and idea. I hope you find relief soon!
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Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2007, 06:20:15 AM »
I did see a chiropractor and he was unable to help this pain.  He helped other pain in the back. Some of that is back again now.  The  pt apt is tomorrow .  I am embarrassed to go and afraid that they will laugh at me.

Offline littlemama24

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2007, 08:12:59 AM »
I did see a chiropractor and he was unable to help this pain.  He helped other pain in the back. Some of that is back again now.  The  pt apt is tomorrow .  I am embarrassed to go and afraid that they will laugh at me.

I highly doubt they will laugh at you - we never laughed at any of our patients unless they were telling jokes! Shoulder and joint pain is a very valid reason for seeking therapeutic intervention.  They see it all the time! Don't worry!  ;)

Offline healthybratt

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2007, 05:07:59 PM »
I went to the orthopedic and he said there is nothing wrong with my shoulder.  He said I am in my 40s and will have aches and pains.  Even his wife has them.  He said there is nothing located where I am hurting so it may be a pinched nerve or muscle inflamation.  He wants me to take a steroid and get physical therapy done.  I will do the therapy but am now afraid they won't take me seriously.

I have been taking bromelain for 3 days and it has made quite a difference.  Last night,though , the pain was really rough.  There are tender spots there so I was messaging them and maybe that is what made it worse.  I wonder if it could be coming from the breast.  We can't feel any lumps though and the pain is really under the arm and goes into the fingers.  I could quit nursing and get a mammogram but baby needs me during the night still.  It also takes a full month without nursing to get one done and have it be valid.   
Physical therapists are pretty smart.  Just cuz doc says one thing, don't discredit your PT before he/she examines you.  You might be surprised.  My doc told me I had a disc problem, but never took the time to look beyond the obvious.  My PT was the one who found and diagnosed my injured rotator cuff and praise God he did.  ;D
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Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2007, 02:19:45 AM »
Well I went and my pain was puzzling to him but he did try to locate muscles whereas the dr just looked for sign of tears etc.  He had me do a series of stretches designed to isolate that spot and I really could feel it. It is not better but at least it seems to be located.  The pain travels around the area so that is why it is confusing. i go again this morning.

Offline healthybratt

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2007, 06:58:39 AM »
Well I went and my pain was puzzling to him but he did try to locate muscles whereas the dr just looked for sign of tears etc.  He had me do a series of stretches designed to isolate that spot and I really could feel it. It is not better but at least it seems to be located.  The pain travels around the area so that is why it is confusing. i go again this morning.
You'll get it.  Hang in there.  ;D
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Offline bakermom

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Re: shoulder and arm pain
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2007, 02:44:10 AM »
Well the PT really helped and the pain was almost gone when he said I was finished and to just manage it on my own. I went 7 times.
It all came back two weeks ago. It had been gone for only 2 weeks.
I thought it was stress because my dad passed away but it is still there.  I am having a mammo tomorrow. I am done nursing and the last two months I have had breast pain on that side.  I now have swollen lymph nodes under that arm again. I am wondering why swollen nodes would make the arm area  hurt too.  Please pray about the mammogram.  I am frightened about the results.