My shoulder still hurts

In April I slipped down the stairs, I used my left hand to grab the stair rail to save myself pulling the shoulder joint. Over the last month and a half the pain in my should has radiated down my left arm and sometimes up my neck, the pain is unbearable at times and makes me feel sick. I take Etodolac (anti-inflammatory) 300mg twice a day to help the pain in my joints, I have discoid lupus, but my GP thinks I may have SLE as I have many of the symptoms. I had an X-ray on Monday for my shoulder as this pain had been going on for sometime! Yesterday (Saturday), I decided not to take the anti-inflammatory as they did not seem to help the joint pain per se, but OMG, the pain in my shoulder and down my arm felt as if it had magnified 10 fold. I am at a lost what else to do, should I waist my day and go and sit in A&E to be told its muscular, or should I treat this more seriously and go to A&E? Advice needed please. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Julie

5 Replies

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  • Hi Julie. You really do need to get this checked out. Have the results of your x-ray come through yet? Was it just for your shoulder or did they x-ray your neck too? I had very similar pain and it turned out to be pinched nerves in my neck. A couple of discs had deteriorated in my spine so the vertebrae were crushing the nerves causing the pain. I had sessions of physio but they didn't achieve much. Eventually I had an op which sorted it out. Good Luck.

    Stephen

  • Hi there...I think that may be you should ask the GP for an ultrasound. I had shoulder surgery last year on my left shoulder. While recovering, I tripped on the stairs and grabbed the rail like you. It was discovered by ultrasound that I had a partial thickness tear of the rotator cuff (as well as impingement) and no amount of physio or pain killers can deal with it. My right shoulder now needs surgery and the consultant may well repair the frayed rotator cuff if at all possible. As most know by now on this site,in had my surgery cancelled as I developed dangerously high BP and severe palpitations. I have been unable to work for 9 weeks now.

    Please don't leave it like I did... You may need an orthopaedic consultant to look at it.

    Best wishes in the meantime.

  • Same kinda thing happened to my knee, I slipped and hit my knee, it wasn't too painful to start with then after about a year I discovered I'd smashed my knee cap. It resulted with a full knee replacement cos I left it so long. I agree with StephenH you should get it checked out.

    I hope it feels better soon x

  • Thank you so much for your replies. Yesterday I took myself to A&E, spent 4 hours waiting to be seen and treated by a nurse practitioner. They checked on my x-ray from last Monday which was normal, got me to move my left arm around and said it was fine! My husband noticed their was swelling around the triceps area of my left arm, we told the nurse but she wasn't interested. I was discharged with Tylex and reminded I had a rheumatologist appointment on the 18th July!!!

    I came away feeling as if they thought the pain was all in my head?! This morning I phoned my GP, gave them the

    information from yesterday's visit to A&E but was told they couldn't do anything until they had received the report from my x-ray!!! So in the mean time I have to remain in pain, the pain medication co- codamol doesn't touch the pain, last night just so I could get some sleep I took one of my son morphine tablets which worked, but still no nearer to finding out what is wrong!

  • I fell over in early May, on a tiled floor, and hit my right shoulder/top of arm. I was unable to raise it properly and a massive bruise came out underneath the arm during first week. Like you I was in pain and took painkiller several times a day. I started to use a TENS device which helped quite a lot, plus gentle exercises and now - July - arm is gradually and steadily improving. I still get odd "jumping" sensations and it often feels worse first thing in morning when I lie flat in bed. I find paracetamol better than either ibruprofen or co-codamol for it. My husband had a frozen shoulder following a fall and it took a year and amitriptaline tablets to sort his out! Don't leave it if you are not feeling ok, head back to GP and fight! Good luck :)

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