I have lots of questions this week!

Recently I have been having sever shoulder pain just in my right shoulder initially from top to underarm to under shoulder blade. Rheumies gave me depo injection into my shoulder and amitryptaline as I cant sleep due to my pains. The top of the shoulder is now better with the steroid injection. But under my armpit and my shoulder blades feel like I have rocks there, so its difficult to lie on the side or my back but when I lie on the other side the sore arm and under shoulder blade get tight.

Has anyone else experienced this and have any suggestions for help. I haven't heard from physio even though I was referred a few month ago, which I thought might have some answers for me. Cheers


20 Replies

  • Allanah,have you thought that the pain your feeling could be fibromyalgia. I ask this as i have pains in my shoulder blade and it is constant. If it is see your rheumy and ask them about fibro.

    I am on amitryptaline and i take 2 a night, but when i am having a bas time i take 3. Don't tell your rheuy that. Hope this is of some help.


  • Really,!? I'll have to ask them and look up fibromyalgia. Thanks for the advice, I have found the one amitryptaline helps me sleep a bit better so that has been a bit of a benefit, so I will ask can I extend this. Thanks I will talk to them next week and let you know what they say.


  • Hi Allanah

    I have had quite a lot of the same pains you are describing in my shoulder, it's still not the best, but i have 2 peices of advice for you ;-)

    1. Sleep with a pillow under your shoulder, this puts your shoulder back in the nutral position and gives your arm somewhere to rest. Won't help with anything dramatic butit will help you sleep with less pain ;-)

    2. Absolutely 100% you must do the exercisies the physios give you as the shoulder is very good a siezing up, and making it difficult to un sieze, so you HAVE to keep it moving ;-)

    Hope this helps a little

    Ella x

  • Thanks Ella,

    Did the Docs put a diagnosis on it as Sylvie suggested Fibro? And I think I might pay a private physio as the hospital physio waiting list is so long and I don't know when I will get to see them.

    I'll try a pillow as you suggest, I've been bulking up the duvet but I cant seem to find what is the natural position for my shoulder , I've tried back forward side etc but haven't put anything under the shoulder just the arm.

    Does it ease up or have you had this long term?

    Thanks for the advice


  • Well it hasn't really eased up for me (crappy arthritis) and i think i will in the end need a replacement there, but the pillow thing really helps with the pain - put it just under your shoulder blade and then rest your arm on it. Ive had this problem for about 5 yrs ;-(

    Re exercises: physio is defo the way to go;-)

    Ella x

  • Thank you


  • Hi Allanah,

    I had shoulder pain too back in August, September and October last year and I don't have - although this doesnt mean yours isnt of course. If you google RA then after hands and feet come shoulders and knees on body parts/ joints commonly affected by RA. As Ella has said physio exercises seem to have sent it packing from the shoulders for me to date. I do get some pain still when I do any exercises involving shoulders e.g lifting hands up for any lengh of time but it's never returned there in same bad way yet. If I were you I'd see my GP and ask to be fast tracked to see a physio ASAP.


  • Oops I cut out "and I don't have Fibro" by mistake - art phones eh?

  • Thanks very much,

    I will try to get them to speed up the physio appointment and ask them what they think is wrong, and probably book a physio session privately and will do some googling and moving my shoulder!!

    thanks all


  • Hi all, I have shoulder problems too, pretty much all of last yr. I completely seized up across neck and both shoulders, my doctor increased my pain meds (Tramadol and Nefopam) he also advised I do physio exercises as best I could manage.

    The pillow support really helps and gives my arm somewhere to settle.

    Good luck hope you feel better soon.

    Beth xxx

  • Thanks Beth, consensus seems to be exercise and painkillers and pillow!! Cheers and thanks for worrying bout mexx


  • Hello Allanah the shoulder, arm etc gets me as well - i haven't found a solution yet but painkillers (strong cocodamol/codrydamol, naproxen) and that takes the edge of it. If I get physio manipulation it works for a little while but then it starts up again. Putting on underwear is really really a pain.

  • Ye I have had to wear a pretty vest top but worry that it is not supporting me whilst i am sore but hope the shoulder will "stretch" out enough to get back into bras, and yes it is a real Houdini act to get sorted isn't it!!

    But i will defo use pillow trick, see gp re what is wrong in case of fibro or muscle type problems and pay for a physio.Gonna have the amityptalline now and see if I can get a good rest with my pillow. Thanks all for all the advice and putting my mind at rest.


  • Hi there,

    Might be worth the money for a paid for physio - if your patch is anything like here you wait for 3 month for an appointment to assess whether you're suitable to be seen by a physio. And if you are then it's another few months before you get seen. I used to have quite a few problems with my shoulder, it was inflammed rotator cuff, but since seeing physio who helped calm it down and then I've taken more care of it with exercises & so on it's been miles better. Px

  • Ye I wondered whether I would be in for a wait for physio so am currently looking through numbers for a physio. Sounds like thats the way forward to calm it down.



  • HI Allanah

    On the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy website there is a section called 'Physio2u' where you can search for private physiotherapists in your area: csp.org.uk/

    Kind regards

    Sarah Kate

    NRAS Helpline

  • Thank you,

    if if they say it not a physio problem will ask GP and Rheumies Again!


  • Hi Allanah, Just occured to me, as reading all the other comments...have you had xrays of your shoulder and did the report state findings of arthritis there?

    reason I wonder, as you said after the injections the top of your shouylder was better, but it hurt under your armpit and shoulder blad.e...Could possibly be something inside that upper part of your body, ie, the gallbladder. I do remember having gallbladder attacks exactly in that area, couln't lay down comfortably, slept a little better upright in the recliner.

    Likely need to see GP for diagnosis, Physio is always good, and may do the trick and fix you up, I'm sure he'll know what first. Hope you get sorted soon. L.

  • I have had shoulder and upper arm pain for weeks now...first attempt to get help was to ring rheum nurse who asked me to go into the clinic. They did a DAS score and them brought in the consultant. She gave be steriod injection (in the bum) and set me for chest xray to consider metho. I have been diagnosed since Oct last year and they cannot get on top of the condition. Taking sulpha at the moment anti-inflam. Yesterday i went to the blood clinic and again told them that i was having terrible trouble with movement of shoulders and arms...going the loo is a joke and sleeping is a no - no...its a trial to last through the night with no sleep despite pain killers (tramadol). No position works...i have tried the pillow idea and lying one way and then another..believe me changing position is a fete on its own and i wince and moan in pain as well as frustration. The rheu nurse said the consultant will prob sent me for xrays on the shoulders as it may not be the RA!..my god what has caused this then! My next consultant appointment is in 3 weeks time so I have to keep going until then with different pain relief, but i will see my GP early next week and discuss this with him too... When and if I get this sorted I will let you all know!!!!!....I have to admit though that immodbility, like trying to sleep or sit and watch a film tightens things up with me and then if I can get through the pain barrier and release the muscles life is a bit easier. I did ask about phsio but the nurse said I would not be able to do it at the moment ......maybe that is an avenue for me but dont want to do it without the consultants permission..... good luck all...

  • Yes Loret and SusanP, I am thinking that way myself now as with stretching and stuff I have the same problems sleeping and stuff. So I'll ask them when I go this week or see GP I think, I've never had shoulder xrays, just chest so I'm not sure whether that shows the shoulder in great detail. Think I need the Doc...!!!!


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