Pain Concern
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shoulder and arm pain

I have continuous pain in my left arm from shoulder to fist even when at rest. My GP gives me Codipar to kill the pain but no examination or other treatment altho' a physio gives me exercises Age just 73 I'm told it is due to wear and tare. It is a serious problem apart from the pain as it makes washing and dressing very very hard

14 Replies

I too have got shoulder pain My Dr thinks I probably have got a tear in my rotator cuff I have seen a physiotherapist who gave me some exercises to do It seems to have aggravated the problem so I am unsure about whether to continue with them The problem is worse during the night I am 74 Advice would be appreciated


Take care if exercise is making things worse, I had a referral to a Gym by my GP but ended up with worse problem which took a year to resolve. I have some exercise you can do at home at your own leisure usually you can get a sheet from your surgery or local health clinic (do ask) best wishes


Hi Susan. I had several very painful episodes that stopped me playing badminton four years ago. On the last occasion I made an appointment with a orthopaedic surgeon and from the ultra scan and MRI it was seen that two of the four tendons of the rotator cuff had completely torn from the shoulder and retracted, so no possibility of a operation to re fix them,and in any case not advised due to my age at the time of 86. I now have what is almost certainly the same happening to my right shoulder and it is even more painful. I hope it has a complete detachment again, and soon, as it is then like having a tooth extracted after which the pain goes. The use in the shoulder is surprisingly good after the tears were

completed The cause can be due to accidents, or often doing a lot of overhead movement like playing tennis or badminton, but can more likely be from doing overhead long term work, or just old age.Hope you get a good outcome.


Hi Sapiens42, you are not alone, both myself and a friend have similar problems as you describe, and all get different treatment i.e I get painkillers if I see my named GP, my friend gets injections & physio, you get painkillers & physio. I can't do lots of things with my arms due to restricted movement and pain from past injury so I understand what you are saying and a little of how you feel, I have arthritis too and it's not to do with age I have had it since I was in my thirties and they still say fair wear and tear. Arthritis runs in my family so the genes are inherited not due to fair wear and tare. Keep up the physio as that stops muscle pain or reduces it. Take care don't overdo it and make adjustments to what you wear to make it easier to dress, I find one size bigger makes things easier to get on too.


I am 53 and going through exactly the same, frozen shoulder/basitus and its left me virtually paralysed on one side, pain is like having a permanent electric shock, and i spend most of the day wishing the minutes away so i can take the next lot of pain relief, and on top of that ankylosing spondalitus and various other back conditions.

My heart is with you all, this really is so nasty



Thanks for your responses I am using a smart phone and tablet and wondered if this was causing the problem The physio didn't seem to think so I have looked at this online and it does say it can be a problem I saw the physio privately but recommended through my GP Long waiting list for NHS He said if things don't improve the situation to get back to him I did call him after about 10 days Said cut back to once a day He did tell me not to push it if it causes me pain Because one exercise means raising the band above my head and both arms ached Not sure whether this is just because I am using muscles I don't Usually and it might settle I omitted exercise for a week but started again 2 days ago I am unsure about which way I should go The pain is a problem especially at night Keeps wakening me up Thanks again



I would advise you to ask your G P to refer you to a muscular

clinic and get your shoulder x rayed.I suffered for 18 months

having physio and doing exercises and getting nowhere. I was

Eventually refered to a muscular clinic where the first thing

That happened was I had an x Ray.It was found I had a torn

rotator cuff and was immediately booked in for surgary.

Don't let your GP or your physio fob you off blaming your

age you may not have the same injury as I had but an x Ray

could and probably would determine what is the cause.

Most of the time you don't know you have pulled your

Shoulder until much later .

Good luck

Tell your GP what you want and don't let just blame old age it happens too often.



Hi Sapiens42

I am sorry to hear about your pain. Is there a way to maybe be evaluated by another physician? I would like to offer some advise, but need to more info. If it is just wear and tear, doing some exercises will help alleviate some of the pain. The thought here is building muscle to help support the joint, there for helping to relieve the pain. Also seeing a massage therapist and asking for cupping can help muscle and soft tissue heal. Cupping will allow more blood flow into the area to excellerate healing. Posture is also key. Not allowing the shoulder to roll forward while it is at rest. Using ice to help with any inflammation. Last, but not least asking for cortisone injection to help lubricate and lower the inflammation in your joint.

I really hope you find some relief.


1 like

Very many thanks Ash


Hi I have struggled for 4 years with pain in right side centre back pain ,after many tests examinations ,physio ,finally found bursir impingement right shoulder .This was found during ultra sound ,it was tricky to spot,in fact when they found it they struggled to take a picture to start with, but a very patient clever doctor kept looking,manipulated my hand and arm and found the problem,to take the pictureThe back pain centre right was caused by the long muscle on right .This muscle was trying to help with the pain by constantly pulling on my shoulder to help with thehuge lump (spur) in my shoulder.E G the back pain was a spasm from the muscle that was working overtime trying to help the pain caused from the spur and inflamation.I have been told to stop all physio & exercises I had been given as these where making the pain worse ,(i did keep telling the physio this !)but he insisted it was just where and tear ,old age ,to do more exercise.I cant say if this has caused more diteriation .When I visited phsio for the last time ,to tell him the great news ,that the problem had been found,he said I find that very hard to believe ,you could not diagnose that from a ultra sound! I suggested he looked at my notes as the U S picture was there,he saw it and said oh ,that was his reply .

I am so relieved to have got to the problem ,I have had 1 cortisone injection to help me while I wait for my operation to have the spur removed & possibly something else ,( I wont know till in surgery what else they may have to do.It has taken so long to get a diagnosis ,the spur is extremely large .

Please keep going to your G.P

,I know its hard & you are made to feel a nuisance,hypocondriac ,time waster .Over the 4 years I have been offered pain management ,well being clinic ,anger management !!! ,physio ,really horrible nerve block tablets ,(these took over my day to day living as they really did block my nerve endings,to the point I couldnt pick anything up ,anything to get me out of the surgery, acupuncture and I paid a great deal for chiropracter ,all to no avail .

Good luck,hang on in there ,but please ,there is a reason you are in pain ,do not accept age related and you have to put up with it .


I omitted to say that my shoulder is swollen It feels as though there is some fluid there I know you can a Bursitis Just not sure what to do next

See GP or back to Physio?


You need an MRI scan. The wear and tear excuse is an excuse to save time by the GP. You can tear the tendon. The tendon tear probably will not cause pain. The build up of fluid will due to the Inflammation and pressure on surrounding soft tissue.

The shoulder joint is a very complex joint. Muscle cramps in the muscles can cause compression of nerve roots which will result in pain. Muscle cramps will pull movement out of alignment again possibly causing pain.

Inflammation due to response to a longstanding hard to get rid of infection will cause pain because of the joint complexity.

MRI scan will show fluid build up, tendon tear and muscle damage. MRI scan will not show muscle cramps.

You need a multiple treatment plan. McTimony chiropractic to deal with muscle cramps. Google "erythromycin anti inflammatory". If you have got Inflammation problems a one week or two week course of erythromycin will reduce the pain causing Inflammation. You will need to do your research to convince the GP.

Steroid injections damage ligaments. You will need to research this.

Hope this helps.

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Shoulders are a complicated joint.MRI is expensive and Drs often dont offer this unless you put them under pressure. A chiropracter can be helpful but get a personal recommendation from some one you trust. Regular anti inflammatory gels or tablets can help I find Voltarol(Diclofenac) better then Brufen but they can upset the stomach but ask your Dr to try different ones till you get one that suits you.Every one reacts differently to drugs.At night 10-25mg Amitriptline is good with painkillers containing some codeine. It is marketed as an antidepressant but a small dose just stops the brain registering the pain so much and some times makes you feel sleepy.It can cause a dry mouth but that is easier to sort out than not sleeping due to pain. Codeine is a bit constipating but Docusate(not Dulcolax) is a bowel softener and I take both regularly. Do some movement-aching is OK,Pain is Not. Good Luck


Hi all had a long overdue surgery Thursday 9th on my left shoulder.Question, is I been told for awhile now my shoulder has bad arthritis in need of replacement but too young still the horrible pain lack of ability to move the arm or lift it very much was told in MRI just arthritis they went in to clean it up said it would help. found out I had a bicep tendon complete tear and rotator cuff tear how can this be missed. How common is this? I was made to feel bad about myself and pain tolerance cause this. Anyone else have this ?



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