Shoulder pain

I have had P.M.R. for four years. I am also just getting over a fractured sacrum. I am reducing from 15 mg. using the dead slow method and am getting on ok. But I have had shoulder pain in my left shoulder for months and it is getting more painful. I have had an X-ray on the top of my spine which showed nothing wrong but the ultrasound my GP requested was refused as the hospital said it would not show anything. The pain goes from my shoulder blade up to the top of my shoulder and into my neck and down the top of my arm. I do have movement but it is limited. Pins and needle run down to my fingers and are so strong it is almost painful. Ironing is the worst thing! It helps if my husband massages it for me. It's not too bad at night. Can anyone identify with these symptoms please.

Regards Sue

16 Replies

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  • Yes - and in my case it is muscular caused by myofascial pain syndrome. It won't show on an x-ray or ultrasound but a good physiotherapist would identify the spasmed muscles which can trap nerves and cause referred pain. I live in Italy and am being given massage and manual myofascial release therapy by a hospital physiotherapist. You'd almost certainly have to look for it privately in the UK. Bowen therapy helped me a lot. I have also had needling therapies which worked well - also difficult to find in the UK but they are there.

  • Thank you very much. I do have an excellent physiotherapist and will go back to her now I can describe where the pain more accurately. I always find your posts helpful. Sue

  • Hi Sue,

    Like PMRPro I would suggest it's not PMR, could well be MPS, or even arthritis or rotator cuff problems. Although MPS won't show up on X-ray the others will, so might be idea to request another on just shoulder, before you start spending money on therapy. Although Bowen worked for PMRPro it did nothing for me, and is quite expensive in U.K.

    Ask GP about a cortisone injection - I know it sounds daft when you're on Pred, but it is localised to the point of pain, and may help.

    In the meanwhile try some gentle stretching exercises - arthritis website has some. If you can do a few minutes in the morning (lying on the bed) whilst the muscles are warm from overnight. They do hurt a bit whilst you're doing them, but it does make it more flexible, but don't overdo it. I find heat helps my shoulder -but that is OA for sure.

    As for the ironing - good excuse to do as little as possible!

  • Thank you . I will look up the excercises you recommend. I put great faith in exercise so will definitely do them. I am reluctant to have a cortisone injection but will give it a go if my GP will let me. And I'll go back to see my physio. She is very good. As with PMRo I always find your posts helpful. Thank you. Sue.

  • Unfortunately yes I can. The pain in my left upper quadrant is mostly unbearable. The right one has pain too but not as bad as the left. My left side started way before PMR some 16 years ago when I was moving house and damaged my biceps and ligaments when lifting heavy boxes. As you do! Visit to doctor yielded nothing except rest it! Consequently when PMR hit 4 years ago, it targeted that old injury and won't let go. Doctor thinks I am mad, maybe so, but that doesn't mean it isn't flipping painful. PMR is everywhere of course, but the upper left arm is the worst.

    I wish you all the best

  • Thank you for replying. I know these sort of things are often difficult to diagnose but as I have been refused an ultrasound I don't feel I can rule anything out. It is sometimes very painful at night but mostly in the day. I sometimes feel the GPs put a lot of stuff down to age (I am 72) . I am fortunate that at the minute my PMR fairly quiet but my left shoulder is constantly painful. Any way hope you get some relief soon.

  • Hi Tonysue,

    Regarding the ironing, please tell your husband that testosterone does not explode on contact with an iron and let him iron. 😀

  • Gave us a good laugh. 😁 Thank you. In his defence he always carries the ironing board in for me!😈

  • My ironing board remains in position in front of the TV on a permanent basis - I only iron if there is something half decent on TV (sport usually, NOT footy). It is put away if we have visitors...

    Watching my husband iron is like watching paint dry. I can do 3 shirts in the time he does one ;-)

  • That's true, it's probably more painful to watch him iron! 😊

    I just yank the clothes out of the dryer now and hang them.

    I used to iron, but my two friends told me they don't bother anymore. So I try it this way now. It works for most clothes ,

    But not all, I think.

  • No dryer - just the balcony and freeze-drying in winter ;-) I haven't dried stuff indoors for years. The nearest is hanging the washing on the balcony and switching on the fan!

    I had a friend who ironed underpants and socks! I wear a lot of pure cotton so you have to iron that!

  • Yes, that is for sure! Anyway the dryer trick doesn't always work. It's just unfair that you have to iron in pain, but your husband sounds like he's a good helper. A fellow in the movies once said," Getting old is not for sissys " Guess he got that right. ☺️😩

  • Hi PMRpro,

    I had a neighbour like that. I too used to wear all cotton due to allergy to synthetic fabrics but now wear bamboo/cotton which doesn't need ironing, well maybe the very thin t-shirts would look better ironed! I have no difficulty resisting the temptation!

    Best wishes.

  • In our house it's a case of not being able to open the door of our spare bedroom because of all the ironing piled up behind. But yes, watching tv is the best option. 😳

  • I must just say that my husband has cancer and does all he can to help me. But we have enjoyed the laughs at his expense.😉 We try not to let things get to us. He is better at it than me. But as Dory said while they were finding Nemo, we "keep on swimming. Thanks for the support everyone.

  • He sounds like a great guy!

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