Ouch! Steroid injection in my shoulder

Just thought I'd post this as others have questioned joint, shoulder, collarbone/clavicle pain, weakness & tingling in their arm being connected to hypothyroidism.

I've been hypo for about 14 years & just discovered I have Hashi's, & a vit D deficiency.

I've had pain in my left collarbone & shoulder for just over a year. It started with my arm going dead & my fingers tingling. The muscle in my arm felt like it was swollen & solid but at the same time very weak. Of course the doctor initially said I had a trapped nerve & gave me amitriptyline to ease the pain... I took one & felt like a zombie. I lived with it for a while & then the doc sent me for a scan, saying it was tendon damage... Nothing on the scan, so the doc gave me anti inflammatory tabs - I took two and my stomach went ballistic. I've carried on & the pain came & went but then it came back with super strength about two months ago. I'm now at the stage where I can't even dress myself & find every time I twist or extend my arm I get shooting pains & the pain in my shoulder joint & collarbone is unbearable. Today I've had a steroid injection to try and ease the pain ( about an hour ago) the doc says he can give me three of these at 8 week intervals, but if that doesn't work then I have to see an orthopaedic doc & ultimately it will lead to surgery.

I firmly believe this pain came when I began to feel very ill with hypo symptoms after taking 100mcg of levo for years, I now take 150mcg a day & have gone gluten free as well as taking various supplements. I'm slowly trying to take control of my health as I feel let down by the system. I'm hoping the pain will ease but secretly I don't think it will until I find the right dose/medication to heal me. Thankfully I have a new GP who seems to listen.

Still in pain at the moment πŸ™πŸ»

30 Replies

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  • For y husband ,daughter and grandaughters the only way to be free of pain is to take NDT not synthetic levothyroxine

  • Yes I think you may be right. I'm learning as much as I can before taking that step to new medication, but my arm/shoulder is such that I can't think straight sometimes, that's why I'm hoping this works πŸ™πŸ»

  • Steroid injections simply mask the problem and alowmore damage to occur ...rest that shoulder and change to ndt ...it takes time to heal the body on ndt wheras levo only fudges the issue

  • Bless you. I had both shoulders go (rotator cuff) and it was agony. About six months after the first one started to feel better the second went. I'm under the impression they can do some kind of scan - an ultrasound? MRI? - to see if it's being caused by spurs. Does that sound familiar to anyone or am I imagining that? (Foolishly I didn't go to the gp but I probably should have.)

  • I can already feel the other arm starting to hurt, not sure this isn't because I'm compensating for the other. Hope this injection works πŸ€•

  • I'm sure that is an issue, that one arm has to do double duty.

    My only advice (if you want it!) is to ensure you get some physio or appropriate exercise once you're out of the woods and healing. My arms are like little T Rex bird claws now. They lost a lot of strength after the injuries and I never quite got it back again. Stretching was good (once I was on the mend and not before) because the joints had become very stiff and range of movement was reduced.

    I sound ancient but am only(?) 48. :-)

  • I only 50 & feel older than my mum who is 80! Lol

    My movements are a lot more restrictive, but I plan on doing yoga to build up the strength, once I feel I can move it without pain.

  • Don't get me started. My mum is the fittest person I know!

    Yes, best to be a bit cautious. I went to a physio/acupuncturist who advised very gentle exercise to avoid doing further damage. And she got me on the road to much better range of movement.

    I do wish the doctors took a broader view than just injections and surgery. It feels so narrow and inevitable. Sorry to say this is why I suffered in silence and didn't go to my gp. I don't think that was an excellent choice but I couldn't face it.

  • Yes my hope is to build strength slowly & I think yoga will be good for this. I used to do it years ago... how I wish I'd carried on now.

  • I admire you for doing it at all. (Sorry to say I hate it.) I know very old people who have carried on doing it and it gives you such great strength. flexibility and posture.

  • I've recently had arthroscopy and shaving of a huge bone spur in my shoulder. I never had a problem with my shoulder ( even though I have psoriatic arthritis) until I had a fall and landed on my shoulder. That was In Novmeber 2014, I know exactly when the pain started. I had MRI which showed the spur. I had steroid injections into the shoulder joint in March 2015 then intensive physio but pain became much worse at the beginning of this year when I had a severe flare of arthritis. I had an ultrasound guided injection which showed that I had calcification in the shoulder. Also several more general steroid infections and another injection into the joint. After another MRI showed huge spur, I had surgery in May. It was supposed to take only 45 minutes but due to the size of the spur, it took nearly three hours. I am still in a lot of pain when I move, now having physio to try to get full range of movement back. But my other shoulder has started with the same pain ( sounds like the exact same pain and area as before and what you describe) so I guess that it is an extension of the arthritis.

    Whilst not directly linked to hypothyroid, inflammatory arthritis is another auto immune disorder so there probably is some sort of tenuous link. Hope your inject starts to work soon. Clemmie

  • Clemmie, my sister had a similar thing happen to her. She fell & broke her arm about an inch down from the joint, she had surgery & then physio but the pain never went & just got worse. They eventually found a spur & she had further surgery, but again the pain never went. They then found scar tissue had grown over another spur which was cutting into her muscle, so more surgery & this time it worked. Maybe something to think about.

    I also have psoriasis & the endo I saw thinks it's all arthiritis. Im not sure I agree as I've never suffered before. I agree it's connected but my GP seems to be trying to rule everything out first so I'll go with him & hope something works.

  • I feel for your sister. Glad she's finally got some relief. I am a bit concerned that there may be something more going on with the joint but will have to wait and see. I don't actually have psoriasis but when the rheumatologist heard that my middle son has severe psoriasis, he diagnosed me with PsA. I'm hoping that I don't develop that as well as everything else! I am on biologic injections for the PsA and doing ok, on the whole although I've had a flare as had to stop for a few weeks because of the surgery.

    Good luck, and hope you don't have arthritis. Clemmie

  • Thank you Clemmie.

    I hope I don't have arthiritis either!

    This morning the aching pain has gone, but I still can't twist or extend my arm.😐

  • Hi Rennixon thank you for allowing me to read your posts. I can totally relate to the pain and weakness whilst trying to perform everyday tasks! I will definitely speak with my GP about vitamin B12.

    I am crossing my fingers that your injection works, you are so brave 😊

  • thyroid-info.com/articles/m...

    What is your FT3 level ?

  • Hi Marz , thank you for the link. Very interesting, I've read about the correlation of T3 to muscle/bone pain before and it's always in the back of my mind, that I may not be converting? My last test 27/5/16 showed FT3 as 5.6 (4.1-7.9), previous Ft3 was taken with a different lab but was 5.34 (3.1-6.8) so as it's mid range should I really add T3? interestingly since I upped my dose of levo to 150mcg my FT4 has gone from 13.9 to 23.9(11.0-23.0) & the endo is worried I could be over medicated!

  • You are only over medicated if the FT3 is over range - was it the when you had that last FT4 test ?

  • Yes it was Marz, the ft3 was 5.6 & ft4 23.9

  • So what was the range for the FT3 - doesn't look over range to me :-)

  • Oh I see - the FT3 range is 4.1 - 7.9 so with a result of 5.6 your FT3 is well with within range which suggests you are not overmedicated.

  • Bless you, hope it helps..I know you were nervous about having it done. I would research NDT though. I know it's daunting self medicating but honestly I don't think you'd look back if you tried it. It really does make a massive difference. If your GP is good then maybe she'd be open to the idea? Or at least offer to help monitor you even if she won't prescribe it? x

  • Thanks for the concern. I did hurt! 😒

    im waiting for bloods (taken today) & I will then look into NDT or T3.

    Looks like you're doing ok now on the NDT, which gives me encouragement 😊

  • Yeah, still not 100% but pretty close. I'm expecting that even when optimally medicated I will still have the odd down day but those days are already fewer and further between and not as bad as they used to be. The best thing is that even when i have a tired day I don't get depressed anymore. Keep us posted about your shoulder xx

  • Rennixon, just one quick thought, if you have too many steroid jabs into the tendon/rotator cuff, that can cause it to tear so if I were you, I would ask to be referred sooner rather than later. Clemmie

  • Yep ..its in hand Clemmie, I've an X-ray booked & an app next month for the rheumatologist πŸ‘

  • You need an MRI because the rotator cuff won't show up on an X-ray.

  • Thanks. I'll have a read up & present my findings to the doc when I next see him, hopefully by that time I'll have had the X-ray & hell agree to a scan.

  • I, myself, just went thru a bit of shoulder trouble. I'd been having pain/discomfort on and off for a few years but in February, it got to the point where I couldn't pick up my cats, or put on/take off a coat or shirt, or do much with my left arm without pain. I went to a Sports Medicine doc and he took an X-ray. It showed I had what is referred to as "shoulder impingement".

    I was given a cortisone injection into my shoulder and prescribed 6 weeks of physical therapy. It took about 2 days for the cortisone shot to take effect. I started physio right away. The therapist was great! The did ultrasound therapy, massage, exercises for flexibility and strength and then finished up with TENS while icing the shoulder. Nothing they did was to the point of pain or even discomfort. They would constantly ask how I was feeling.

    In the beginning, I was sore after the sessions and after 2 weeks I couldn't believe how good the shoulder was feeling. After the six weeks, i was back to full usage. For 2-3 weeks after I ended physio, I still did the exercises 2 times per week.

    How are you feeling today? I have lupus in addition to being hypo so I know my tendons, joints and ligaments are prone to inflammation. I started adding T3 to my Levo about 8 weeks ago so hopefully, if what I'm reading here is true, my shoulder issue won't return. (Impingement can be cause by either tendon or ligament damage. In my case, it didn't really matter since the treatment plan was the same. Of course, if my pain returns, then my doc would order a scan).

  • Good morning milkwoman

    Yesterday my shoulder hurt like hell. The pain in my arm had gone & so I figured it must take a while to work. Just woke up & the pain has subsided to an ache. But any movement hurts still. I'm at a loss as to what excersises I could do to help it, & I wish the doc had referred me to physio, I feel I need help to do the correct movements to loosen it up & not do further damage. πŸ™ƒ

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