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Intense shoulder pain

  1. Aug 24, 2007 #1
    About four days ago, in the midst of the night, I felt an intense pain coming from my two shoulders alike. It was unbearable and I don't know what I would have done without the good dose of aspirin I took - even then the pain was still intense. After a three hours or so, the pain in one shoulder started dissipating and an hour later still the pain was gone altogether. Now, the pain was apparently at the bone level and it was the second time I feel something like it, with the first time being more bearable. Any idea of what it could be? I've been sleeping with AC on allot lately, I suspect that there's a relation.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2007 #2


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    Are you certain it's not muscular pain? Have you been working out recently?

    Back when I used to swim a lot, sometimes I'd wake up in the middle of the night with agonizing cramps and muscle pains in my calves.

    My advice is to go see a doctor about it. Hopefully it's nothing.
  4. Aug 25, 2007 #3
    I don't work out. I don't think it was muscular pain though it could be... I'm not qualified to tell after all. I haven't been to the doctor for a while now, I think I'll arrange an appointment.
  5. Aug 25, 2007 #4


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    As a rule, I recommend amputation for pain. In your case, though, with both arms affected, I can see a complication. The first one would be easy enough, but how would you hold the saw to manage the second?
  6. Aug 25, 2007 #5


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    might as well start practicing using his feet now, anyway
  7. Aug 25, 2007 #6
    I'm afraid amputation won't work, the pain is embedded too deeply into near my neck.
  8. Aug 25, 2007 #7


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    Well, a cranial amputation would cure the pain... but it would be a fleeting improvement.
  9. Aug 25, 2007 #8
    have ever been in an auto accident (whiplash)?---or have had any type of a neck injury?
  10. Aug 25, 2007 #9


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    Probably just trapped the nerves when you were asleep. Happens in my left shoulder all the time. Just have to wait till it works its way out.
  11. Aug 25, 2007 #10


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    Okay, I'm going to quit trying to be funny for a while. (And really, if I'd thought of this earlier, I would have posted it.)
    I have 'migratory' arthritis. It's like an aimless wino—hits a different joint every couple of hours. I can wake up feeling great, and by 10:00 am not be able to use my left hand at all. At 2:00 pm my hand might be fine, but my right big toe hurts like hell. It's not restricted to joints; sometimes it shows up as a muscle or tendon malfunction. The reasons that I didn't suggest this before are that you didn't mention any pre-existing problems (arthritis usually escalates from some minor discomfort over a matter of years) and because of your description of the pain. I hadn't accounted for the fact that people have different pain thresholds. What one person considers incapacitating pain might be a minor nuissance to another. My tolerance happens to be pretty high, so I didn't think of arthritis when you described how excruciating your pain was. (Then again, I played baseball for 5 weeks with a broken finger and it didn't bother me.) Anyhow, it might be worth looking into. You'd be particularly succeptible to it if you have any other autoimmune disorder such as diabetes or lupus.
    Another possibility would be fibromyalgia. Last, but not least, there is something that's simply called 'chronic pain syndrome'. No one seems to understand it very well.
    I strongly urge that you consult a physician. Some conditions similar to yours are merely indicators of something more serious, such as a heart problem. At the very least, you might get a prescription pain medication.
  12. Aug 26, 2007 #11
    I know a woman that went through 'pain'/aches/etc. for about 20 years seeing about 30 doctors getting diagnosed with arthritis, RSD, and who knows what else. If doctors (medical) can't find a problems after so long, I guess the 'normal' thing is to send them to psychiatrists. Anyway, she kept seeing new doctors and finally about 3 years ago she was diagnosed with chiari, was treated (in some way) and is a 'new' woman.


    (there's a lot of chiari stuff on the net)

    Your situation sounds bad. Have you been to 'pain specialists' before? There's a lot of new therapies out in the past 10 or 15 years that are becoming more widely known, like RF ablation, and something similar to TENS therapy.
  13. Aug 26, 2007 #12


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    I appreciate the concern, but it's unnecessary. As I said, the pain doesn't bother me. (In some ways, I kinda like it... :blushing:) The occassional incapacitation isn't because of the pain; it's because the limb or digit in question just won't respond to motor control signals. That's not really a problem since I'm ambidextrous and can do most tasks one-handed. The only reason that I mentioned any of this at all was in case it could be of help to Werg in finding out what happened.
  14. Aug 26, 2007 #13
    Well, from what I've read, 'pain specialists' may help. Their actual field is anesthesiology. It sounds like you have looked into it (quite a bit), but there is an area that may have been over looked---you may have a sympathetic chain injury (either thoracic or cervical). The problem within that problem (again from what I've read) is that it can be a feedback injury. An injury, somewhere/anywhere along either of the cervical or thoracic chain (I think it even goes to the feet) can cause numbness, pain, aches, tingling, loss of motor functions, hyperhidrosis, blotching of the skin, cold sections (hands, back, etc.), and many more 'problems'. I read (someplace) that a woman dropped a can of food on her foot (the only thing they found that could have caused it), and she had arm pain so badly they were thinking of cutting her arm off until they finally diagnosed the problem and did a sympathetic chain block.

    I just remembered--hyperhidrosis can be helped with the block.


    When I was reading about it, there seemed to be a lot of strong correlations between the sympathetic chain and some of the 'new' /(new to the west) therapies---reflexology, acupuncture, pressure points, etc.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2007
  15. Aug 26, 2007 #14
    Sounds like you have a monkey on your back.
  16. Aug 26, 2007 #15


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    Did you misplace one of your kids again?

    I repeat, Rewebster, that I need no treatment. Really, it's very nice that you're trying to help, but I don't require help. The condition is definitely osteoarthritis. If I wanted to do something about the pain, I'd drop a couple of ibuprofens—I prefer not to. Honestly, pain is irrelevant to me as long as it doesn't prevent me from achieving some goal. The only thing that I take pain pills for is headache, because that prevents me from mentally filtering out the pain.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2007
  17. Aug 26, 2007 #16
    I have kids? No one bothers to e-mail me anymore.
  18. Aug 26, 2007 #17


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    AC might do it, especially if it is not "there" all the time. My grandmother used to say "never sleep under an open window at night, the draft won't spare you even if the thieves might."

    There is the possibility of a heart condition, in which case the massive dose of aspirin was the right thing to do. If it is not heart related, then ibuprofen might work better than aspirin.
  19. Aug 26, 2007 #18
    Math Is Hard, is that you?
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