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Discussion:
Arm/Shoulder Pain & Weakness??
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I have been having severe right-arm/shoulder pain all summer long...although, some days it's worse than others. At first...i thought that maybe I was sleeping on it wrong...so I started sleeping on my left side or back. However...it didn't seem to make any difference.

When the pain is really bad, I've noticed that my arm & right wrist also go weak! Funny thing is...I was Dx with "Carpal tunnel Syndrome" at age 18 (when my right wrist just quit working for several months). It has bothered me periodically over the years...but this is the first time it's been "associated" with severe right-arm pain. Does this sound familiar with MS? Can anyone relate or give advice? Thanks.
~tj
Posted on 09/19/11, 07:11 pm
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Reply #1 - 09/19/11  8:24pm
" Left shoulder pain was my first chronic pain issue that emerged in 1983. It never went away.

I went from doctor to doctor, physical therapist to physical therapist with no success nor answers.

I was having spasms in the shoulder as well.

When the MRI scan was invented, I was first in line to get one on my left shoulder. It turns out is is a rotator cuff tear complete as well as a ruptured tendon, joint abnormalities and also tendonitis. What a mess huh?

I was a typist/secretary for many years and this problem with my shoulder was said to be from the occupation I had for many years.

However, that said, it seems to also be an MS thing as it is numb at times, itches at times and hurts all of the time.

No surgeon will touch this mess of a shoulder, I know this much. When I think I've been living in chronic pain since 1983 I become quite depressed.

I hope your shoulder is not like mine is. There seems to be nothing that can be done I've been told more than once. :( "
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Reply #2 - 09/19/11  8:45pm
" Oh my Hope4aCure...I'm so sorry for all your years of pain (although, I've been quite familiar with PAIN myself...over the years!). I'm also sorry that they can't fix it! I was actually hoping that my problem might be something other than "neurological"...as nothing seems to help with Neuro Pain (except for good ole MMJ...LOL). Thanks for sharing your story! (((hugs))) ;) "
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Reply #3 - 09/20/11  9:14am
" Right shoulder pain came after my right sided neck pain 3 years ago..give or take. It was SEVERE. In the ER. X-rays, etc. I could not even blow dry my hair without sitting on the toilet to rest my right elbow on my lap. It hurt for months. Couldn't wear a sports bra even. I'm not talking FIBROMYALGIA hurt..as it felt GOOD to dig deep into it behind the shoulder blade and rub it!! Then in Oct. of 2010 it just stopped. I pray I didn't just jinx myself!! "
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Reply #4 - 09/20/11  9:40am
" Yes this is very familiar. I went to the fridge to get the jug of tea out and almost dropped it because it was heavy or should I say my arm was to weak to pick it up. I have achiness in my shoulders at time so I guess the MS is letting me know he's here and don't get to carried away with the duties you're doing. It just makes me so MAD! :( "
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Reply #5 - 09/20/11  1:47pm
" Heidi...I hope you didn't "jinx yourself' either dear! LOL! I seem to be good at that too!

MsRee...funny you should mention the "almost dropping the tea" incident. I have that same problem & have almost dropped it many times this summer...as I am a BIG-TIME tea drinker! LOL. However, on that same note...I HAVE actually dropped the tea jug, amongst other things/dishes, etc...when my right wrist gives out. But lately...it's not just my right wrist...but my entire right arm/shoulder/wrist! It's ALL weak...moreso when the pain is severe though.

It's bothering me again today...& I slept on my left side again last night. So...wondering if going to the Dr. would help? I don't suppose there's anything they can do!? They NEVER DO seem to be able to help me!! I guess I'm just so tired of dealing with almost everyday! Thanks for y'alls posts! ;)
~tj "
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Reply #6 - 09/20/11  1:55pm
" Yes, this pain is what Ive been going through the last month or so. Never had any problem prior (tho only been dx for a year).

It gets to the point where my arm is so weak and sore that just merely brushing my teeth and shampooing my hair becomes a TASK!!

I am also and avid softball player and I am literally out for days after I play, due to such soreness and weakness.... I used to never be this way.... "
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Reply #7 - 09/20/11  2:19pm
" I've been using muscle relaxers & MMJ...which is all I have access to at the moment...& all that I've found to help. I've also tried that "Voltaren Gel" (sp?)...which helps a little...but not much, & not for very long. Anyone take/use anything else for this?? Anything you know of that helps?? Thanks.
~tj "
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Reply #8 - 09/20/11  4:09pm
" Now that you mention it, yes! I too have this problem! It started about 6 weeks ago, like a light switch turned on over night. I woke up one morning with horrible shoulcer pain. Last week leg pain was added. This morning I told my husband that I had agonizing leg pain. Took 2 Advil and I am better. Not great but better.

I thought this couldn't be my MS. Then I saw your post here on the DS. I made a doctor appointment with my GP to rule out stuff. But MS? Could it be? It's musculer for sure. I am going to be 50 in two days so I thought it just "old age" trouble. But MS????

Then maybe it will go away like some of my other symptoms....

Amy "
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Reply #9 - 09/20/11  5:40pm
" I have had shoulder pain in right shoulder for about 8 yrs. Now starting in left. As hands have weakened over time with MS I too have dropped glasses of water and almost a pitcher several times.

I cannot straighten my right arm over my head. I finally got an answer last year that I have a tear in my right rotator cuff. It has been examined before with no answer. The doctor who diagnosed it is a physiatrist (sometimes called sports medicine drs although they do a lot more than that.) As he moved my arm no pain until he turned it a certain way and wow that was it. Said he thought it probably happened when I was leaning heavily on a walker for support to walk.a few years ago. Wheelchair only now.

My arms and shoulders get over use because I can't use my legs. Only solution is surgery and it's just not that bad yet.

My friend with MS uses Canadian Crutches. She has tears in both rotator cuffs-same reason over use. She had deep tissue massage or trigger point PT recently and got some relief. "
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Reply #10 - 09/20/11  5:51pm
" P.S. I use tiger balm, or Lidocaine patch when really bad. Gives relief. I have heard of voltaren gel - friend with carpel tunnel tried it but didn't help her. I think anti-inflammatories and some kind of PT are effective for some people. I am now trying massage and have found other areas of my arm are badly strained due to compensation and respond well to massage

Good Luck eveyone. Do what you can to try improve quality of life. Chronic pain is miserable and there are treatments. Of course it would be nice iff we could win the lottery to afford them! "

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