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Painful stiff shoulder/neck - who do I go to, what do I do?

(11 Posts)
higgle Fri 11-Jan-13 10:03:55

My neck has been a bit stiff and very noisy for years and I have learned to live with that. Recently the stiffness and discomfort is in my shoulder too - the muscle to lift arm hurts, as do;es the one at the back of my armpit. Since Christmas I've found it difficult to comfortably lift a bag of shopping.

I've improved my postion with my computer at work - raise my chair and brought the keyboard forward so I can't see my elbows. I've resumed light oga exercises and tried to sleep on my back or right hand side, as I suspect sleeping on my left with arm trapped under me might be partly responsible.

I'm sure GP wpn't be interested, they never are in this sort of thing so who should I see about it? I'm not sure if I need as sports massage, to see a phisio or a chiropractor. Have any of you had experience of a similar problem, what worked for you?

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 10:05:42

Don't write off your GP - he/she should be your first port of call and don't be apologetic - ask for a referral and/or some physiotherapy.

EstoyAqui Fri 11-Jan-13 10:08:07

I would say see the Dr. They can prescribe pain relief and your issue is logged. Then I would call a physiotherapist and ask for an assessment. Your Dr may be able to refer you but it is normally quicker to go direct.

I hope it gets better soon. I'm currently at home with a bad back and it's horrid being in pain.

sammisamsam Fri 11-Jan-13 10:09:13

try an osteopath first, Chiro's can be a bit touch and go, but if you have some local reccomendations then go for it... but i would advise seeing an osteo first as they can give you a diagnosis before you start spending money on treatment that doesn't work! and don't be afraid of asking your doctor for the treatment. You are entitled to health care and a doctor can refer you to an osteo!

LittleTyga Fri 11-Jan-13 10:09:48

GP will refer for Physio and also ask for an X-Ray so they see what the pain is exactly - but first see your GP - ring them now! No need to live in pain like that!

marriednotdead Fri 11-Jan-13 10:27:56

Another vote for an osteopath. Meantime, whenever I get a stiff neck/shoulder, she always advises me to keep it warm to stop the automatic hunching you do when cold.

jammietart Fri 11-Jan-13 12:27:33

A good Chiropractor. Worked for me. Like you I had put up with discomfort for years but woke up one day in real pain and decided to get something done. My chiropractor was recommended to me by my physio friend though.

higgle Fri 11-Jan-13 12:27:47

Thanks for all the advice, It is annoying me so much today I think an X ray via the GP is the answer, then I can decide what to do next.

All my old school friends, like me have hit 56 and when we had our re-union this year the great topic of conversation was "what is wrong with me" I supose this is probably the start of old age creeping on.

digerd Fri 11-Jan-13 16:02:28

The most common female complaint as we age and especially in the 50s, is spondalitis or spondalosis. This is where the neck vertabrae <sp?> narrows and traps the nerves. But can be many other causes.
An X- ray could diagnose this
I had it in my 40s but symptoms were a painful neck in the mornings, which also caused dizziness and head pain. Did not affect my shoulders, but let DH do all the shopping carrying from trolly to car boot !!!
Good luck

gingeroots Fri 11-Jan-13 19:51:54

GP and osteopath privately ( unfortunately ) .

curlyLJ Fri 11-Jan-13 21:05:07

The Alexander technique has really helped me. I started getting neck/shoulder pain about 8 years ago, did everything from physio, exercise, different pillows, etc and just learned to live with it. GP was useless.
Roll on a few years till after I had my DD and the problem had 'travelled' down my spine to my lower back. I went to a chiro who sorted out my problem to a certain extent (my hips/pelvis were out of alignment - this happens to a lot of women after pregnancy) but then after the initial help, the pain started to come back.

Anyway, I read up on the AT and found a local teacher. I have been having lessons since Dec and I found that although I thought I had good posture, there were things that I was doing that were putting an incredible amount of strain on my lower back and neck. The teacher shows you ways to hold yourself and walk and sit that all prevent you putting pressure on your spine.

Things are improving after less than 2 months and as this is a technique that you learn, as opposed to treatment, the effects are long-term.
Read up on it, there was a big experiment done looking at various treatments for back pain and the AT came out on top.

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