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Unbearable nerve pain in shoulder going down arm. Advice please.

(40 Posts)
FrolickingFannyBoots Wed 10-Jun-20 07:04:57

Hello lovely ladies. I’m asking for advice as I’m trying not to panic but I don’t know what might be wrong.

I’ve developed over the last two/three days very acute and excruciating nerve pain in my right shoulder and travelling around under my arm out and then down a nerve in my arm to my elbow. No pain from elbow to hand. The pain has just gradually got worse until now I’m not able to move around normally; lying back is my only relief- I can’t even go to the loo without being in agony if my arm is hanging down.

I’ve not got any pain in my next or back - it’s just completely localised to my shoulder blades and arm. My DH has tried to help me with a massage and deep heat. I’ve taken codeine and ibuprofen ( Neurofen plus), rested and nothing is helping at all. I’m in so much pain, I’m almost screaming the house down. My dh has found the centre of my pain in my shoulder and when he presses it - it’s utter agony. Not much burning pain and no pins and needles, more acute stabbing nerve pain. I can’t leave the sofa or bed. I suffer from sciatica but on my left side and left leg. It has been much better lately so I don’t think it’s connected to that.

I have researched the Internet and it says about compressed nerves in my neck and back but I have no neck pain at all and can rotate my head perfectly normally. No breathing problems.

Could anyone suggest what this might be? An injury from sleeping? Could the pain not be nerve pain down my arm but strain from the muscles? It seems like a pinched nerve but I have no pain anywhere except my shoulder blade.

I’ve got a hernia and severe abdominal separation from pregnancies from years ago and need surgery which I put off ( for many reasons) but am due to have once Coronavirus eases.

So I can’t do much sport or any vigorous activity such as sports like tennis nor can I remember pulling my shoulder. I just walk each day due to my other health conditions and do general housework.

If anyone has suffered anything similar I would be grateful for advice or help. I’m in so much pain it’s complexly distressing my teenage children and I think my neighbours who must be able to hear my crying in agony.

Thank you so much for any support or advice.

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NiteWotcha Wed 10-Jun-20 07:08:42

will ask HQ to move this to General Health smile

hope you find what is wrong soon - sounds painful

Chardonnay73 Wed 10-Jun-20 07:12:46

I had this an was in agony, ended up in hospital to control the pain, an MRI revealed 4 discs prolapsed in my back pressing on the nerve to my arm, exactly the same as you, no back pain, all in shoulder and arm. Please see a GP.

Labracadabra Wed 10-Jun-20 07:15:51

Please get off the internet and get proper medical help. I hope you're feeling better very soon.

FrolickingFannyBoots Wed 10-Jun-20 07:17:13

Thank you so much for the replies. Chardonnay - you were In hospital? Sounds awful for you. So no back or neck pain. Yes mind is all in my shoulder and radiating down my arm. I can barely move. I really appreciate everyone’s time and help. smile

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FrolickingFannyBoots Wed 10-Jun-20 07:18:18

Part of me is too frightened to call 111 due to coronavirus- I don’t want to bother the NHS but yes I will calm them and my GP.

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Sameold2020 Wed 10-Jun-20 07:20:53

Are you sure it's not a heart attack? I would seek urgent medical advice.

ErnDincum Wed 10-Jun-20 07:22:29

I would visit a local osteopath if I were you. Most are working again now. They will be able to advise and arrange a private MRI scan if necessary.

Lynda07 Wed 10-Jun-20 07:25:15

It sounds like a trapped nerve. My son has had this recently and has had it on more than one occasion, it affects lots of parts of the body. He was advised to take Naproxen (anti-inflammatory, OK short term), and went to a chiropracter who was able to identify source and treat accordingly. Chiropracters are open for appointments. He's been much better.

Be careful how you sit and the type of chair you use, posture plays a big part in that sort of thing.

You could go to A&E if it is really severe they won't mind and you'll probably be seen quite quickly too at the moment. Don't put up with it, it is so painful.

Sharkyfan Wed 10-Jun-20 07:25:52

You poor thing. Nerve pain is a special kind of absolutely hideous pain.

I’m not a medical person so I would advise getting checked out - but I had something similar (tho it initially was elbow but then went down whole arm into middle finger) and I was convinced it was a shoulder issue.
At the time I called 111 and had an out of Hours appt and got some pain relief, also went to see a chiropractor.
It turned out it was deferred pain from a herniated disc in my neck. My neck itself wasn’t painful really although it was stiff.

See if you can get to see a GP and at least get some pain relief.

Gunpowder Wed 10-Jun-20 07:29:22

I’d be worried about a heart attack too and I would call your GP this morning.

Don’t be worried about coronavirus. I’ve visited a&e and GP since lockdown with the DC and it seems safer than usual to me: no one there, spotlessly clean, no waiting next to people coughing in the waiting room. At the GP surgery everyone wore masks and you had to have your temperature taken before entering the surgery.

GetUpAgain Wed 10-Jun-20 07:32:08

Theres loads it could be- you definitely need urgent medical care.

I hope it's nothing serious but potentially it could be an ectopic pregnancy or heart attack - don't waste time here. Good luck x

Roselilly36 Wed 10-Jun-20 07:36:29

Could be a frozen shoulder possibly, see GP, for assessment & referral to physio, it took at least a year for my frozen shoulder to recover. The pain still catches me at times. I hope you feel better soon.

FrolickingFannyBoots Wed 10-Jun-20 07:44:56

Thank you so much everyone- I have contacted my gp online and will call 111. I am not pregnant as I’m almost 49 and had my last period two weeks ago.

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OllyBJolly Wed 10-Jun-20 07:53:17

You're describing frozen shoulder - excruciating pain which could travel down my arm and oddly, sometimes the pain was in my upper chest (just under shoulder blades). Proper name is adhesive capsulitis.

I would go to GP for a diagnosis but you could also try a physio? My GP told me to go to a private physio because if I waited for an NHS referral it would be too late to make a difference. My physio is doing online consultations at the moment.

For some reason, it's very common in peri-menopausal women. Hope you recover soon - most painful condition I've had.

FrolickingFannyBoots Wed 10-Jun-20 08:19:12

Thank you everyone so much for your time- it’s a great help to me. I have spoken to 111 now and online GP appt. They have referred me to my GP and I’m going to my local minor injuries unit which is close to me. I will go down now if I can cope with pain of getting up! 111 says unlikely to be my heart but I will get checked out.

OllyBJolly- thank you for sharing your experiences of your frozen shoulder. I did wonder if it might be that but don’t know much about the symptoms. I don’t think I’ve been in this much pain since my sciatica.

I’ve been managing my peri menopausal symptoms for about two years now. I wouldn’t be surprised either if it was caused by menopause!

I will go to the minor injuries unit today and yes, if it’s possible - I will get a private physio if they are working now? I’ll see if there are any online practices doing consultations.

You’ve all been just wonderful with help. flowers

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Powerplant Wed 10-Jun-20 08:37:12

Good luck this morning hope you get it sorted and receive some pain relief 💐

FrolickingFannyBoots Wed 10-Jun-20 08:50:50

Yes I’ll report back. I’ve taken some nurofen plus and waiting for it to kick in so I can get up & dressed and go the injuries unit. I feel awful going but I can’t cope with the pain. My heart goes out to all those suffering from Covid 19, cancer and other life threatening illnesses at this time. I have found lockdown the protests and now news of waiting lists all just the most stressful of times. Thank you all for your kind thoughts smile

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bloodywhitecat Wed 10-Jun-20 09:00:09

Amitriptyline helps with my nerve pain, mine is in my left arm too and comes from my neck although I have no neck pain, I do have a sensation of nettle rash/pins and needles in my arm and weakness on that side too. Over the counter pain killers offer no relief from the pain.

I hope you get some answers.

Flossie44 Wed 10-Jun-20 09:11:47

Crikey that really does sound awful. Good luck and please let us know how you get on today. 💐

Themadcatparade Wed 10-Jun-20 09:25:58

Oh I’m sorry you are in so much pain. I suffer with this daily in my right arm (but not as severe as yours sounds!)

I have a degeneration of neck discs. Yours sounds like it come on suddenly though, you might have a very very bad trapped nerve or done something to your discs?

The best thing for me which has helped with pain daily over medication or painkillers is a hot water bottle. Sounds very simple but after about 20 minutes it really does work.
I have one in the car when travelling and at my chair at work which I refill during the day. I went from all the pain meds you can imagine to having none and I can’t stress enough how good heat therapy Is for nerve pain.

I hope this helps sooth it for you until you seek medical attention flowers

FrolickingFannyBoots Wed 10-Jun-20 10:19:00

Themad- that is fantastic advice. Thanks! My daughter is doing one now for me!

Goodness, your degeneration of neck disks sounds very painful and I’m glad you have found some relief. Really not easy to manage when working at all- tgat must be hard god you to manage. I will get myself checked out and my neck .

Just waiting for my husband to finish a work call and I’ll go the injuries unit. If they can’t help, I’ll wait for the GP to get back to me. I’ve managed to have a shower and dress.

Having support here has made a huge difference to me psychologically.

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FrolickingFannyBoots Wed 10-Jun-20 10:19:39

Apologies for my typos- I’m terribly at typing!

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Binterested Wed 10-Jun-20 10:23:26

Hope you get some help soon. Frozen shoulder is more common in people with diabetes or thyroid conditions. Does that fit?

My frozen shoulder (I have a thyroid condition) was sudden onset and the pain was agonising. But if I didn’t move it didn’t hurt so not sure whether that fits with your pain.

FrolickingFannyBoots Wed 10-Jun-20 15:05:46

Hello everyone and here is my update.

I’ve been to the injuries unit and they were just fantastic.

They checked me over and said that I have a compressed nerve due to a shoulder muscle strain and the inflammation from that is impinging on the nerve ( auxiliary nerve I think ). No heart issue.

I can’t recall hurting myself - how odd! I’ve been given some stronger codeine to take with ibuprofen and it should subside over time hopefully.

I can’t believe something as simple as a muscle strain could cause so much pain! I’m glad it’s nothing more serious though as I am on the waiting list for major reconstructive abdominal surgery and have other health issues so I’m pleased it’s a simple answer.

Beinterested- I’m sorry to read of your pain. They ruled out frozen shoulder with me but the symptoms are similar; it does sound very painful indeed. I don’t have any diabetes or thyroid problems but I really appreciate your input. I hope you are better now.

I just can’t get over hiw something so simple could turn me into a screaming bundle of pain. The NHS were brilliant though.

Thank you all again so much for your support- it has really helped me. I hope everyone is able to manage their pain and coping with lockdown. You’re all lovely 💐

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