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Sudden onset severe shoulder pain
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Jozlynn posted:
Yesterday afternoon my left shoulder area began to ache. I sat at my desk and just kind of rubbed it gently thinking I was just stiff from typing. It started about 4:15. By 4:45 the pain was increasing rapidly. By the time I left work at 5:00 I was in severe pain. It didn't hurt to touch it but it was excruciating to move my left arm. It also began to hurt to breathe, but only on my left side. Specifically right above my left breast, like someone was pushing my chest in to keep me from being able to fully breathe. I couldn't take deep breaths at all. The pain in my shoulder felt like I would imagine a broken collar bone would feel like. The pain felt like it was actually in my bone. It traveled up the left side of my neck somewhat. My left arm felt somewhat numb but not tingly. I was trying to drive and explain to my husband what was going on but I couldn't hold the steering wheel with my left hand. When I tried to put the phone on my right should it was excruciating to lean my head that direction. The pain would fade a little in my shoulder and then all the sudden increase, feeling like someone was pushing down on my shoulder. I have a very high pain tolerance and this had involuntary tears running down my cheeks. My husband insisted we go to the hospital, knowing that I can usually tolerate pain, because he hadn't seen me react like this even after a car accident that almost broke my ankle. When we got to the hospital my BP was 193/126. They immediately did and EKG, which came out fine. When they made me lay down for the EKG the pain was excruciating in my shoulder. The doctor gave me a pain med and Flexiril (sp?). As I was laying down the pain subsided and of course with the meds it faded. They tested my heart enzymes and something else but all blood tests were normal. When it was finally time to leave and I had to sit back up the pain immediately increased. I'm finding that when I'm unright, and especially if I lean forward, the pain is worse than if I'm laying down. The ER doctor diagnosed it as work related muscle strain but there's no way. Especially if touching the actual muscle itself doesn't bother me. The pain is better today (I am taking 800mg ibuprophen) but is still there and I'm still having difficulty taking a deep breath. When I left the hospital my BP was still high at 156/93. Any ideas what this could be and what I should do? Thank you!!
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CTBeth responded:
Hi Jozz,

First, as the MD thinks it may be a work-related injury, please do yourself a favour and report it in writing to the appropriate department at your job. If this becomes a worker's comp injury, you'll need all the documentation that you can.

While it sounds like it was the right decision to go to the ER, their priority seems to have been to rule out heart attack, as you presented with suspicious symptoms.

After they were satisfied with your being hemo-dynamically stable and that you were not having a cardiac event, naturally you were released as you were not in imminent danger.

This does not mean that you do not have an injury that may require treatment.

The best way to be assured of this and to be safer that you do not cause further injury is to see your primary care MD. If you have any paper work from the ER, do take that with you as your MD may want to have a closer look at your BP.

Document everything.

In advance, I gave my opinion a few days ago regarding a new user asking for an opinion. Another user disagreed with me and, after reviewing what I had written, indeed my advise/opinion was not the best.

Please understand that this is just one user's thoughts.

Take care of yourself and please write again and let us know how you are doing and what you're thinking.

Bet
 
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_swank_ responded:
I've had more muscle strains and sprains that I can count and they do not cause a sudden onset of severe pain like you describe. I suspect something else is going on. Keep in mind that gallbladder issues can cause those symptoms as can problems in your neck. Follow-up with your own doctor if it continues.
 
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Dollbug responded:
Hello.....MiMi in NC....I am normally on the FM site....but I did want to comment to your post....my husband is having the same issues right now...except his is on the right side....he ended up having a MRI and he has a ruptured neck disc which is pinching a nerve....he is waiting to see a neurosurgeon....I have also been there done that...and ended up having cervical surgery....on several of my neck discs and also had bone spurs which was causing major pain on my right shoulder down to my fingers...it took the doctors a long time to figure out my problem....I finally got instant relief when the surgery was done...

I hope that you will continue to see your doctor until you get to the root of the problem.....especially if your pain does not get any better....

Take care and good luck...


MiMi


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