Additional pain in the shoulder

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 7/14/2011 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone,
As some of you know I have an L5 disc issue (which causes sciatica like symptoms) as well as RA in my lower back. I'm getting a rhizotomy again tommorow (left side) in order to lessen the pain for a few months.
However, I have been noticing a disturbing trend concerning my pain. The first I just assumed was linked to my back pain which is stiffness and low to low moderate pain in my quad muscles. Ok nothing to get alarmed about right?
However lately, I've been getting an almost burning heat like pain in my shoulders. Its right at the front of the deltoid where it connects with the rest of the arm. Its moderate level and toleratable and I do drive roughly 75 minutes to work, so I had thought some of the pain could be from arm use.
However, even just to sit here and type, I can clearly feel the inflamation in my shoulder.
My question is whether its common for RA to spread to other joints, especially considering I'm 31 so I'm not super young, but I'm still in early adulthood. This is something I have no brought up to my doctor yet because its only been going on over a few days and maybe its just from overuse. Its on both sides but stronger on the right side (which my back pain is generally stronger on the right side as well). Hmmmmmmmmm.
and yes I know if it continues I do need to tell my doctor, heh.
MRI revealed disc bulge and test injections revealed RA. Radio Freq procedures helped for months, but pain is up and im having the procedure done again. Currently on 75 mgs of Nucynta (tapentadol - A MOR + NRI) 2 to 3 time per day and Soma 350 as needed.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16776
   Posted 7/14/2011 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Grain, sorry to hear that you are suffering so. Yes, the RA can hit any joint or area in your body. It does not limit itself to just one place, in fact most people I know that have RA suffer with pain and inflammation in several areas of their body, not just one spot. My sister has RA and hers is all over her body. Have you been to your rheummy and discussed this with him/her? If not I think I would be contacting him/her and get an appt to be seen. What meds are you on for your RA?

Let us know when you get to see your dr. Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 7/14/2011 11:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Your rheumy may have you get an MRI to find out if you have bursitis and/or tendonitis, aka shoulder impingement. It may be able to be treated with a steroid injection. You can have up to 3 injections. The first one I had didn't work because it wasn't placed correctly. The other 2 did.

My problem, being more than twice your age, is that I also have a couple of bone spurs, so the injections don't last. I need a little surgery to remove the bursa and clean out the joint. You could also need the bursa removed if the inflammation doesn't go away with the injections.

There is an exercise I learned from the internet which helps temporarily:
With arm straight at your side, turn your palm outward, thumb up, turning toward your back , and pull your arm just a little backward. It repositions the joint a little, for me getting the bone spurs not to rub. It might help reposition the joint with respect to the bursa.

There are other exercises, but ask your doc first! I was put into PT and it made me worse. I had to get a second opinion to even get a proper diagnosis. My pain doc was the one who ordered the MRI.
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