left shoulder and neck pain

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tried everthing
New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/5/2012 7:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I had my first injection in my neck yesterday. I have been in pain for a work comp injury since 2009. I hate the fact that I had a decompression of the left shoulder for no reason in 2010 that did not help at all. So for 3 years now I have been on Vicodin I know with that with the long of use I'm now addicted and hate depending on it just to get through the day. I'm hopeful that this injection will work they said i have a herniated and protruding disk in c-5 and c-6 I'm only 38 and should not feel this way. What if it dos not work than what do I do keep pumping my body with 14 Vicodin a day just to get out of bed and function that's no life depending on drugs and I'm so tired of the pain. Has anyone else had anything else done that helped? please at my wits end :cry

Screaming Eagle
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 5/5/2012 7:53 AM (GMT -6)   


         Good morning Tried Everything!

             Welcome to the Cp forum! wink   Well!....you and I have a similar situation..except mine is one notch lower at the c6-c7 level, and most of my pain is generated around the shoulder and the blade of it. It's not fun...and can wear you down quickly.

     I have a couple of questions for you...if you don't mind. wink   Have you tried PT on it?...and if so, did they try decompression therapy on it? I have been going to a PT...and they actually let me bring the machine home with me. You can find them on ebay...called a Saunders Cervical decompression device....but you should be under the care and instruction of a PT before using one...or you can do major damage if not careful.

   Also, if it is an Epidural that you recieved...give it some time. It can take two weeks before you recieve the full effect from it. Many times patients will require a second attempt with the injection, but it is never a for sure deal to reduce your pain. I'm getting my 8th over all total...but it will be my second most recently in the cervical area, as I just had one around three weeks ago, and I must say, with not much luck! shakehead  

      If all of this fails to give you relief...then it may be time to visit with a surgeon. I dont' like the fact that I have to take pain med's...and yes!.you are correct in that we become dependent on them. We, as CP'rs are not really addicted, but rather dependent...there is a difference....but I understand where you are comming from. Pain med's...and or surgery can be a difficult decision to make....there are risk and possible problems with either. The only thing I would caution you on...is that going into surgery on a high dose of pain med's that you may be used to... if your Surgeon fails to give you the dose somewhat equal to what you are used to...then recovery can be a bit rough.

     Take a peek at the "Chronic Pain 101" located at the top of our home page...and it will explain the difference rather well for you. There are a lot of great articles there...and I'm sure you will enjoy reading them.

       Again Welcome!...and Enjoy the forum!

      SE wink        

Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 5/5/2012 7:48:32 AM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16757
   Posted 5/5/2012 11:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi TriedEverything and welcome to the chronic pain forum. I am assuming you are having epidural injections in your neck. Like SE said these usually take a little time before they kick in and work. The eppies are usually done in a series of three injections spread out over time. Hopefully you will have a good result with the injections. Its hard to say with injections because some people do really well and then some say it made no difference. It sounds like you have done a lot of conservative care in the past. Have you seen a neurosurgeon? If not you may want to see about getting a consult set up with one and get his/her opinion. If you don't get any improvement surgery make be necessary. No one wants to live in pain and having to take pain meds but many of us do in order to have some quality life. Its like SE said, try to stay on the low end of pain meds if its possible.

Anyway, I wanted to pop on and tell you hello and welcome aboard. Take care....Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

tried everthing
New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/6/2012 7:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes I did get a epidural injection this time. Since 2009 when I first hurt myself I was at work in a warehouse pulling down some inventory I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder blade area. They thought it was a strain/sprain. I was sent to their doctors which did tpi and physical therapy. That did not relieve the pain to me it made it worse. Then they sent me to another doctor which said it was my rotor cup so the did a depression and repaired some torn tendons in the left shoulder. Still nothing helped with the pain around the blade. Then I move so I had to find another doctor which started PT again and TPI about 6 total when they did not work they sent me to pain management saying it was a chronic pain there was nothing they could do. So this doctor said the my pain in my shoulder is caused by a herniated and protruding disk he tried to get worker comp to approve it but they said no cause I never said my neck hurt which i didn't it hurts mostly along the shoulder blade. So I had to use my insurance to pay for it. Worker comp said that I was at MRI which means I'm as good as I will ever get with an 8% disability rating. So they stopped paying benefits so I had to go back to work which is killing my back everyday but I take my pan pills and go to work and no one even knows anything it wrong with me only my family but even though they know i hurt everyday i don't think they understand cause they see me doing what i normally do cause i don't want to except that i cant so i just take more pain meds and take care of my family. So as far as surgery in my shoulder blade there is nothing they can do so that is a pain that i will have to live with but since they never said it was my neck i had my insurance cover that i really hope this doctor is right and it is my neck that is causing my pain in the shoulder I will have a 100 of the injection if it makes it not hurt any more. No one understands how depressing it was get all my friends and family see is happy go lucky and when i'm not all i get is sorry you hurt by the way did you feed the dogs. So i have to keep going even though there are days I don't want to. Glad to see that I'm not along in this that there are others with the same problem thanks for the help

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 5/6/2012 12:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the boards...Sorry to hear of your pain issues though:(

For many of us with chronic pain...it's really about using all sorts of modalites continuosly. So that includes all of the above in your poll choices.

For me, after 3 fusion surgeries I use exercise, PT, aqua therapy, yoga/stretching, massage, acupuncture, injections, TENS unit, eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, etc.

For medications, an opiate is just one small piece of the puzzle. There are muscle relaxers, nerve pain medications, anti-depression medicines and steroids when needed.

I am fairly shocked that your Dr. is ok with you taking 14 Vicodin a day for the Tylenol alone is 7000mg (if that is the low end of 500mg per pill)...This could cause liver and stomach damage....

As well as the Dr. can get flagged by the state or DEA for prescribing 420 Vicodin per month.

That is a short acting medication and usually Drs. will move towards a long acting medication like Ultram ER or even up to Percocet (short acting) once you get past 4-6 needed per day.

What type of Dr. is treating you now and providing the prescription? Have they offered for you to try a muscle relaxer or nerve pain medication?

I also agree with others that an appt. with a Neurosurgeon would be helpful to at least get a surgical consult or provide you with a comprehensive program that includes medications (not just an opiate) as well as other modalities to try and ease the pain. Or they can refer you to a good PM Dr. if you are not a surgical candidate right now.

The key though is that unless there is some easy fix (which is not likely in many spine issue cases) then trying to get to zero pain is not the goal...

It sounds like you are suffering with some depression which is very common in chronic pain patients. This is where an anti-depressant along with counseling is very helpful.

We can all empathize....It just sounds like you need to get to a good Dr. that is going to help you rather than just throw so many Vicodin at you and send you off. That is not a solution:(

Keep us posted..
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006

Betsey Ross
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 5/7/2012 5:19 AM (GMT -6)   
tried Everything Welcome to our board, sorry to hear taht you are still having issues. I agree with everyone else about going to a neurosurgeon for a consult and being referred to a pain clinic.

Let us know what transpires.

You should get a workers compensation lawyer to fight for you to get workmans comp because of your neck injury. that would be a good starting place

Age to a woman is like krypronite to Superman.

New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/7/2012 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Had a C7-C6 cervical fusion in 2009 and a Laminectomy in 2011 at L4. A trip to a surgeon is the next step you should take. Otherwise the nerve damage could become severe enough where surgery will not help. Got off pain meds six weeks after my neck surgery and five weeks after back surgery even though I was still hurting. After over a year without anything for pain I went to see a new PM Dr. and he put me on Methadone. I am now almost pain free for the first time since 2007. I bite a 5mg pill in half about every four hours. Methadone has negative connotations in this country because of its use in treating heroin addiction. It has given me back a quality of life I thought was gone forever. It might be worth a try.
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