how do you tell if you have a muscle strain or just normal pain?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 7/27/2010 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
A few days ago my shoulder started hurting a lot, but it is a different pain than I am used to. It hurts to lift my arm and I feel the pain more when I take a deep breath. I don't want to rush to the doctor though if it is nothing. Do you ever get pain like that in your shoulder? It is towards the front and I feel it a tiny bit on the top of my right rib cage as well. No other symptoms though. At first I wondered if it was a silent heart attack but I have no other unsual symptoms.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4796
   Posted 7/27/2010 10:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bridget, I've had shoulder pain where I couldn't lift my arm without pain.
It turned out to be adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder. I was given a
cortisone injection and went for physical therapy for a couple of months. I now
have full range of motion, where before my arm got gradually worse and couldn't
be lifted over my head. I now have full range of motion with it. If it continues to
hurt , see a doc because if it is a frozen shoulder, it only gets worse.

Hugs, Robin
Fibromyalgia, MCTD (Lupus, Scleroderma & RA) Raynaud's, Osteoporosis,
Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Migraines, and Hypertension
Prescription Meds: Savella, Cyclobenzaprine, Methotrexate, Diltiazem, Boniva,
Folic Acid.  OTC Meds: Multi-vitamin. Vit, D, Vitamin B12 & calciim supplements

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 198
   Posted 7/27/2010 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bridget,

I went through the same thing jus about a month ago, could not lift my right arm even away from my body. Mine was a very severe muscle spasm that started in my right shoulder. I don't even know what I did to strain it and the doc said, probably nothing abnormal, could have pulled the sheets up on the bed and that was enough to do it..When he said that I thought, are you crazy, I can't even make my bed anymore. My arm stayed that way for almost 3 weeks. He gave me a muscle relaxer and that really did help.

I hope you figure it out soon. good luck.
Diagnosis:  Fibremyalgia, Chronic Myofacial Pain, Degenerative Disc Disease, Degenerative Joint Disease, Connective Tissue Disease, Lupus, Osteoarthritis, Anemia, Issues caused by being severely double jointed. Vitamine D Difficency.
Meds:  Vicadin, Meloxicam,Omepraxole(high dose previced) Vitamin D 50K , Ambian, Savella,Lyrica, Tramadol, Cyclobenzopine, Voltaren Gel, and Pennsaid Drops.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy paths acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6


Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 7/27/2010 12:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Bridget! My experience was much like MinnyMouse's. Heat and a muscle relaxer helped a lot, but the pain lingered for weeks. I think mine started from overdoing it in the garden. Hope you feel better soon!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 1556
   Posted 7/27/2010 12:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bridget, I have had neck and shoulder pain for a long time but what worries me is you said it is hard to breathe. I would get that checked being as it could be something in your lungs like pneumonia. Or actually something to do with your ribs. I will be praying for you.
Gentle Hugs
DX: Fibro, Gerds, COPD, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, High Blood Pressure, and Depression.
When I get where Im going dont cry for me down here. (Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 7/27/2010 3:45 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks ladies, it is actually a little better now. It's not hard to breathe....I was saying that when I do breathe, I feel the pain more. But it's actually getting better now. Not sure what I did! Still waiting on a diagnosis, so if I do have Fibro, maybe it is that. I have to wait now until maybe Sept to see a Rheumy! My neuro I have been seeing decided at the last minute to go on vacation so they rescheduled my appt. for August 20th... that was when I was going to request a referrel to a Rheumy.... I could see my primary care doc for a referrel, but I am not sure if I want to pay two co-pays since either way, I want the follow up with Neuro... and both doctors live 30 miles away and it is hard for me to drive there. So.... I wait.... it has only been a few months since I have started with the pain and I know some people wait years for a diagnosis, so I should't complain, but the waiting is driving me crazy!
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