I can't raise my right arm fully. I saw a doctor and he said it was tendonitis. Thant was 2 months ago and even though I have been using the arm I can't sleep on my right side without pain and I can't lift my arm to reach for items above my head. I have pain and discomfort when I wash my hair and cannot lift the arm high enough to apply deodorant properly
Age: 54; Female, California
the dr. gave me a steroid shot but it didn't help. I have been taking extra strength tylenol and rubbing aspercreme on my shoulder and upper arm about 2-3 times per day
Was there an injury to your shoulder when this pain began?
Do you feel any numbness or tingling in the shoulder or down the arm?
Any neck pain?
not that I can recall. I did feel that I had slept in the wrong position on my sisters sofa back in July.That's when I first noticed the pain but I could still raise my arm. I do feel numbness down the arm at times. Yes, there is neck pain...more like a tightness
Thanks for the information.
I think there are two likely possibilities other than tendonitis for your symptoms.
I would be concerned about the possibility of either labrum injury with a possible nerve impingement in the shoulder, or a pinched nerve in the neck.
The labrum is a structure in the shoulder made of cartilage. Sometimes it can be damaged by trauma or "wear and tear" without any specific injury. If it is injured, sometimes it will also cause a nerve to be pinched as it runs through the shoulder and this can result in pain or less commonly numbness down the arm. This can usualy be diagnosed with an MRI of the shoulder and may respond to steroid injections and physical therapy. If not, sometimes surgery is needed to correct the problem.
The second possibility would be a pinched nerve (specifically the "C5" level nerve root) in the neck. This can be due to arthritis or a bulging disk in the neck. The neck pain and numbness you are having make me suspicious this is a strong possibility. This also can be treated physical therapy as well as pain medications and sometimes injections around the nerve root. However, surgery also may be needed if symptoms persist.
Since your doctor has examined you and suspected a shoulder tendonitis, I suspect that you have or had some tenderness in the shoulder. For this reason, it may be best to start with a re-examination of the shoulder and to have an MRI of the shoulder. If the MRI is normal, you may request an MRI of the neck to look for a pinched nerve there.
If your doctor is not comfortable doing this, an Orthopedic Surgeon would be the best type of doctor for you to see in my opinion.
Neurology Residency completed 2006, Board Certified Neurologist
Thank you for responding so quickly. I feel as though the colarbone is out of place. there is a small bulge on the right that was not there before. I was a gymnast when I was youngso I guess it could be wear and tear
You are welcome.
The clavicle (collarbone) can certainly become dislocated where it meets the shoulder or where it meats the sternum (the center of your chest). This is a possibility, but I would not expect this to cause numbness so I doubt this would be the main problem for you.