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911Doctor
911Doctor, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 5094
Experience:  Board Certified Emergency Physician
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I've had some minor pain behind my left shoulder for a few

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I've had some minor pain behind my left shoulder for a few weeks along with popping when I rotate my left arm. I told my doctor about it and he moved my arm and shoulder in a few different directions and told me to just try to stretch it more often before working out. Since then, I feel some tingling in my left arm as well. Could this be a pinched nerve or rotator cuff issue?
911Doctor :

Yes, it could be either of those... could also be a problem in the neck with the nerve that supplies the arm being pinched.

911Doctor :

However, more likely a shoulder problem.

911Doctor :

Have you had Xrays?

911Doctor :

Do you remember a specific injury?

911Doctor :

standing by

Customer: No X-rays yet.
911Doctor :

Do you remember a specific injury?

Customer: I don't remember a specific injury, but I do a lot of push ups and pull ups every week.
Customer: It's not major pain. Pretty minor in fact, but the popping and tingling concern me.
Customer: I can still do push ups and pull ups, but I feel the dull pain occasionally along with the tingling.
911Doctor :

I see

Customer: It's not constant, but comes and goes.
911Doctor :

I see

Customer: Depending sometimes on how I'm holding my arm.
911Doctor :

it's not obvious to me what this injury is and it certainly could be inflammation that will go away on it's own, but does it hurt when you raise your arm above your head or if you try to lift things above shoulder height?

Customer: No, I wouldn't say it hurts, but I can feel it slightly.
911Doctor :

okay, so I think this

Customer: When I just raised my arm now, my shoulder cracked a bit.
911Doctor :

if you are continuing to experience symptoms and they are not improving you are at the time frame where it will be necessary to get a little more exploration of your injury.

911Doctor :

the first thing is xrays and the second thing is probably physical therapy

911Doctor :

it does not sound like you need an MRI from what you are saying

911Doctor :

and that your shoulder is bothersome but not unstable

911Doctor :

so I think surgery is not likely

911Doctor :

and I think this is something that can be reahabilitated

911Doctor :

with the proper treatment

911Doctor :

does this make sense?

Customer: What would e difference between what an X-ray would discover vs an MRI?
911Doctor :

you need an Xray as a 'baseline study'... it probably wont give us an answer but is important because SOMETIMES it DOES given an answer (calcium buildup in the joint for instance)

911Doctor :

but more importantly

911Doctor :

because it takes rare bone problems that are dangerous off the list, and it allows the radiologist to do a better read of the shoulder MRI should you need one in the future.

911Doctor :

the MRI is the key in most significant shoulder injuries

911Doctor :

as it shows all structures in the shoulder in 3D

911Doctor :

and a diagnosis is often made on the MRI, which requires a plain film Xray first

911Doctor :

standing by

Customer: Got it. I did have a ct scan of my neck about two months ago. It just showed minor lymphodnopathy in the neck, but when I did a needle biopsy it came back benign.
Customer: So I'm guessing that wouldn't have anything to do with it.
Customer: Also had a ct scan of the abdomen, which was normal.
911Doctor :

that's good to know... that helps but a CT does not show herniated discs ... an MRI does... but I don't think a disc is your problem

911Doctor :

glad your CT scans were normal

911Doctor :

sounds like they were worried about lymphoma or something like it

911Doctor :

glad it was okay

Customer: Probably a nerve or something then?
911Doctor :

I think so, could be a labral tear (cartilage inside the shoulder joint) or a minor rotator cuff injury.

Customer: I have my annual physical tomorrow, so I'll see if the Dr can do an X-ray at the office.
911Doctor :

sounds to me like something that with proper physical therapy can be brought back to normal.

911Doctor :

that's a good idea

911Doctor :

do you have any final questions for me about this?

Customer: Sounds good to me.
Customer: I'm all set. Thank you very much for your help.
911Doctor :

you are most welcome

911Doctor :

good luck rehabbing your shoulder

911Doctor :

should you need my assistance in the future simply start your question with 'for 911doc'

911Doctor :

and I am on most days

911Doctor :

positive feedback always appreciated

911Doctor :

be well and thanks again

Customer: Thanks again!
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