Frozen shoulder with swelling in the neck

by Lyn
(United Kingdom )

Frozen shoulder with swelling in the neck needs to be properly evaluated.

Hello, I was wondering if you can help me?
I have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder; however one hand is now a completely different colour to the other.

I have some swelling in the neck down to my collarbone and pain (more toothache like) running the entire length of my arm to my hand. I have been referred for an orthopaedic outpatient appointment, so whilst I am waiting I was wondering what,if anything I can do to help with the discomfort and loss of range of motion?

I work 8 hours per day on a pc with no wrist support and thought that could have been the cause; however my doctor signed me off and nothing has changed. Many thanks in advance.

Hello Lyn,
It's good that you have an orthopaedic consultation; frozen shoulder will not cause a swelling in the neck.

Having said that, a condition known as a thoracic outlet syndrome, or TOS, where both the artery and nerve bundles in the neck are pinched in the interscalene triangle can affect both the colour of the arm, and pain running down the limb.

A clot needs to be considered also.

Then there's Raynard's syndrome which affects the blood supply to the arm.

I take it the ranges of motion have been affected, seeing you've been diagnosed with frozen shoulder. Lying on your back, some gentle range of motion exercises would do no harm, and if it really is a FS then they would be very beneficial.

Push the mouse as far back on your desk as possible, lower your desk or raise your chair so that your hands point down, like a piano player, and get a chair with elbow support; or a small table under your elbow.

In short, this is complex, and a specialist opinion is indicated. Meantime start writing down all the things that increase and decrease the pain in your arm.

For example, if you raise your hand above your head, or carry a heavy shopping basket, or turning your head does it affect the arm?

I hope this contributes, but I fear won't be too much use to you.

One last thing; are you a smoker? Google pancoast tumour.

Let me know what comes of it.

Dr B

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