Severe Point of Shoulder Pain radiating down to forearm

by Alex
(BC, Canada)

Originally had rotator cuff tear in right shoulder almost healed after 20yrs.

Have Carpal Tunnel in both forearms, after working as a deckhand on a Salmon Troller for 15yrs; some days gutting 500 fish a day, "Humpys or Coho salmon" back in the day.

Recently injured both shoulders after moving, re-injured 2 more times in as many years, "Moving again".

I was lifting and stacking 24 plastic totes weighing 40-60 lbs each in all 3 moves. Had to stack them 5x high in a full size van with raised camper roof. Lifting in a "Clean and Jerk" type motion then having to extend my arms out to carefully position the totes as some of the contents were quite fragile.

Now both shoulders mostly on top and front of "Deltoids" are very painful when "Test":

1.) Raising arms to 90deg to front then swinging arms to side.
2.) Raising arms to 90deg to sides then swinging to front.
3.) Raising arms to top of head and holding for 1 min, then Extremely Painful when lowering arms to sides, "Must let them fall to sides" to painful to use muscle to lower below 90deg.
Last move was 4mo ago.

What do you think Doc?

Thank You,

There could be a number of things going on; most likely a biceps strain, but there are specific tests that isolate the muscles to make the diagnosis more accurate.

Also because of the current shoulder and elbow strains I'd be having a good look at your lower neck which supplies these muscles.

Making an accurate diagnosis is important for the surgeon, but for you frankly it doesn't matter that much to you. Look up our shoulder exercise programme, start them gently, icing your shoulder every day.

Take it seriously or it may turn into a frozen shoulder.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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24/7 scapula and shoulder pain

by Kayla A
(California )

Back in october of 2014 my back was stepped on causing a shoulder injury. After a few hours of pain and limited movement I felt it pop and the pain went away (for the most part). I wore a sling for a week and called it good.

A few months later I woke up with the same shoulder pain. Again a few hours later I felt it pop and it felt better again. Wore a sling for a week and called it good.

After that the pain never went away so sometime in march I went to the doctors. The first doctor took an xray said I was fine and not to come back. After I went to the er and they gave me narcos and an immobilizer. A couple days after that the pain had grew a lot worse so I went to a different doctor. They did a rotator cuff injury, which I passed, and gave me a referral for a physical therapist.

I went to one twice a week for a month and it had helped somewhat in the mean time, but after I stopped the pain came back and has never left since.

It's now 18 months later and I have to deal with this pain pretty much 24/7. I do home exercising and ice it but nothing helps and neither does ibuprofen, advil, etc.

The pain is located mainly on and below my scapula, travels up the side of my neck, completely around my shoulder/collarbone, down to the middle of my ribs (just on the back though) and down mid arm.

I'm beginning to develop lower back pain which I think actually might be because of this issue.

Please help. I'm 17, I shouldn't have to be dealing with this. Oh, also, I have normal mobility, just a lot of pain.

Hello Kayla,
Do any movements of your neck hurt at all? Where, and what kind of pain or tingling?

Did anyone test reflexes and whether there is numbness in your arm?

Please use the search function at Chiropractic Help and do the Upper Limb Tension Test.

Does working with your arms above your head increase or relieve the pain, and where?

Does deep breathing cause pain, and again where is it? Any breastbone discomfort, or headaches?

Let me know.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Mar 18, 2018
Easy fix

I have had the exact pain for years. Doctors told me all kinds of crazy stuff. By chance a physical therapist showed me how to alleviate it with a stretch; but also my chiro can fix it on the spot.

It's usually the C7 or T1 vertebrae out of place causing a rib to aggravate everything around the scapula and back up the neck. It sucks and had it off and on for about 20 years. Oddly enough at this very moment I have the pain but due to a fusion and 2 spacers on my C 5-6-7 three days ago I cannot perform the stretch. It's been a long weekend as my chiro is only Mon-Fri so I will be in his office tomorrow. Good luck hope this helps!

Mmm, not so easy fix otherwise you would not have had the fusion. I doubt your chiropractor will have done too much on Monday morning after a neck op a week ago. Am I wrong?

It would be useful to others (and to me!) if your could describe that stretch.

Be really sensible and follow the surgeon's instructions to the letter for the next few months; ever heard of failed back surgery?

It's a difficult problem that both you and Kayla had; thank you for your contribution.

Dr Barrie Lewis

Jul 07, 2015
Dr b
by: Kayla

If i turn my head in either direct to where my chin is right above my shoulder there is a pulling feeling that hurts at about a 5 on a scale of 1-10. The only tests done for my shoulder was a rotator cuff injury test. Sometimes when i inhale i get a stabbing sensation in my left rib cage that lasts for about 30-45 seconds. And I cannot do any overhead lifting above a certain weight. It doesn't hurt i am just not physically able to lift anything over my shoulder anymore. I do occasionally get numbness in my arm. I like to describe it as the achey and weak feeling you get when you're sick, but just in my arm.

I need the answers to the question too, Kayla to give you a helpful answer. Exactly where is the numb feeling in your arm?

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Pain in my rotator cuff and shoulder blade area

I'm in a job that requires an excessive amount of manual labor. Some of my tasks are to dig holes for foundations 3ft by 3ft by 4 ft deep. When digging that deep, trying to scoop dirt out hole, my collar bone begin to ache. Pain feels like it's in my rotator cuff area and at times pops while digging. I've been routinely off and on digging for about 8 years. Nights become uncomfortable because I can't lay on my right shoulder. By the way I'm right handed and my right shoulder is the problem.

That's hard work; I know because I dig similar holes, just not as deep for my fruit trees.

Firstly, treat your digging like a game of football; do plenty of warm ups to prepare your body for such hard manual labour. And then cool off once you're finished and put on a track top. Perhaps take a shower if that's an option.

Does turning your head, looking up and down cause pain? Does it radiate to your midback or shoulder? Raise your arms above your head, to the side and behind your back.

Deep upper back pain can be from the upper back just where it hurts, but can also radiate from the lower neck that supplies that area. Type that term into the Site Search function.

You've probably strained your shoulder muscles, so some stretching, and ice them would be a good idea.

If it's affecting the collarbone then it may cause what is known as a thoracic outlet syndrome. Site search that term too.

Obviously what's needed is a diagnosis; there are so many possibilities. If it's not improving in a week or two, get a professional opinion; a good examination and not just some pills.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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7 months of shoulder and arm pain

So for the job that I work I have to hold a 2 pound heat gun over my head and go up and down to my waist all day every day. I have worked there for seven years then began to have what felt like tendinitis in my arm and I thought I had carpel tunnel at that point too.

I went to the doctor through Worker's Comp. and they had me start doing occupational therapy; for some reason I did that for eight weeks and it didn't help anything. Then they sent me to a specialist and he referred me to physical therapy for four weeks. That just made it worse.

I begged my doctor through Worker's Comp. for an MRI on my shoulder and they wouldn't give me one so they sent me to a chiropractor. The chiropractor thinks it is my rotator cuff and she thinks that she can help me.

I am seriously hoping this will help because it has gone on for seven or eight months of unbelievable pain. I'm wondering if the chiropractor will help me or if I need surgery? Back before I went to occupational therapy they gave me a Cortisone shot in my elbow. Someone please give me some insight.

Tell me exactly where it hurts, and which movements provoke the pain. Do you have neck pain, and do movements of your cervical spine provoke the agony in your arm?

Has anyone tested the pulse in your wrist? Ask your chiropractor to do Adson's test.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Jun 24, 2017
Reply to dr. B about pain in the arm
by: Gerri Bo

Yes, when the doctor stretched my arm out and I turned my head my pulse slowed way down. They did an X-ray to see if something was blocking it; I do not trust that hospital one but they have a very bad name. I have n cal (what's this?) pain all the time the chiropractor has been aligning me and working on my muscles for my rotator cuff.

It sounds, Gerri, like you have a thoracic outlet syndrome. I can be caused by a cervical rib which would have been seen on x-ray, but far more likely by a first rib fixation which wouldn't be seen.

That sets up a scalene muscles spasm pinching both the artery and nerves; your chiropractor will find and fix it.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Shoulder pain and tingling

by Kristian ukah
(Calabar, Nigeria)

T1 Dermatome

T1 Dermatome

For quite some time, i have been presented with pains on my right shoulder muscle. i cannot raise my arm above 70 degrees without feeling the pains. recently i started noticing some tingling on the same arm intermittently. the sensation has moved a bit to the back of the shoulder. what can be the cause and remedy?

Hello Kristian,
It is possible to have arthritis in the shoulder - difficult to diagnose arthritis without an X-ray - but it's not likely in this instance.

Most shoulder conditions have at their root, an irritated nerve in the neck. Hence the tingling in your arm and the back of your shoulder.

Knowing EXACTLY which part of the arm tingles helps the doctor to make the diagnosis.

It's speculative, of course, since I can't examine you but I suspect you have a rotator cuff strain that may be turning into a frozen shoulder ... Start the exercises found at this page.

This is a very painful condition that you have, and it's best to find a chiropractor, if you can. I know there are some in Nigeria... but it's a big country! Because your neck needs to be examined, and probably treated.

Start the exercises...

Find a good chiropractor may be your next step.

Go from Shoulder pain and tingling to Chiropractic Tips …

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Chronic L Shoulder pain, weakness L elbow, numbness ring/little

by Austin
(Prineville, Oregon)

I am a retired Army Combat Medic. I was retired at 23 and am now 26.

SX 1. I was diagnosed with tendonosis L elbow by the army however their (Army and VA) diagnosis' are often a check the block diagnosis. The L elbow started before all other Sx and was initially treated through RICE and occupational therepy. As soon as I put it back to work the pain and weakness returned.

I went from maxing my physical tests to having the inability to hand someone a glass of water with an outstretched hand and it's my dominant side. There is a specific location of painin my elbow ulnar side, on top. Hand grip unaffected. ROM limited with an outstretched arm nomatter the direction.

SX 2. Numbness and tingling in the fingers especially in the ring and little finger. Seem to be more susceptible to cold, including feet.

SX 3. The worst Sx yet is my L Shoulder pain. It ranges from limiting, distracting, debilitating, and excruciating. I constantly and flailing my arms about feeling the need to stretch it or create space to relieve pressure on the nerve or to have someone apply pressure to loosen the muscles.. Once while having a friend apply pressure with their elbow we both felt as if something had burst inside my shoulder (like a water balloon. It was not painful and was actually kinda relieving. pulling my shoulders back is painful.

Sx 4. Bilateral neck pain, primarily on the L side. Stiffness and swelling trailing from the neck to the shoulder. pinpoint pain location with the urge to "grind", rotate neck, stretch for and aft and to the Right.

Medical diagnosis' that apply; Sarcoidosis of the lungs and lymph nodes, tendonosis L elbow.
It seems no medications relieve the pain (unless euphoria is achieved). Have tried naprosyn, motrin, etodolac, Norco, cannabis, flexiril, mobic and indocin.

According to federal doctors there is nothing to note from x-rays, or Ct Scans. Other commonly experienced Sx include loss of balance, fatigue (even after full rest and a "biblical diet" [organic vegetarian, constant urge to pop joints in fingers sand wrists (bilateral).

I guess what I am seeking from you would just be your opinion of likely causes to all this. I feel I cannot trust the answers from my providers due to possible government secrets/weapons/cover-ups. A hollistic med provider I sought thought possibly heavy metal poisoning (I have SEVERAL fillings and some have begun to break down) and or Lyme disease.

Like I said I am now 26 and am experiencing pains and stiffness like I'm 70. Prior I had always been very fit and I am still very active most days.

I know you can't diagnose via email but your opinion is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and if any more information is needed I will do the best I can't to provide it.

Hello Austin,
You are a text-book chiropractic case with possible overtones of a medical condition, since sarcoidosis has presumably been confirmed.

That discomfort in the neck, the shoulder, a probable tennis elbow and tingling in the C8 dermatome. It's all one problem. The first rib, and a cervical rib also needs to be considered, though presumably would have been commented on in the x-ray.

Remember scans only show stuff when it's advanced. In the early stages, X-rays and scans are often negative. But the physical exam I'm certain would be positive. Kemp's test, Upper Limvb Tension test, resisted isometric wrist extension ...

Gather your scans and look for an experienced, thorough chiro in your neck of the woods. Talk to friends and fam, even your GP for a name.

I hope this contributes.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Jan 30, 2013
by: Austin

Thank you for taking the time dr. B. I'm glad to finally have a direction to take this that will actually lead to my body being fixed. Lol.

Pleasure, Austin, let us know in a few weeks how you are getting on.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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