symptoms of ra

Shoulder Blades

Nan Community Member January 10, 2010
  • Has anyone experienced shoulder blade pain. I do have RA in my shoulders but the shoulder blades themselves are what is bothering me most right now. I can feel the whole outline of them and it is beyond tender and very painful to even breathe. My range of motion is pretty much "0" too. Its as of the edges are sharp and damaging the tissue where they are. Strange and so painful. I may just call my doc tomorrow, this is crazy.

8 Comments
  • Lene  Andersen
    Health Guide
    Jan. 11, 2010

    You could be having trouble with the tendons and ligaments - RA can cause inflammation in those, too. I would definitely recommend that you see your doctor as soon as possible.

     

    Let us know how it goes?

    • Nan
      Nan
      Jan. 11, 2010

      hey Lene, I just got back from the doc. It wasn't my usual doc, she was unavailable. It did not go well from my point of view. This doc was a bit of a jerk and not gentle at all. He just advised that I see the orthopedic doc that I saw last year. He asked when I saw my rhummy last, I told him last Wednesday but my shoulder was not bothering me, my elbows...

      RHMLucky777

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      hey Lene, I just got back from the doc. It wasn't my usual doc, she was unavailable. It did not go well from my point of view. This doc was a bit of a jerk and not gentle at all. He just advised that I see the orthopedic doc that I saw last year. He asked when I saw my rhummy last, I told him last Wednesday but my shoulder was not bothering me, my elbows were and my rhummy put shots in both of them. My left shoulder blade hurts some too but not nearly as bad as the right, which is the way my RA works anyway. I hurt bilaterally but in a flary situation the right side is always worse. I debated all weekend whether or not to see a doc, if its just tendons there's really nothing that can be done just the usual rest, heat or cold and pain meds and I was right. He said to go home take a couple of ultrams have someone put the voltaren gel on my shoulders and chill. I guess I expected too much, I should have listened to myself better. hahahaha

    • Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      Jan. 11, 2010

      no, you did not expect too much.  A doctor supposed to be helpful or if they can't help, then at least reassuring. I would recommend that you call your doctor's office again and asked to speak to your regular doctor on the phone and explain what is going on.in the meantime, do what the other doctor suggested, but definitely call your doctor's office and...

      RHMLucky777

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      no, you did not expect too much.  A doctor supposed to be helpful or if they can't help, then at least reassuring. I would recommend that you call your doctor's office again and asked to speak to your regular doctor on the phone and explain what is going on.in the meantime, do what the other doctor suggested, but definitely call your doctor's office and ask for her to call you back.

  • Chuck
    Jan. 12, 2010

    Hi Nan

    Sorry to hear about the shoulder blade pain, it can be excruciating. Your problem may be mechanical in nature because of the decreased mobility in your shoulders. When you move your arms your shoulder blades move in order to maintain proper joint alignment. The shoulder blades will rotate, move up and out to the side according to what your arms...

    RHMLucky777

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    Hi Nan

    Sorry to hear about the shoulder blade pain, it can be excruciating. Your problem may be mechanical in nature because of the decreased mobility in your shoulders. When you move your arms your shoulder blades move in order to maintain proper joint alignment. The shoulder blades will rotate, move up and out to the side according to what your arms are doing. When your arms get to where they are not moving, the muscles and tendons around the blades get tight and actually pull the blade down against the back of your rib cage. This pinches the soft tissue and can be very painful. I can only say this "may" be your problem and can suggest one exercise that might help. If you can, get in the hands and knees position on your bed or the floor. Try to let your upper body sag towards the floor while keeping your elbows straight. This will help to pull the shoulder blades away from the rib cage. While holding this relaxed position, gently rock side to side a few times. If this seems to loosen you up you can continue to try it several times daily. Do not do this exercise if the hands and knees position aggravates other joints or if the movement is too painful. It should get better as you do it.

    If this is whats going on, you may get good results from seeing an orthopedic Physical Therapist to loosen your shoulders and shoulder blades up. There are quite a few exercises and manual techniques that may help you.

    I am a Physical Therapist with RA and have treated many people with shoulder blade pain. There are other problems that you could be having but this sounds like a possibility.

    Good Luck

    Chuck

    • Nan
      Nan
      Jan. 12, 2010

      You may be right about the immobility. I do guard my shoulders, they bother me so much and seem to be the more painful of the joints I have the RA in. I do tend to keep especially my right arm as if its in a sling most of the time. I do love exercise but have not been able to keep up very well in the past year. I will try the exercise you described. I...

      RHMLucky777

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      You may be right about the immobility. I do guard my shoulders, they bother me so much and seem to be the more painful of the joints I have the RA in. I do tend to keep especially my right arm as if its in a sling most of the time. I do love exercise but have not been able to keep up very well in the past year. I will try the exercise you described. I scheduled myself an appt to see my ortho doc Thursday. I even had my daughter palpate my entire upper back and shoulders and mark, with a sharpy, the exact points of pain as it is hard to point out something on your back. He can't miss that. I just want to be able to do normal everyday things. I had to leave work again today and I am an accts payable clerk. I was not shoveling dirt or heavy lifting. I was stapling and filing and typing. I came home hit the bottle of ultram, took a nap and feel some better, not so inflamed. Thank you for your help

  • hmbaby7
    Jan. 11, 2010

    Hi Nan:

     

    I agree with everything that Lene has said.  I have been having shoulder problems since about October, 2009.  My pain has been in the shoulder joint and it radiates down my arm and into my rib cage. I have done physical therapy, heat, ice, 2 cortisone shots, x-ray, MRI and like you my arm motion is limited.  The ortho doc said...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi Nan:

     

    I agree with everything that Lene has said.  I have been having shoulder problems since about October, 2009.  My pain has been in the shoulder joint and it radiates down my arm and into my rib cage. I have done physical therapy, heat, ice, 2 cortisone shots, x-ray, MRI and like you my arm motion is limited.  The ortho doc said it was bone spurs.  My choice was more shots, surgery to shave the spurs or physical therapy.  The ortho doc says he lives with this problem himself.  So, I start physical therapy again tomorrow.  I hope you get to the bottom of your issue.  I hope what I shared with you helped.

     

    HMbaby7

    • Nan
      Nan
      Jan. 12, 2010

      Thank you,  I did get an appt with my ortho doc so maybe I will get to the bottom of it. I sure do appreciate everyones help.

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