Tuesday, March 24, 2009 OMGIHURT, Community Member, asks

Q: pain in upper back and across the shoulders

Hi folks, can anyone tell me if they have sufferd with pain in their upper back, shoulders, and at the base of the skull??  The pain in my back is sometimes so bad that none of my painkillers work and I am really getting worried.  I am on 12.5mg MTX, diclofenic, and tramadol? Please Help!

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Answers (6)
Lene Andersen, Health Guide
3/25/09 10:39am

Yes, that sounds familiar. It probably comes from RA in your shoulders and perhaps your neck and if it isn't directly related to joint pain, I find that your muscles gets really tense and painful from trying to accommodate what's going on in your joints. Have you just started methotrexate? It takes about 6-8 weeks to really kick in, so you may have to be patient for a little while longer. If you been on methotrexate for longer than that, go back to your doctor and talk about maybe increasing your dose or discuss options for adding e.g., as small dose of prednisone or switching to a more effective DMARD. You can also ask for a referral to a physiotherapist who could help you with some exercises that may help in this area, as well as recommend a collar that you can wear part of the day to give your neck some support and rest. The physiotherapist may also recommend a different pillow that can give you more support at night. Frequent applications of a beanbag heated in the microwave can also be really helpful (you'll find the rice/beanbags in a supermarket or drug store).

Debra, Community Member
3/24/09 11:11pm

I have RA and I get this same pain, it wakes me up sometime at night. I amd on different meds. Asked Rheumatologist and all they say its part of the RA!!!  Not alot help is it.

swannie, Community Member
5/30/09 12:11pm

hi ihave ra and i take10mg meth plus painkillers.the pain in my neck and shoulders some days is unbearable my dr says its not ra but bad posture that causes the pain.i to get worried about the pain it affects my job some days i feel so down because of the pain.i have tried massage, heat bags .,correcting my posture ,exercises but nothing seems to work and in winter its horrible.i have had ra now for nine years in my hands feet hips but the pain i experience in my neck and shoulders is far worse ,i did have an injection of cortisone which did help for a few months but its only a temporary fix  and its not something i want to do on a regular basis but it may suit you  my new doctor suggested i do ti chi and warm water exercises so i will give it a go maybe it may help you as wellSmile

TC, Community Member
8/31/09 1:21pm

Thank you for the feedback. Can you please explain more detail about the warm water exercises?

NewportRILady, Community Member
8/10/09 10:20am

I have RA and Fibro. Fibro has specific locations, tender areas. There are 18 of them. Neck, shoulders and across the back are all areas for Fibro. Could mean that you have Fibromyalgia as well as RA. There are meds to help with the Fibro as well. Lyrica, after many alterations has been me a geat deal. Do you get extremely fatigued? I know RA cause fatigue, but when you add Fibro to it the fatigue is "pure exhaustion". Basically you can not get out of your own way, also you have muscle pain. Different locations from your RA joint pain. Maybe it might be worth your while to talk with your rheumy. Many people who have RA also have Fibro. They tend to go hand in hand.

The best thing to do is talk to you doctor. Find out different solutions.

Good luck!! Let us know how you are doing.

ann, Community Member
11/11/09 2:36pm

 i tryed marijuana  there is littel pain  and it gave me relife from headaces shacking and several other problems i have frome fibrom. try it

Ali, Community Member
10/13/11 3:49am

yes diclofenic-sodium is very effective analgesic and it is widly use in asia.

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By OMGIHURT, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/13/11, First Published: 03/24/09