Question :

Severe shoulder pain radiated to the arm with numbness

Dear Ask The Doctor:
Hello my names alec im 28 male I have extreme pain between the shoulder blades and up into the neck (more to the right side which is seriously restricting my movement at first felt like a knot or pulled muscle but now feels like a trapped nerve , with pain occasional radiating out down my right arm with a slight numb week feeling in my shoulder and arm. its very painful to get up from sitting (easier with arms crossed across chest and practicly impossible from lying down. Aditional to this I have a bad chest infection and im finding it difficult to clear my chest due to my severe back psin I would apreciate any help thankyou


Answer :

Dear Patient: 
The symptoms that you described may correspond to a cervical spine nerve compression.  In the younger patients, cervical radiculopathy may be a result of a disc herniation or an acute injury causing impingement of an exiting nerve. In the older patient, cervical radiculopathy is often a result of spinal canal narrowing from bone (osteophyte) formation, decreased disc height and degenerative changes due to aging process. The treatment usually includes: start a physical therapy program aimed to control pain and inflammation, and the use of anti-inflammatory medication (“motrin”, “aleve”), also  you should have a re-education of habits and posture to improve your quality of life. You also should be independent in a stretching and strengthening program and continue with these exercises under the periodic supervision of a physical therapist initially and then completely on your own. If your condition fails to improve with a comprehensive rehabilitation program and selective injections, you may be considering a re-evaluation by a Orthopedic surgeon to explore other treatment options more aggressive.


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