Left shoulder pain for the last three months

Patient

Q: Hi, I have been experiencing left shoulder and shoulder blade pain for about 3 months now, but mainly in my shoulderblade. My range of motion has lessened due to the pain and stiffness. It does not hurt to put my arm over my head and hurts only a little to reach behind me. What really hurts is when I bend down to pick something up, I can NOT use my left arm. In fact I have found myself pulling that shoulder up when I bend down to prevent any pain. The pain is very sharp and sever. Any idead as to what this is? Thanks

Doctor

A:   It is possible that the pain that you are experiencing is related with your previous history of scoliosis. On the other hand might be due to a Intercostal Neuritis.Intercostal Neuritis is not a serious condition but very annoying indeed and slow healing. By a spasm or a direct trauma the intercostals muscles and nerves got injured, and that’s why you are feeling that stabbing pain every time you take a deep breath, sneeze or cough.The suggested strategy would be: please, try to be patient and do not expect an overnight improvement, take anti-inflammatory medication (“Aleve”, “Motrin”), and also Vitamin B12 supplement. Local moist heat helps to ease the pain. Try to avoid activities that worsen the pain. Also try to get a reevaluation by your orthopedic surgeon.

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