Patient :11 days ago i was lifting and moving heavy things and since then my left arm has been in pain. I have full function of my lower are but not my upper. I went to the dr yesterday and he said he thinks it is a pinched nerve however I am starting to disagree. I noticed this morning a lump or bulge if you will on my shoulder. The dr asked me to hold both my arms out and then turn them sideways. I could not do it with my left arm, and not only that i could only lift it so high. Not nearly as high as the other one. I don't know if a pinched nerve would cause a bulge or effect my range of motion. It hurts all the time but is manageable however when i lift it or stretch it I have an unbearable amount of pain, plus i'm left handed so it's hard for me not to use it.
Thank you for your question. It is likely that you have sustained an injury to the rotator cuff of your left shoulder. The rotator cuff are a group of muscles with their respective tendons that surround the shoulder joint. Injury to the rotator cuff can be painful, result in swelling, loss of sensation, and decreased range of motion. The treatment of these types of injuries varies based on the severity. We would first recommend that you apply an ice pack to your shoulder in 15 minute intervals, several times a day. This will assist in reducing the observable swelling. Secondly, you can take some oral analgesic (pain relieving) medication such as ibuprofen. You may require another week to two weeks to notice improvement and be fully recovered. Should the symptoms continue however, it may indicate a more severe injury like a rotator cuff tear.
Another cause of this swelling could also be a condition known as bursitis. Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa, in your case a bursa in your shoulder joint. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues within the rotator cuff. Treatment of bursitis is conservative as they can resolve on their own. However if it continues to worsen, the excess fluid may need to be drained, and you may need an anti-inflammatory shot in the area to reduce the swelling.
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