Sharp Shoulder Pain -What is causing this??

Patient

Q: Hi, For the past month I've had a sharp pain in my left shoulder, just below the joint, towards the rear of my shoulder, and deep in the upper-most part of my arm. It's painful to the touch. Pressing my fingers into it, just below the shoulder joint will cause me to yell "Ouch!"

The pain radiates down the outer-side of my upper left arm, to my left elbow. My left elbow, itself, does not hurt. A few days ago I also woke up with the rear left side of my neck feeling stiff. The stiff neck is gone, but there is still some dull pain in the muscle that runs between the left side of my neck and my left shoulder.

The pain in my shoulder started when I awoke in my bed, one morning, with my entire left arm feeling numb, because I had slept on my left arm tucked under my body, bent at the shoulder, with my left arm laying straight out in front of my body from under my left side. I first noticed the pain when that numbness subsided.

I cannot recall doing anything strenuous to cause my shoulder pain, but, every day, I do walk my large dog who tends to pull on his leash a lot, while I repeatedly use my left hand to jerk him back to my left side. A also frequently type on a computer keyboard. I added an extra bed pillow on top of my existing pillow which seems to be easing the pain in my shoulder and arm when I'm in bed.

The pain in my left shoulder has been increasing. It wasn't constant, at first, but it is now constant, even when I'm not moving my arm. It's a throbbing pain, and it's only a sharp pain if I push my fingers into the rear of my left arm, just below the shoulder joint. There is also a sensation of an icy-hot feeling at the rear of my shoulder, just below the joint.

I called a local orthopedic doctor who specializes in shoulders, today (Friday), to make an appointment, but their office was closed, until Monday. So, in the meantime, I'd like to get a doctor's opinion about what may be causing this pain.

I am so afraid that my shoulder pain could be caused by the C. word. Why that concern? I am a survivor of the attacks on 9.11.01, when I was a first responder to the WTC towers. I haven't had any physical problems-symptoms, yet, other than the right knee and right elbow injuries I sustained from the collapse of the south tower, as well as Tinnitus I have from when I was directly below the 2nd plane when it hit the south WTC tower, which affected my hearing.

I'd appreciate any information you can provide that might help me to better understand what might be causing my shoulder pain. What is causing my shoulder pain? Thank you, in advance!

Doctor

A:   This question is currently in queue and will be answered shortly by one of our doctors. In the meantime you may browse our library of answered questions by clicking here.

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