Shoulder Pain when sitting at a desk

Patient

Q: I am experiencing pain in my right shoulder while working at a desk. The pain started in summer as a dull ache and has gotten progressively worse. When the pain first started, I felt better after a few hours rest, when that wasn't enough I started adding Ibuprofen (was up to 3200mg/day), stretching every 20 mins, ice/heat, laying in bed for 4 days straight - nothing I did was helping me any longer. I have tried 3 different desk set-ups and a standing desk.

The pain is very localized, about 1" to the right of my spine and about 2" below the trap. The pain is an intense, electric shock type burn. If I am laying, standing, or sitting with my arms at my sides I have a very tolerable dull ache. Within 2 minutes of keyboard/mouse use, it starts tingling, by 7 minutes the pain is so intense it literally brings me to tears.

When I felt I exhausted all my options to resolve the issue myself, I went to Urgent Care and was referred to an ortho. I don't think the ortho understood the severity of the pain I am experiencing, or understood all the measures I have already taken to resolve the issue myself. X-rays were taken of the shoulder(none of the neck/spine) and there is nothing broken. I have no ROM issues. Ortho dxd as cervical strain(847.0) and is sending me for physical therapy. He gave me a work note to limit my workdays to 8hours.

I can't make it 10 minutes at a desk though. I am not sure whether the ortho has made the correct assessment. I am very frustrated; I want to be able to work, but this pain is making it impossible for me. Does it sound like a neck issue to you? Is there some treatment I could be receiving to help me?

Also, I was offered percocet at the Urgent Care, but refused it. I was given Flexeril instead - this allowed me to sleep, but did nothing to help my pain.

Symptoms:  Intense electric-shock like pain near edge of shoulder blade
Doctor

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