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  1. #1
    Slacker ;) Dangermouse's Avatar
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    Unhappy Collar bone, shoulder & upper arm pain/ache

    I've had a problem with my shoulders and wrists a few years now, but the odd/annoying thing is it only happens this time of year. Seriously, it's like the ache has a diary and when it gets to mid-November, it starts. Left side was surprisingly (and thankfully!) minor this year, but my right shoulder has been killing me for a week now, steadily getting worse as the week has gone on. I can't tell if training has aggrevated it or eased it.... And I know in a couple of weeks (maybe less), it'll just go, but until then, it's going to halt my gain. I can't bench press, do tricep dips (twisting my arm around is only possible with a great amount of pain), and shoulder presses were difficult, as are side lat raises. I've seen a doctor before and because it only happens once a year (sometimes I get an ache at other times but it's nothing to bother about), he just said take anti-inflammatories and put some heat-relief gel on it. Which doesn't really help - effective for about 2 hours, if I'm lucky.

    So I was wondering if you guys could help? Sorry if this shouldn't be up here - it's not an exercising injury as such, but it is limiting my exercising. I'm still working (as I have to!) and so I don't want to aggrevate it too much by lifting weights. It's a dull ache in my shoulder mainly, and my upper arm (feels like it's between my bicep and tricep on the outside of my arm). Sometimes (like today) my actual collarbone aches somewhat, and my right wrist is aching a little too. It hurts a little when I hold my arm out to the front and lift it straight up and down, and the same out to the side (it's the extremes of the motion that hurts).

    Any advice gratefully received, and apologies if this post shouldn't be here. Cheers!
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  2. #2
    M&S Injury Advisor yitmy's Avatar
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    http://www.muscleandstrength.com/for...IDE-Start-Here

    Have an idea but I need more information
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  3. #3
    Slacker ;) Dangermouse's Avatar
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    Okay, in answer to those questions -

    When did it happen and what were you doing when it happened? - it happens about mid-November to late December every year. Worst pain at any time during that period, hardly any at all any other time of the year. Doesn't matter what the weather's like or what I've been doing.
    - Where specifically is your pain? - mostly in my right shoulder joint, sometimes in my shoulder blade, collarbone, and especially in my right upper arm (feels like it's between the bicep and tricep on the outside of my arm).
    - When in the movement does it hurt? - if I lift my arm right up or right down, twisting to dips, moving my arm back to put my hand in my pocket. It's most comfortable when my arms are folded behind my head.
    - Does the pain effect other movements too? - no, just the extreme of moving my right arm.
    - Have you been exercising long? - on and off for 10 years. More seriously since April 2012, and started this training programme October 2012.
    - Have you been injured before? - not in this arm. Never injured it, as far as I can remember.
    - Are you working? - yes.
    - Are(have) you seeing anyone regarding this? - yes. Told to take anti-inflammatories and use heat-relief gel. Doesn't really work. Problem is the pain only happens for a short time, it's not a constant over the year.
    - Age? - 29
    - Post a picture? - could do, but my shoulder doesn't look any different to what it normally does.

    If you need any more info, let me know. Thanks for your help.
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  4. #4
    M&S Elite Member Stevo985's Avatar
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    Can't help you with your injury, I'm afraid, but I think it's fairly common for aches and pains to be more prevalent during colder temperatures
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    Yes In cold days it is more prevalent than any other days you should consult a right person.

  6. #6
    M&S Injury Advisor yitmy's Avatar
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    You stated a previous injury-to other shoulder perhaps?
    Does your work effect your shoulder pain? More during the week or same for the one period of time and then pain free?
    Is it particularly cold and damp during this period more than other times?
    Does your pain change if you go on vacation to a warmer climate during that month perhaps?
    Describe the pain? Sharp Dull achy when in movement, can you sleep through the night or is it worse at night keeping you awake?
    A home gym consisting of Bowflex Power-Pro XTL and power blocks(5-90). Also been working out consistently at a community center-JCC since November of 2014. Nice to have the home gym to fall back on off days.

  7. #7
    Slacker ;) Dangermouse's Avatar
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    Never injured either shoulder, the only time I've had a serious injury was a motorbike accident 6 years ago, and that was more damage to my legs (not broken, luckily!) This severe pain in my shoulder only started up a couple of years ago, no result of any injury, last year it was worse and this year it's as bad. It affects my right wrist sometimes, and the really weird thing is that my left shoulder will also start aching, though not as bad. Same with left wrist.

    Work doesn't affect the pain - it always happens during this same time period of about 6-8 weeks. Rest of the year it's mostly pain free - an odd twinge, but nothing major. Just a regular ache and it goes away.

    Where I live, it is colder than the rest of year, but it gets colder in January and by then, usually, the pain has stopped. It's not particularly damp, either. At the minute, we're waiting for the temperature to drop below 10C! And during the day it's been in the low to mid 20s C. Yet last year, it was much colder and damper, and my shoulder ached the same.

    The pain is worse during the night, it does keep me awake, and I have trouble turning over - the motion of turning and using your body as momentum really pains my shoulder. When I get up in the morning, my shoulder is stiff and when I move my arm, the joint is really 'crunchy' - my joints click anyway, I'm used to that, but this is different, it's like a grinding. (I've been awake about an hour now and it's eased considerably). The pain is mostly a dull ache, but strong, and sometimes it's like a burning heat, others it's cold. It actually feels like my shoulder is about to come out of its joint at times!

    As for going on holiday to a warmer climate in the winter months, I live in the Mediterranean - not sure where's closer that would be warmer! Also, unfortunately, it's not possible.
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  8. #8
    M&S Injury Advisor yitmy's Avatar
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    Ooops missed the Portugal part. Anyhow if you do travel to a different climate during that particular soreness, it could help determine if its related to the weather. ie if the barometric pressure is low often people c/o increased joint stiffness. When it is high people tend to feel no discomfort. Unable to find a chart regarding the dew point/barometric pressure to ascertain if this month has a low pressure gradient vs other times during the year where you live(Portugal).

    Due to the inconsistency of the soreness and it not being present at all during the rest of the year, I recommend you check with a rheumatologist. They may be able to find a causal agent for your joint stiffness, and might also give you tips for sleeping without arousal at night. In this country a TENS unit can be utilized to help block the pain at night which can help reduce the joint soreness and your restfulness during the day(not sleeping at night often makes you more easily irritable, which can increase your discomfort even more). In order to get such a unit you can ask the doctor or physiotherapist for a trial.

    Keep us posted!
    A home gym consisting of Bowflex Power-Pro XTL and power blocks(5-90). Also been working out consistently at a community center-JCC since November of 2014. Nice to have the home gym to fall back on off days.

  9. #9
    Slacker ;) Dangermouse's Avatar
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    Thanks, yitmy, I never gave barometric pressure a thought! I know that changes in pressure can cause migraines, interesting to know it's the same for joints. Today has actually been much better - I woke up a few times in the night but made myself move the arm, and this morning it was stiff, but not unbearable with pain. Will keep an eye on the pressure, see if that's the key, or at least part of the problem.

    The other thing I wanted to ask is what you would advise regarding my training. When the pain is bad, should I just rest completely? Or try light weights? I don't want to hinder my progress, but at the same time I don't want to make my joints worse.

    Thanks for your help so far!
    Determination....
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  10. #10
    M&S Injury Advisor yitmy's Avatar
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    Swimming, endurance training, cutting maybe a good time due to lighter weights, and more reps.
    A home gym consisting of Bowflex Power-Pro XTL and power blocks(5-90). Also been working out consistently at a community center-JCC since November of 2014. Nice to have the home gym to fall back on off days.

  11. #11
    Slacker ;) Dangermouse's Avatar
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    Thanks!
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    'The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.'

  12. #12
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    Has to be the cold. I would try wearing a long sleeved compression shirt while you workout to keep the body warmer and somewhat mimic the summertime. Also make sure to stay loose and extra stretching. I have a botched ankle which is considerably more noticeable in the winter. As soon as it is stiff I start moving it around.

  13. #13
    Slacker ;) Dangermouse's Avatar
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    It's definitely not the cold - when the shoulder was sore, the temps were between 17C and 25C - but that's definitely good advice about the compression shirt, thanks.

    Today I have no ache at all, and I didn't yesterday either, compared to Monday and Tuesday when it was almost excruciating at times. I haven't done anything different, so weather is a good bet as to the cause. Temps today were between 5C and 13C, which doesn't bother my shoulder at all. Humidity 62%, pressure 1007mb. So...next time it starts aching, I'm going to take a look at the temps, humidity and pressure, and see if it's one of those, a combination of those, or none of those! Very high humidity does affect my joints, this I know, even in summer. Cold, however, doesn't. Let's see what happens.
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  14. #14
    Coming Up The Ranks goyo1010's Avatar
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    Hey Dangermouse,

    Do you do anything different during this time of year? In terms of daily routine, or workout routine?

    Did you experience and numbness or tingling during these flare ups anywhere along the shoulder, arm, and to the wrist? If so, where exactly did you feel this numbness or tingling?

    Does the pain travel down the arm?

    Do you feel any weakness down your arm or in any part in your arm, like your wrist?

    Have you had any neck injuries in the past?

    Sorry to bother you with more questions! But it would be a good idea to get a consult for a rheumatologist or a physical therapist.

  15. #15
    Slacker ;) Dangermouse's Avatar
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    Haha, no worries, I don't mind answering. The problem where I live would be finding a rheumatologist, though it's something I will look into in the new year. To answer your questions....

    1. I don't do anything different at all. I've only just started working out regularly (started in April, skipped the summer and started properly in October). And my daily routine is the same. Well, it's always different depending on my work, but I don't do anything different when the pain starts than any other time of the year.

    2. No numbness or tingling, though now you mention it, I do get tingling and numbness in my right arm sometimes, all the way down to my finger tips, but that's usually nothing to do with the pain. The shoulder pain only occurs badly in November, sometimes in December, and that's it.

    3. The pain does travel down my arm and up into my collarbone, though I know it originates in my shoulder. Which crunches a lot when I move it, as does my other shoulder and my wrists, but that's normal and doesn't hurt.

    4. No weakness in my arm at all.

    5. No neck injuries, though 6 years ago I had a motorbike accident. Didn't break anything, got away light, but I did strain all my groin and neck muscles. But it's only the last 2/3 years that the shoulder pain has started.

    If you have any more questions, fire away. Actually, since that last bout I've had no pain at all. I'm interested to see if low pressure is the cause or part of the cause but until it starts aching again, I can't be sure.
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  16. #16
    Slacker ;) Dangermouse's Avatar
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    Okay, so an update on this problem. I haven't had any 'random' pain since I first posted this query. However, I started a new routine a couple of weeks ago and a similar pain started up whilst doing the upright row - in fact, I had to stop. Also still having problems with the DB lateral raises. Went to see a sports therapist today and he said it's tendonitis. Whether this was the problem I had before or not, I don't know, but this guy was good and knew his stuff, so the next time I get the 'random' pain (not caused by exercising or any physical activity), I'll go back and see what he says.
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  17. #17
    Coming Up The Ranks goyo1010's Avatar
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    Good stuff. Though the whole radiating pain thing threw me off. Usually isn't a symptom of tendonitis (of the supraspinatus?). But actually seeing a person who is able to assess you is better than me trying to guess what you have! Best of luck!

 

 

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