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Old 09-03-2009, 12:43 PM   #1
Matthew Stafford
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Shoulder/Upper Arm Pain - Can't quite figure out what is wrong

Yet another strange pain report.

I've been experiencing pain in my upper arm along the side and front. This only occurs when I raise my arm in a certain way; specifically it only occurs if I try to raise my arm with my elbow bent. I can raise my fully extended arm without pain to the front and to the side of my body. When I try the same motion with my elbow bent to 90 degrees and raise my arm so that my humerus is parallel to the ground I feel pain.

When I warm up the pain isn't nearly as bad as when I make the same motion "cold". I'm also having trouble isolating exactly where I feel the pain since it doesn't hurt to poke and prod the affected area.

Any ideas?
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:54 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: Shoulder/Upper Arm Pain - Can't quite figure out what is wrong

Elbow bent and raise arm in flexion or abduction?

Figure out where the pain is in a movement and mark it on a picture.

Any other articulations hurt?
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:34 AM   #3
Matthew Stafford
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Re: Shoulder/Upper Arm Pain - Can't quite figure out what is wrong

The worst is flexion. I've been testing out the articulations and that seems to be the only one that really bothers me.

Bent arm only, though. I feel no pain with a straight arm.

I've attached a picture and isolated the pain as best I can.
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:40 AM   #4
Scott Ewan
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Re: Shoulder/Upper Arm Pain - Can't quite figure out what is wrong

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Originally Posted by Matthew Stafford View Post
The worst is flexion. I've been testing out the articulations and that seems to be the only one that really bothers me.

Bent arm only, though. I feel no pain with a straight arm.

I've attached a picture and isolated the pain as best I can.
Could be Impingement Syndrome (link wfs).
I've been out of action for over a month with this (fell down some stairs. Doh! Yes, I was sober...).

Very painful, keeps me awake at night, can't lift my arm level with my shoulder without stabbing pains, worse with arm bent... Sound familiar?

Get it checked by a professional though.
I had a physiotherapist diagnose and treat mine - massage, ice and ibuprofen.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:35 AM   #5
Everett Steinbarger
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Re: Shoulder/Upper Arm Pain - Can't quite figure out what is wrong

The pain with the elbow flexed makes me think of Bicep Tendinitis. It's almost as though you are putting yourself through a modified Yergason or Speed test which tests the Long head of the Bicep Tendon.

As you will note in your picture, the groove for the long head is anterolateral (Sort of front, sort of side).
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:37 AM   #6
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Re: Shoulder/Upper Arm Pain - Can't quite figure out what is wrong

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Originally Posted by Everett Steinbarger View Post
The pain with the elbow flexed makes me think of Bicep Tendinitis. It's almost as though you are putting yourself through a modified Yergason or Speed test which tests the Long head of the Bicep Tendon.

As you will note in your picture, the groove for the long head is anterolateral (Sort of front, sort of side).
I agree.

Go get yourself check out to make sure you don't have other damage especially to your labrum.

At best, it's probably something rest, ice, massage, etc. will take care of. At worst it could be a SLAP tear or something similar which you would need surgery. If there's no real deep pain inside the shoulder joint that's a good sign.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:11 AM   #7
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Re: Shoulder/Upper Arm Pain - Can't quite figure out what is wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett Steinbarger View Post
The pain with the elbow flexed makes me think of Bicep Tendinitis. It's almost as though you are putting yourself through a modified Yergason or Speed test which tests the Long head of the Bicep Tendon.

As you will note in your picture, the groove for the long head is anterolateral (Sort of front, sort of side).
Unfortuantely I also recently injured my biceps tendon - outer head (in my other shoulder. Yes, I'm a wreck!). It did indeed cause pain exactly where Everett says - sort of front, sort of side - but I could quite easily make out the groove the tendon slides through with a bit of poking around. When it caused pain was mainly in exercises like bench pressing, at about the point where the humerus once about in-line with the body.

I'm no expert, only speaking from my knowledge of recent injuries I've had, but I hope it helps.
But I stress again, get a professional to look at it - long term it's the best solution.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:45 AM   #8
Matthew Stafford
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Re: Shoulder/Upper Arm Pain - Can't quite figure out what is wrong

I went to a (CrossFitting!) PT yesterday to see what I did to my shoulder; diagnosed with bicep tendinitis. Most likely caused/exacerbated by a protracted shoulder girdle caused by long hours in front of a computer with poor posture.

I'll be doing four weekly sessions of dry needling along with stretching/posture awareness exercises to prevent this from happening again. After one session of dry needling I actually had greater mobility in my injured shoulder than in my good shoulder. Awesome.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:51 AM   #9
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Re: Shoulder/Upper Arm Pain - Can't quite figure out what is wrong

Great to hear you're on the road to recovery
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:28 AM   #10
Everett Steinbarger
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Re: Shoulder/Upper Arm Pain - Can't quite figure out what is wrong

Let us know how the dry needling works for you. I'm very interested in hearing more about this technique.
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