Physical Rehabilitation Medicine/Shoulder problems

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Question
Hello,
I know you can't diagnose online but I am looking for a bit of advice.
I went to the Dr. about a year ago because of shoulder pain.  I have it from time to time, the shoulder that causes me problems is "high" because I have scoliosis.  Seems to get worse in the cold weather and around PMS time when it acts up. A year or so ago when I went to the Dr. he took an x-ray and nothing showed up.  I have an appointment in a couple of weeks with a specialist.
What is going on now is it again hurts and it pops and I have a numb or almost burning feeling under my arm and on my chest. Sometimes it goes down into my arm and hand.  
What can I do for the discomfort to get me by?  Does this sound like a pinched nerve? I have had my husband rub cream on it and I have taken some ibuprofen, if it helps it is very minimal.  My neck on both sides hurt too. Thanks.

Answer
You likely have a nerve compression somewhere in your neck and/or pectoralis minor muscle.  The nerves that go into your arm pass through a series of small muscles in your neck, under your collarbone and 1st cervical rib, under your pectoralis minor, and then into your armpit.  You more than likely need physical therapy to correct muscle imbalance problems in your upper quarter.  It's very common and likely doesn't need any surgical intervention...if surgery is suggested be VERY careful what you're doing.  Most surgeons stay away from cutting on this part of the body due to the sensitive structures involved (i.e. nerves) that could become damaged.

Go see a specialist and see an experienced physical therapist.  Good luck!!!

Physical Rehabilitation Medicine

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Brian Neville, OTR/L, CWCE

Expertise

I can answer questions about both conservative and post-operative rehabilitation for UPPER extremity injuries. These include but are not limited to: fractures, tendon repairs, tendon transfers, nerve repairs, lacerations, tenolysis procedures, TFCC injuries, repetitive motion disorders, reconstructive procedures. I have an advanced knowledge of UPPER extremity anatomy and industrial rehabilitation. I have extensive splinting skills for injuries to the upper extremity. Although not a physician or a surgeon I have worked closely with world renowned upper extremity specialists for over 10 years. I can give general information on what some of the most common upper extremity surgeries involve. I can reference those procedures as well. PLEASE DON'T ASK ME QUESTIONS ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE NECK, SHOULDER, ARM/HAND. I'M NOT QUALIFIED AND KNOW ABSOLUTELY ZERO ABOUT BACKS/HIPS/KNEES/ANKLES/ETC. THANK YOU!!!

Experience

10+ years working closely with orthopedic and hand surgeons and their patients. I have treated patients with small lacerations to major reconstructive procedures. My knowledge base includes both conservative and post-operative rehab protocols and care for upper extremity injuries. I have treated patients all the way from day 1 post-op to return-to-work status.

Organizations
Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association American Society of Hand Therapy National Nurses in Business Association Roy Matheson and Associates

Publications
RSD article

Education/Credentials
Occupational Therapist former Certified Hand Therapist (license currently inactive) Deep Physical Agent Modalities Instructor Certified Work Capacity Evaluator

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