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Shoulder pain

For the last few years I have suffered intermitant shoulder pain, mainly in my left shoulder but sometimes both. However, recently both shoulders hurt all the time - I feel like someone has pulled my arms out of my sockets and rammed them back in. I cannot sleep on either side as it’s too sore. I haven’t had any injury or lifted anything heavy, but similarly, it doesn’t feel like nerve pain. Could this be MS affecting the muscles in my shoulders? I just wondered if anyone else had experienced anything similar.

With thanks
Sarah

Hi Sarah, yes I have had this problem to the point of wanting to shout cut my arms of please. At this time I was seeing a Rheumy who ran a test and it turned out not to be MS but Lupus. Lupus affects the joints and is very painful especially this time of year, along with mouth ulcers, very sore. The hard thing is to discover which is which as they are both auto-immune and seem to mimic each other. Hope this has helped. I do have SPMS as well.

Janet

x

I have had this for years in my left shoulder, saw countless osteopaths etc and it would keep coming back. When I had my first big relapse this is how it started and then spread down my arm and hand in 2012. Ive woken with shoulder pain today and now think its an ms symptom instead of an injury. One thing that really helps is to lie down and put a tennis ball on the tender area, this really hurts for a short while whilst rubbing there but eases . I then pile on ibrupofen gel or an ice pack on the area. Looking back i think was ms long ago i just didnt realise it , the nerves to my musles are maybe affected and this In turn mskes them tight and painful. Hope this helps xx

Hi

I have left shoulder problems too. A few years ago it developed into frozen shoulder and I had surgery. This helped with the pain and improved some movements. I have to do physio most days to keep the limited range for my arm, as it is also my weak MS affected side. If i didn’t do the physio regularly i think it would soon become immobile again, a challenge with fatigue, but we have to keep on keeping on

Hmmmm… interesting. I had a painful left shoulder several years ago (before dx of MS) which I thought was caused by my decorating the living room. I never thought to mention it to the doctor when I had the strange symptoms which were part of my first relapse because I had already had a painful shoulder for several months. It was still painful when I eventually was dx’d and I only had limited movement in it. I then had the Bowen Technique a couple of times and the practitioner managed to free it off for me.

Now my right shoulder is hurting in much the same way but I haven’t done anything this time recently to cause the pain. The only thing I can think of that may be causing the pain is that I sit and type in the evenings for my second job and I wonder if my table and chair are the wrong height as I don’t have a proper desk at home and just use the dining table. I have been struggling to put a jacket on as that movement sets off a sharp pain in my shoulder. (I haven’t been to my GP as he’s useless and I will leave feeling like I have wasted his time - again!) I’m still going to yoga and I’m trying to concentrate on my posture when I type in the evenings just to be sure that it’s not caused by me putting tension in my shoulders when I’m sitting in one position for an hour. It is a constant, dull ache most of the time and a sharp pain when I move it in a certain way.

I do feel that this is likely to be an MS thing because I have often wondered whether the left shoulder was an early warning sign that I ignored. Hindsight is a wonderful thing …

Tracey

I would go the GP and ask if it could be frozen shoulder developing. I say that because i had dull pain and sharp agonizing pain on movement. Even a slight jolt was severe pain. If you don’t use it and push through the pain it can become immobile, it’s a vicious cycle when your shoulder and arm are weakened by MS.

If it is a frozen shoulder they can give you steroids I think, or an injection, I think mine was beyond that, hence surgery.

Best wishes.

SJStevens

I’ve had intermittent bouts of left shoulder pain ever since I was a teenager, long before MS reared its ugly head. The cause remained unknown, despite several X-rays, until some years later when I had the first MRI of my spine looking for (and finding) MS lesions.

The scan clearly revealed wear-and-tear damage, with later repeat MRIs showing a degree of deterioration in both wear-and-tear and MS.

I’ll just keep doing yoga and pushing through the pain as much as possible. My surgery is so useless they’ll just put it down to MS anyway and do nothing … Life has become even easier for them since they have a label for me.

Thank you everyone - I’m intrigued by the lupus thing, might ask GP to be tested. Will just have to grin and bear it (like everything else!)

YES…I have pain in both shoulders and my left side became frozen. I saw a DR thinking it was an MS thing and he sent me after an MRI to an Orthopaedics DR. I showed bursitis and adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder in the MRI as it is more commonly known. I did the shots and physical therapy and it got some range back. I still could not get 100%. I am now scheduled for surgery next month to remove the bursa and make the socket larger. i could only get to 45% with all i did so i am now going to try this avenue.

If i sleep on my back it helps. Sleeping on my side really makes it hurt and radiate down my arm.

God Bless

I think this is actually going to be a 100% fix and not another life long issue to deal with like MS is.

Interesting as I have frozen shoulder on my weak side where I originally had my first attack 6 years ago, Doctor said looks like frozen shoulder, I was put on waiting list for physio that was July and am still waiting. The pain was really bad like previously mentioned and radiated down the arm, my pain is not so bad now as I am taking Nortriptyline which is a antidepressant which luckily for me really reduced the pain down to almost nil, before I couldn’t sleep on that arm or do a lot without pain, I can do everyday things now like put my coat on and off, unclip my bra strap silly things that we all take for granted !, as I’m in peri menopause I couldn’t sleep either, now I can, Nortriptyline was mainly prescribed for my nerve pain and it has worked for that too. I’m so thankful this drug suits me without any horrible side effects.

I think with pain relief I just carried on as normal which in turn has kept my arm flexible, but still need physio to get it 100%

ive been on Tecfidera for 4 months or so now and am due a MRI in Feb/march time and then every six months to see how the drug is helping my ms, so I guess it’ll show if my frozen shoulder is ms related or not.

Ann x

I have had shoulder pain in the past but the last several months it has gotten to the point where I have to have assistance getting dressed/undressed. It feels as if I have cold ice shooting down my arm through my elbow into my fingers. I actually stopped seeing my doctors because they wanted to diagnose me with MS although I had a negative MRI. All other tests came back negative as well. I have good days and really bad days. It goes from one extreme to the next with no warning. My symptoms have gotten much worse. I have worked my entire life however it has affected my work to the point of having to only work from home. Has anyone else been diagnosed with a negative MRI? I don’t want to accept treatment for the wrong disease but I am at the point where I would do anything for relief. I do not take medication however I do take CBD which helps somewhat. Just like the others posts, I have had no injury to my shoulders. I attempted therapy however my body did not react positively to it so the doctor didn’t want to continue. Any advice from other MS patients would be greatly appreciated. I am 45. They thought I had MS in my 20’s and now again in my 40’s however they have never been able to clearly prove to me that it is indeed MS. My MRI keeps coming back negative. They have tested me for Lupus, Lyme, fibromyalgia and arthritis … all negative.

I have had shoulder pain in the past but the last several months it has gotten to the point where I have to have assistance getting dressed/undressed. It feels as if I have cold ice shooting down my arm through my elbow into my fingers. I actually stopped seeing my doctors because they wanted to diagnose me with MS although I had a negative MRI. All other tests came back negative as well. I have good days and really bad days. It goes from one extreme to the next with no warning. My symptoms have gotten much worse. I have worked my entire life however it has affected my work to the point of having to only work from home. Has anyone else been diagnosed with a negative MRI? I don’t want to accept treatment for the wrong disease but I am at the point where I would do anything for relief. I do not take medication however I do take CBD which helps somewhat. Just like the others posts, I have had no injury to my shoulders. I attempted therapy however my body did not react positively to it so the doctor didn’t want to continue. Any advice from other MS patients would be greatly appreciated. I am 45. They thought I had MS in my 20’s and now again in my 40’s however they have never been able to clearly prove to me that it is indeed MS. My MRI keeps coming back negative. They have tested me for Lupus, Lyme, fibromyalgia and arthritis … all negative.