Left shoulder pain after eating or drinking

Posted by jrofri @jrofri, Dec 5, 2017

Has anyone experienced severe left shoulder pain, down the upper arm, up the neck to the ear, approximately 15 mins after eating. This pain usually lasts for three hours after eating a meal.

@astaingegerdm

Confusing problem. I assume you have had a cardiac work-up. Nerves from area under diaphragm can cause pain on the left upper part of the body, such as reflux or from a vascular problem.

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Yes, after going to ER twice thinking it was cardiac (my father had back pain that turned out to be cardiac), I had a cardiac work-up, plus ortho, and gastro.

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Hi, I found this thread about half hour ago while googling the same question. I've been reading many of the replies.
Sadly I'm one of the masses on this thread who suffers the painful left shoulder after eating.

There has to be something official this is called though, because so many of us share those exact same three symptoms;

* Shoulder pain,
* We all have said "Left" shoulder,
* After eating.

Being stuck at home all day in a wheelchair, I get really bored, so I might create something that can enter health/pain details many have posted and see if I can find a trigger for this.

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@jhowellsphotogr

Hi, I found this thread about half hour ago while googling the same question. I've been reading many of the replies.
Sadly I'm one of the masses on this thread who suffers the painful left shoulder after eating.

There has to be something official this is called though, because so many of us share those exact same three symptoms;

* Shoulder pain,
* We all have said "Left" shoulder,
* After eating.

Being stuck at home all day in a wheelchair, I get really bored, so I might create something that can enter health/pain details many have posted and see if I can find a trigger for this.

Jump to this post

Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful replies. I did have a small update on my individual condition.

I had a CT scan came back completely clear which I was simultaneously thankful for and slightly disappointed that it didn’t identify something that could be treated.

After I pressed, the doctor he did ask one question and asked if I was constipated. I said I didn’t think so because I was having 1 to 2 movements a day. I did say that I had discontinued daily use of Metamucil that I have been using for years. I was previously diagnosed with diverticulitis and get an anabiotic. The negative outcome of that was it destroyed all of the bacteria in my stomach and drastically changed my regularity and consistency. I figured if I was having symptoms that were very similar to irritable bowel syndrome that fiber was only going to make it worse. He recommended that I start that regimen up again and it’s been roughly 2 weeks and I have not had a reoccurrence of the shoulder pain. In that span of time I have had a few occasions where I’ve eaten far too much and consume more alcohol than I should of and neither of those triggers a painful outcome. Two weeks is a fairly short span of time so I will continue to monitor and also make attempts at controlling portion size and alcohol consumption. I’ll be sure to check back in if I notice anything else.

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@jhowellsphotogr

Hi, I found this thread about half hour ago while googling the same question. I've been reading many of the replies.
Sadly I'm one of the masses on this thread who suffers the painful left shoulder after eating.

There has to be something official this is called though, because so many of us share those exact same three symptoms;

* Shoulder pain,
* We all have said "Left" shoulder,
* After eating.

Being stuck at home all day in a wheelchair, I get really bored, so I might create something that can enter health/pain details many have posted and see if I can find a trigger for this.

Jump to this post

Welcome to Connect, @jhowellsphotogr,

It can be quite stressful when you can't pinpoint what's causing these symptoms and pain!
While reading through other members' experiences, it seems like there could be several different reasons, the most common being GERD, gall bladder stones, or pancreatitis.
I'd like to share an interesting article I found online, about back and shoulder pain that occurs after a meal:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321204.php

May I ask if your doctors have offered any explanations?

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I have been scouring the Internet for others with similar strange pains I am having for the last 3 months and this was the closest I have come to it. About 15 to 20 minutes after I eat just abut anything, my chest area right above my sternum tightens (starts with a tickle/cough and gets more severe). This is typically followed by pain in my upper shoulders, lower neck and thoracic back. When it is at its worst the pain radiates down to a specific spot/nerve on my thoracic spine right behind the same area in my upper sternum where I get the chest pain. Thus, it definitely seems as though this is the point where the pain starts. Sometimes, when it is not so bad, I will only feel the pain inbetween my shoulders (typically between both, but sometimes more near either shoulder) and/or neck area. These pains first started about 20 months ago, first with just the chest tightness, but evolved to also include the upper back within a couple months. At the time, I had no idea what it was and had heart, lungs and esophagus all checked out. Nothing showed up on any test except a small hiatial hernia and some signs of acid in my lower esophagus / LES. The first time, it eventually subsided after about 6 months, possibly as my anxiety was reduced from nothing serious coming back on all the various testing combined with a bland diet, use of PPIs, etc. So, from May of 2017 through June of 2018, I had few symptoms except I occasionally would feel the chest tightness and a start of the upper back pain sometimes after I started again drinking coffee or sodas. I would back off those things and it would subside again. Unfortunately, it has come back in spades again since July 1, 2018 (pain is more intense this time). As I was feeling pretty good, I started again drinking more coffee, sodas, and an occasional alcoholic hard citrus type drink early this summer. On July 1, I drank a coffee in the morning and felt the same pains pretty good. Later that same day, I stopped at a large roadside fruit market and drank a fresh citrus drink (pineapple, papaya, etc.). Before I get it half down, the same pains were immense. Since that day, I am having the pains after eating just about anything (sometime even just a banana). Thus, I had another upper endoscopy in early August that came back with the same results (small hiatial hernia, some evidence of acid damage/cells around my LES wj=hich always come back negative for Barret's), but nothing that the GI doctor indicates should be causing all of this pain. My GI doctor had never seen anything like this, but we both think it must be related to some type of hyper-sensitive esophagus that is set off by just minimal exposure to acid since it always occurs about 20 minutes after eating. He referred me to another GI doctor that is suipposed to be one of the premier esophagus specialists in the Atlanta area. I just met with him for the first time last week. He also has never seen these symptoms, but has schedule to do another Upper Endoscopy on me in November and also insert a PH measuring device. He was very surprised that I had the symptoms initially and they largely subsided for over a year before returning. I am on amtriptyline which seems to help mask/reduce the pain some, but not totally (just increased dosage from 25Mg to 50Mg). This ever present pain is very difficult to handle, particularly when there seem to be no answers or possible end in sight. I know these symptons vary from what other describe on this forum, but I wonder if they could just be a more intense version of the same underlying issue which I am guessing is hyper sensitive esophagus nerves that refer pain to the upper back, neck area given the nerves traverse the upper spine. Would be interested in others thoughts here, particularly if anyone has experienced the same symptoms.

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Hi @bobp85,

We have several discussions on Connect which you might wish to view:
– Laryngo-pharyngeal reflux – made a decision to visit the Mayo Clinic https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hello-ive-made-a-decision-to-visit-the-mayo-clinic-in-a/
– Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LRP) – severity and outlook? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/laryngopharyngeal-reflux-lrp-severity-and-outlook/

Here’s an interesting article that I shared some time ago, about back and shoulder pain that occurs after a meal:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321204.php

I’m also tagging @jrofri @marlaxyz @barefoothorseman @barbee @rmw719 @ryhughes @jhowellsphotogr since they’ve shared their experiences; I’m certain they will return with some more insights for you.

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I too have had left shoulder pain for past year. I had chemo and radiation 22 yrs ago on left breast. Last year had mastectomy and reconstruction. Told it didn't have any thing to do with reconstruction. Had a scan of my neck artery, no blockages.
I have mentioned this pain to all the docs treating me last year and they just shrug. Guess my insurance wasn't that good

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@mrswoods

I too have had left shoulder pain for past year. I had chemo and radiation 22 yrs ago on left breast. Last year had mastectomy and reconstruction. Told it didn't have any thing to do with reconstruction. Had a scan of my neck artery, no blockages.
I have mentioned this pain to all the docs treating me last year and they just shrug. Guess my insurance wasn't that good

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I also have left shoulder and neck pain about 15 or more minutes after eating. My GI doc said it is common with GERD, hiatal hernia, etc.

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@bobp85

I have been scouring the Internet for others with similar strange pains I am having for the last 3 months and this was the closest I have come to it. About 15 to 20 minutes after I eat just abut anything, my chest area right above my sternum tightens (starts with a tickle/cough and gets more severe). This is typically followed by pain in my upper shoulders, lower neck and thoracic back. When it is at its worst the pain radiates down to a specific spot/nerve on my thoracic spine right behind the same area in my upper sternum where I get the chest pain. Thus, it definitely seems as though this is the point where the pain starts. Sometimes, when it is not so bad, I will only feel the pain inbetween my shoulders (typically between both, but sometimes more near either shoulder) and/or neck area. These pains first started about 20 months ago, first with just the chest tightness, but evolved to also include the upper back within a couple months. At the time, I had no idea what it was and had heart, lungs and esophagus all checked out. Nothing showed up on any test except a small hiatial hernia and some signs of acid in my lower esophagus / LES. The first time, it eventually subsided after about 6 months, possibly as my anxiety was reduced from nothing serious coming back on all the various testing combined with a bland diet, use of PPIs, etc. So, from May of 2017 through June of 2018, I had few symptoms except I occasionally would feel the chest tightness and a start of the upper back pain sometimes after I started again drinking coffee or sodas. I would back off those things and it would subside again. Unfortunately, it has come back in spades again since July 1, 2018 (pain is more intense this time). As I was feeling pretty good, I started again drinking more coffee, sodas, and an occasional alcoholic hard citrus type drink early this summer. On July 1, I drank a coffee in the morning and felt the same pains pretty good. Later that same day, I stopped at a large roadside fruit market and drank a fresh citrus drink (pineapple, papaya, etc.). Before I get it half down, the same pains were immense. Since that day, I am having the pains after eating just about anything (sometime even just a banana). Thus, I had another upper endoscopy in early August that came back with the same results (small hiatial hernia, some evidence of acid damage/cells around my LES wj=hich always come back negative for Barret's), but nothing that the GI doctor indicates should be causing all of this pain. My GI doctor had never seen anything like this, but we both think it must be related to some type of hyper-sensitive esophagus that is set off by just minimal exposure to acid since it always occurs about 20 minutes after eating. He referred me to another GI doctor that is suipposed to be one of the premier esophagus specialists in the Atlanta area. I just met with him for the first time last week. He also has never seen these symptoms, but has schedule to do another Upper Endoscopy on me in November and also insert a PH measuring device. He was very surprised that I had the symptoms initially and they largely subsided for over a year before returning. I am on amtriptyline which seems to help mask/reduce the pain some, but not totally (just increased dosage from 25Mg to 50Mg). This ever present pain is very difficult to handle, particularly when there seem to be no answers or possible end in sight. I know these symptons vary from what other describe on this forum, but I wonder if they could just be a more intense version of the same underlying issue which I am guessing is hyper sensitive esophagus nerves that refer pain to the upper back, neck area given the nerves traverse the upper spine. Would be interested in others thoughts here, particularly if anyone has experienced the same symptoms.

Jump to this post

Have the docs considered esophageal spasms? Hard to diagnose unless you are having a spasm at the time of test.

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@mrswoods

I too have had left shoulder pain for past year. I had chemo and radiation 22 yrs ago on left breast. Last year had mastectomy and reconstruction. Told it didn't have any thing to do with reconstruction. Had a scan of my neck artery, no blockages.
I have mentioned this pain to all the docs treating me last year and they just shrug. Guess my insurance wasn't that good

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@mrswoods – have you had an orthopedic doctor examine you? It might not be related to the mastectomy. I think you need that and appropriate xrays and evaluation.

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@cim37343

I also have left shoulder and neck pain about 15 or more minutes after eating. My GI doc said it is common with GERD, hiatal hernia, etc.

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@cim37343 – I assume heart ailment has been ruled out? However, irritation of nerves around diaphragm will be felt in left shoulder area at times.

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hello good pm i just want to ask why is my shoulder hurt after eating? is there anything you can suggest to me if what should i do?

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