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.

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@ellajo

I have left shoulder pain half way between the top left shoulder and my neck. It is only when I over eat and so I figure there must be some nerve that gets punched that runs from your stomach. I have been eating less volume of food per meal for weeks and now yesterday I got this pain half way through the Christmas Eve meal. I hadn’t eaten that much volume for quite some time so it was like my stomach was over stretching and for some crazy reason the pain happens in the mid top left shoulder. It’s the only way I get this pain ever. It goes away with massage and pressing the painful area and lifting my left arm repeatedly for a minute or so. Hope that helps.

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Welcome, @ellajo. Have you ever brought this issue to your doctor? Are you able to reach the painful area yourself to massage the pain away?

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Hello
I get exactly the same pain after eating .
I have been told it is due to my Heitis Hernier but I have not been offered any treatment .
The only time I can eat with no pain is in the morning and the worst time when I get the pain is after evening meal .
This leads me to think my food isnt digesting fast enough and building up in my stoumach and pressing on a nerve

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Update: Resolved! Thanks to COVID, my planned GI work-up was postponed. In the meantime, I consulted with a few physical therapists that were offering online consults (2 different practices). Both suggested exercises for dorsal scapular nerve damage/impingement. What always puzzled me was that I would get pain exactly like the post-meal pain while doing certain activities, one being chopping vegetables (I made everything from scratch). Also, depending on where I was using my laptop and therefore, the touch pad, I would end up getting the same pain. Chopping vegetables, scrubbing pots, computer work, painting at an easel, overhead work, weeding. I could be doing any of those, sit down to have a cup of tea and then feel the pain. It was not GI but musculoskeletal. Once I stopped the repetitive motion, sat at the table with my arm at a different angle and my back slightly forward, the pain would start. If I didn't lie down, it would wrap around my ribs. It seemed eating was the trigger but it was stopping a repetitive motion that was irritating an already irritated nerve.

It was relative easy to fix it, too. I raise each arm straight up and just lift my rib cage slightly on the same side, and do another maneuver with both arms straight out at shoulder height and alternate moving one arm to the side so both arms form a 90 degree angle. I have progressed to using a band to provide some resistance. If I'm sitting at a computer, I follow the mid back mobilization exercises demonstrated on one of the websites (all the PTs are Doctors of Physical Therapy and all have personally answered questions). When chopping vegetables, I keep my cutting arm closer to my side rather than having my elbow sticking out. I have not had a problem with this pain now in several months and canceled all GI tests.

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@geordiegeorge

Hello
I get exactly the same pain after eating .
I have been told it is due to my Heitis Hernier but I have not been offered any treatment .
The only time I can eat with no pain is in the morning and the worst time when I get the pain is after evening meal .
This leads me to think my food isnt digesting fast enough and building up in my stoumach and pressing on a nerve

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There's a stomach emptying test where they give you a standard meal on an empty stomach..it has a tracer in it..then you get an x-ray every hour…I had the test at Mayo MN..they established that I had post operative Gastropaneisis because of how nerves that empty the stomach were damaged in a Nissen surgery…. It was done 6 years ago..it's not fixable..

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@ken82 I’m sorry for what damage the surgery caused. I now read so many posts with problems after Nissen. It is not a new procedure, I would think there would be a safe routine by now.
Many moons ago when I still worked in Pediatrics, there were quite a few children with reflux that had a Nissen. I seriously don’t know how they did over the years. However, I saw less and less patients that went through it. More kids were on meds for reflux.
I had that gastric emptying test too- I was thought to have gastroparesis. I didn’t, but had slow passage through the rest of the intestines.

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@hopeful33250

Hello @jrofri and welcome to Mayo Connect.

I am sorry to hear about the pain you are experiencing in your shoulder, arm, neck and ear after meals. That sounds very uncomfortable. If you are comfortable sharing more about yourself, it would help to know some more information. For example: how long have you experienced this pain? Have you had any other digestive symptoms (like GERD, ulcers, gall bladder problems, etc.)? Have you had any stomach or abdominal surgery?

By giving our Members a bit more information, perhaps someone else in our community might be able to share a similar experience with you. We look forward to getting to know.

One last question, have you talked with your doctor about this pain?

Teresa

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Hi Teresa, i know this was a while ago but you sound like you may know what is wrong with me. I have been seeing a consultant for 3 years now and no further forward. If you are still offering help, I would love to speak with you

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I have had pain last night and this morning after eating in my left shoulder. I am awaiting mri readings for my abdominal and organs. Originally, after a decent, but not extra large lunch of turkey, dressing, gravy and a veggie for Christmas, I developed a bloated and hurting pain below left rib cage … at the time, no shoulder pain. It has lasted, although at a much lesser degree for 2 1/2 months. Last night after dinner I hurt so bad I was an nth away from going to the emergency room. This morning after a light crosant, I had the same shoulder pain come back. I quickly laid down and the pain has gone away. Lots of growling noise. Last night I also had a lot of pain and discomfort below my left ribs. I wonder if it was not a gas bubble or buildup? Hopefully it could be and maybe a gas dissolver?

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@cvbinrichmond

I have had pain last night and this morning after eating in my left shoulder. I am awaiting mri readings for my abdominal and organs. Originally, after a decent, but not extra large lunch of turkey, dressing, gravy and a veggie for Christmas, I developed a bloated and hurting pain below left rib cage … at the time, no shoulder pain. It has lasted, although at a much lesser degree for 2 1/2 months. Last night after dinner I hurt so bad I was an nth away from going to the emergency room. This morning after a light crosant, I had the same shoulder pain come back. I quickly laid down and the pain has gone away. Lots of growling noise. Last night I also had a lot of pain and discomfort below my left ribs. I wonder if it was not a gas bubble or buildup? Hopefully it could be and maybe a gas dissolver?

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That spot is nicknamed "gas alley" by doctors. It could be just eating more than usual, trapped gas, stomach pressing on diaphragm area and/or irritated nerves in that area. I had a similar problem (for years) and it turned out to be an irritated dorsal scapular nerve. A physical therapist demonstrated some movement exercises for the mid back and also glide movements for the DSN and I no longer have a problem. One very simple thing he told me to try was just lift my left arm straight up close to my head and lift the rib cage a few times. Doesn't have to be strenuous, just a gentle motion. Do that several times per day. This helped me a lot.

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@debkl

That spot is nicknamed "gas alley" by doctors. It could be just eating more than usual, trapped gas, stomach pressing on diaphragm area and/or irritated nerves in that area. I had a similar problem (for years) and it turned out to be an irritated dorsal scapular nerve. A physical therapist demonstrated some movement exercises for the mid back and also glide movements for the DSN and I no longer have a problem. One very simple thing he told me to try was just lift my left arm straight up close to my head and lift the rib cage a few times. Doesn't have to be strenuous, just a gentle motion. Do that several times per day. This helped me a lot.

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Thank you debki. I will try that.

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@cvbinrichmond

Thank you debki. I will try that.

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I also had a lot of relief from the mid back exercises that were demonstrated by online doctors of physical therapy. (The PreHab Guys). They answer questions, too. Good luck.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @tlowrey, You may have noticed that I moved your message to this active discussion called "Left shoulder pain after eating or drinking." I did this so you can connect with other members talking about the same pain in shoulder/arm and armpit after eating as you are. Click VIEW & REPLY to scroll through past posts from members like @astaingegerdm @fourof5zs @marianna1968jt @jparks2006 @marlaxyz @cim37343 and many others.

TLowrey, do you keep a journal of what you eat and when to see if it is related to certain foods, activities or time of day? You also mention discomfort in your jaw. Is that a new symptom?

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Hi. I'm new here. My daughter is being worked up for MS. She's had 3 MRIs with contrast in brain and spine. No lesions in the brain and only one on the spine at C2-3. Her symptoms are numbness and tingling in the right arm, hand and upper torso on the right side. However, very recently she has been experiencing severe pain in the right arm after eating dinner. Not sure why but another site referred to CCSVI as a possibility. Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) is a term used to describe a potential reduction in blood flow in the major veins that drain blood from the brain and spinal cord over a prolonged period. The condition was first described as being a possible contributor to MS by Italian physician, Dr Zamboni in 2009.

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@hopeful33250

Hello @jrofri and welcome to Mayo Connect.

I am sorry to hear about the pain you are experiencing in your shoulder, arm, neck and ear after meals. That sounds very uncomfortable. If you are comfortable sharing more about yourself, it would help to know some more information. For example: how long have you experienced this pain? Have you had any other digestive symptoms (like GERD, ulcers, gall bladder problems, etc.)? Have you had any stomach or abdominal surgery?

By giving our Members a bit more information, perhaps someone else in our community might be able to share a similar experience with you. We look forward to getting to know.

One last question, have you talked with your doctor about this pain?

Teresa

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For me, I had same symptoms and it was my body telling me there was something going on , unfortunately it wasnt till after my heart attack that I put 2 and 2 together with a blocked artery in my heart and a stint put in. My advice since this has been going on for a while is to have a doctor check it out. After you eat is when your blood gets infiltrated with sugar and other possibly bad things like cholesterol best of luck, better to check it out while your healthy than to wait dave

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