Ongoing left shoulder pain now also occuring in right side of neck

Posted by kdrymer @kdrymer, Apr 23, 2019

I've had recurring shoulder/upper arm on my left side for the past 4 months. It's more of a dull achy type pain, and I first noticed it shortly after I cut my left middle finger. I've had lab testing done and the first round indicated a slightly positive ANA level (1:160), however a repeat of the blood work indicated normal ANA marker. All of my other blood work was normal, including testing for Lyme disease. I had an EMG/Nerve conduction study done early on, which did not indicate any abnormalities. I also had an X-Ray taken of the shoulder which didn't indicate any issues. The pain has primarily been occurring in my left shoulder/left upper arm, with some slight burning/warmness sensation occurring down near my forearm (same side).

Just recently the pain has started alternating between this area and my Right area of the back of my neck and I've started having some minor muscle twitching occurring. The pain seems to be in either the one spot or the another, but not both at the same time. I was referred to an Orthopedic Doctor who could not find any abnormalities with my shoulder and ordered Physical Therapy for me. I would like to get a 2nd EMG test done, as the first one was very early on with the pain, as well as pushing for an MRI after I complete Physical Therapy.

Has anyone else experienced this and/or can suggest any other testing I should push for, and what type of doctor would be best to address this? I appreciate any feedback, thanks!

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Hello @kdrymer, welcome to Connect. It sounds like you have exhausted a lot of different possibilities and tests. I am not a medical professional and cannot offer any medical advice, but can share my experience and help try to Connect you with other members to share their personal experiences as well. I had something similar take place a few years ago. Certain movements would send a sharp pain in my shoulder blade area. MRI was negative, so it was thought to be a pinched nerve. Ultimately, it was a pinched nerve as well as a partially torn rotator cuff injury that did not show up on MRI. The pinched nerve explained the numbness and weak sensation that I was experiencing, and the pain was explained more by the partially torn rotator.

@kdrymer, while we wait for other members to join in would you mind sharing a bit more? Do certain movements or activities aggravate your shoulder and arm pain? Have any of your providers discussed a possibly pinched nerve? Does anything help relieve the pain and burning sensation?


Has your doctor looked for possible Frozen Shoulder Syndrome @kdrymer I would push for a MRI. Do certain movements make your arm pain worse? How about cold or heat, does anything make your symptoms better?


I have had this type of pain which is continually worsening which now includes severe head pain. I have had a CT scan which shows the DDD in my neck has worsened. You have mentioned seeing an orthopedic doctor who found nothing. I was diagnosed with blah, blah, blah. I went to an orthopedic and referred to PT. Further testing with CT showed more clearly what is going on. Finally I am getting somewhere even though slowly. Be persistent. I will add I do have scoliosis which I learned about in 2010. Age doesn't help either.
I do know we all have different situations and what has helped one may not help another.


@kdrymer May I suggest you keep a log of when the different symptoms occur. Include the symptom, time of day, your body's position, what you were doing. This may be valuable when you see any professionals, to establish a pattern that may be more visible with notes.

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