Acute shoulder and arm pain: The case of Chad S.

Arm pain, Neck pain, Neuromuscular therapy, Shoulder pain, Upper back pain / Saturday, March 28th, 2009

shoulder-pain2Shoulder pain often comes on suddenly with   sharp shooting pain into the arm that severely limits upward motion.

Chad had found our  Neuromuscular Therapy Center on line when he was in the Boston area on business. He had called with neck and upper back pain that had seized up on one side, preventing head rotation. An x-ray showed some narrowing at the C 5-6 disc in his neck, but no herniation. He had been given muscle relaxants, which he took when needed, and occasionally had chiropractic adjustments. His history included low back problems and years of neck pain, perhaps caused by a bike accident at age ten when he went over the handlebars and landed on his face. He was a competitive swimmer in high school and was still in pretty good shape. Now he is a young professional, working as an engineer. A lot of his time is spent on the computer, “not ergonomic,” he says and he thinks he needs glasses because he leans toward the computer when he works.

Recently, Chad called my Neuromuscular Therapy Center needing emergency treatment for two days of acute shoulder and arm pain. There was no initiating event, but the pain had become unbearable quickly, with throbbing keeping him awake at night. Being a regular “as needed” client for over two years, he knew to call as soon as symptoms started. Pain was referring into the back of his shoulder and triceps and down the front-side of his upper arm into the back of his forearm. His neck was also very stiff. He needed to be treated right away so he could work and sleep.