Hi guys, I have been having recurring pain in my left trapezius and shoulder joint and in my neck when I overuse my trapezius. I have seen a shoulder orthopod about 6 times but I have not been able to receive any diagnosis as to what the pain is resulting from.
I have a tingling pain that begins where my trap meets my neck and then gradually expands until my entire shoulder is burning. At this point my neck starts to lock up. The pain has gotten so bad that I am unable to work in a white-collar office environment without muscle relaxants and ibuprofen and I have problems driving for extended periods of time.
About a year ago, (March 2010) I was doing a lot of handstand pushups, neck bridges, bench press, etc. I was doing a set of 185 singles on incline which was more than I had ever done on the incline. This resulted in immediate pain inside the joint and the back of my shoulder/upper back. I continued training but phased out benchpress mostly from my workout. A second painful event occurred about a month later (April 2010) when I was working on my car breaking loose some stuck lug nuts and operating a scissor jack. I went to Urgent Care that day, they did an X-ray, and told me I had a rotator cuff problem. This is the only X-ray i have received and it did not show anything. I stopped benchpressing completely and continued lifting, while working on doing rotator cuff stretches. This did not give me any relief. In July 2010, I was carrying a desk with a friend of mine to move out of my apartment. My friend dropped one end of the desk and the shock load made my trap hurt incredibly bad. I took a lot of ibuprofen and iced it / heat packed it when I had the chance. I had to move a great deal of furniture around early July because of moving between apartments. I took July through August off from lifting. I saw the orthopod for the first time in July, he indicated that it may be distal clavical osteolysis and ordered an MRI. At the follow up appointment, he told me I just needed to rest it for awhile and I could resume lifting with light weights. By November, the pain had gotten pretty intense and I had to stop lifting again. I would say that the pain is about a 4 out of 10 at this time.
I saw the orthopod at the soonest I could, which was January, and the orthopod indicated that the MRI failed to show distal clavical osteolysis. I have had two extremity MRI's of the shoulder. Since then, I have had an EMG test to see if I had damaged/pinched nerves in the shoulder. My nerves are apparently healthy. This past week, I have had a full MRI of the trapezius to check for tears and an MRI of the cervical spine. Both are healthy.
The doctor stated that he does not know what is causing it, and that I should pursue accupuncture treatment to stop the trapezius spasming. I do not know if the joint still causes pain because I have not lifted weights since early november. I have lost about 15 lbs of muscle since then and I have been pretty miserable. I am also not able to work on my car, which is my main hobby besides training. Right now the pain when it does occur is about a 8 out of 10 relative to the 4 out of 10 in november. At time it does not hurt, but the minute I start using my shoulder it comes back full strength.
I honestly felt better when I was exercising back in november, even though it hurt bad, it didn't hurt this bad. I have not exercised in any capacity since november.
I am considering seeing another orthopod. Any ideas? I have not used my left arm/shoulder with any intensity since November and it has only gotten worse. Is it possible that I have DCO? Trapezius strain? I do not know if the pain originates in the joint because I have not lifted in months. It does not appear to be healing, it actually feels worse with each successive day. I have only had the 1 x-ray back in April 2010. I have had 2 extremity mri's of the shoulder joint. I have had 1 full mri of my left trapezius, radiologist said did not indicate tears. I have had 1 mri of my cervical spine.
At present, my left shoulder is swollen and sits possibly an inch higher than my right shoulder. I have a prescription for Flexeril which I tried taking but it makes me feel awful. I also take ibuprofen but it has limited benefits. I feel like I am atrophying away and I am unable to do my two big hobbies, cars and exercising. I vowed to stop all exercise from November through March as a way of insuring that it could possibly heal, but it only gets worse each day. I was able to bench 235 a year ago, now I could probably bench 85 lbs. I'm pretty upset about the whole thing.