Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Shoulder Pain - what would a doctor actually do? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    For a little while now (well, probably around a year or so), I've had an intermittent pain in my shoulder which has, sometimes, stopped me from being able to move my arm (it came on while driving one time, made it difficult to change gears ).

    I've tended to self-treat this with co-codamol which has generally worked. It's started to hurt this afternoon, and my housemate has (once again) said that I should go to my doctor about it. I've said that there's little point as all he'll do is give me painkillers which is what I've been doing anyway. She's now saying that I'm being pessimistic about it.

    Aside from the fact that my doctor is at home (I haven't registered at uni, see little point in it), would a doctor actually do anything or am I right in that all she would do is give me painkillers?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Well no, they will have you referred to a consultant who will be able to diagnose the problem, most probably with an MRI scan. Once the problem is found, then they can treat it.

    My dad's literally just come back 10 minutes ago from seeing a consultant because a nerve, can't remember the name of it, in his left arm has gone AWOL. The laymans term was that the nerve has got 'tangled' and as such that is why he's lost the feeling in his fingers. He has to have a small operation to correct the nerve and then he's all good.

    Similarly I've had terrible back pain for about 6 months and just chewed on painkillers. I finally got referred to rheumatologist, had an MRI scan and it shows a slipped disc in the 1st lumbar. I'm having intensive physiotherapy and PT sessions to strengthen my core and it should all slot back into place in good time.

    Go, don't leave it
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    You may have a pinched or trapped nerve so you'd need to see a GP to get a referral to physio.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    It is tough when it comes to pain problems. In my experience I had to fight a long time for painkillers in the first place.
    They will send you for some scans, to see if there is a deeper problem at work.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    The fact that it's been playing up again the past couple of weeks reminded me that I left this thread kind of hanging...

    Well I actually did go to the doctor, which actually for me meant that it had got that bad as I tend not to bother with doctors (you hear all the time about GPs being overstretched, in my opinion the last thing they need is me being yet another person wasting their time).

    Turns out I was wrong about what I thought he'd do. He didn't even give me anything, just told me to keep self-medicating when it hurt... oh well, better go to Lloyds and get some more co-codamol...
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fairysdad)
    For a little while now (well, probably around a year or so), I've had an intermittent pain in my shoulder which has, sometimes, stopped me from being able to move my arm (it came on while driving one time, made it difficult to change gears ).

    I've tended to self-treat this with co-codamol which has generally worked. It's started to hurt this afternoon, and my housemate has (once again) said that I should go to my doctor about it. I've said that there's little point as all he'll do is give me painkillers which is what I've been doing anyway. She's now saying that I'm being pessimistic about it.

    Aside from the fact that my doctor is at home (I haven't registered at uni, see little point in it), would a doctor actually do anything or am I right in that all she would do is give me painkillers?
    I had shoulder pain after a car crash last year, my insurance sent me to the Drs and for physio, but I think it was more to assess than to help. They found I had torn something (apparently) the physio gave me stretches to do, but they didn't really help.

    So I went to my Drs the first time and they just said rest and pain killers, but it didn't get better so they sent me for physio, after explaining to them what happened she did some of those things where they ask you to push back and resist their force, I could do it with my left but not my right (which is weird because I'm right handed) so she told me to do some weights to try and build up the strength in my right side and that seemed to work. I think she said it was something to do with my other muscles compensating for the weakness in the one that had been injured.

    Basically long story short, they will ask if you're taking painkillers, which you are, and so might refer you for better treatment, I'd go if I were you.

    EDIT: ok just saw your post above, I would go back if it keeps playing up...
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fairysdad)
    The fact that it's been playing up again the past couple of weeks reminded me that I left this thread kind of hanging...

    Well I actually did go to the doctor, which actually for me meant that it had got that bad as I tend not to bother with doctors (you hear all the time about GPs being overstretched, in my opinion the last thing they need is me being yet another person wasting their time).

    Turns out I was wrong about what I thought he'd do. He didn't even give me anything, just told me to keep self-medicating when it hurt... oh well, better go to Lloyds and get some more co-codamol...
    Go get a second opinion. That's not acceptable advice. Dont mention you want a second opinion but say the pain continues and is getting worse.

    It took 3 Doctors to notice I had a broken shoulder so don't give up.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Online

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Izzyeviel)
    Go get a second opinion. That's not acceptable advice. Dont mention you want a second opinion but say the pain continues and is getting worse.

    It took 3 Doctors to notice I had a broken shoulder so don't give up.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    How do you know that's unacceptable advice? Shoulder pain is notoriously difficult to treat and actually painkillers are the first port of call. Intermittent pains don't suggest a breakage and most other shoulder pathology is reserved for the elderly.

    So painkillers are usually very much correct, and the over the counter ones are frequently sufficient. I seriously doubt there's a need for operation and physio may only be suggested if the painkillers don't help.

    In reality, no one here can make that judgement call, only the GP has examined him and all anyone can suggest is that if it doesn't improve the OP should go back.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    To be honest, I was probably a little too dismissive of the doctor when I posted earlier on - he did examine me and check the shoulder. It probably didn't help that although it was pretty bad when I made the appointment (should anybody reading this actually know me, they'll know that it had to have been!) it wasn't too bad when I actually got to see the doctor, and while he did tell me to keep self medicating with OTC painkillers, he did also tell me that if it did get worse, or the painkillers didn't work, to go back.

    Part of the reason there was such a gap in posting was because it hasn't been all that bad until the last couple of weeks, and I probably exasperated the problem when it came back the a week or so back as it was hurting slightly when I woke up and I was playing bass in my church that morning and my bass guitar is pretty heavy. But even then, I've known it to be worse.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fairysdad)
    For a little while now (well, probably around a year or so), I've had an intermittent pain in my shoulder which has, sometimes, stopped me from being able to move my arm (it came on while driving one time, made it difficult to change gears ).

    I've tended to self-treat this with co-codamol which has generally worked. It's started to hurt this afternoon, and my housemate has (once again) said that I should go to my doctor about it. I've said that there's little point as all he'll do is give me painkillers which is what I've been doing anyway. She's now saying that I'm being pessimistic about it.

    Aside from the fact that my doctor is at home (I haven't registered at uni, see little point in it), would a doctor actually do anything or am I right in that all she would do is give me painkillers?

    My mum strained her right arm too much from weightlifting (yes, weightlifting) a few years back. It left her arm paralysed shoulder down due to the lack of medical attention. It magically healed itself though, after half a year. No one has been able to explain

    Its best that you go to the doctor for physiotherapy. They'll most likely find it to be tissue/muscle/nerve problems. Painkillers won't do much if you don't "repair" it. I'm no doctor but everyone in my maternal side of the family is, so hopefully my basic knowledge can help (sorry if its wrong though ).
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    I spent five years putting up with intermittent pain in my neck due to the soft tissue gumming my my joints (technical term, that) and trapping a nerve - by the time I actually cracked and went for physio it was so painful I was struggling to do my job. After about 10 sessions it's now pretty much fixed, but he did give me a massive *******ing for leaving it so long when it would have been much easier to fix if I'd just gone in when it first started hurting. In retrospect I feel like a giant idiot for not sorting it when it first started hurting.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: April 18, 2013
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.