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Constant pain in my right shoulder

Q: For the last 3-4 years I have constant pain in my right shoulder near the neck area. Sometimes the pain is mild but sometimes it becomes very severe and results in swelling of the shoulder and upper arm. I am an asthamatic and I take eltroxin 100 mcg daily for hypothyroidism.

A:Unfortunately, you have given neither your age nor your occupation. However, your symptom of pain at the root of neck could be because of cervical spondylosis or fibrofasciitis. Cervical spondylosis is the normal aging process of the spine in usually sedentary workers who present with the symptom of pain in the neck. This usually settles with painkillers and exercises. Since you are an asthmatic, you should avoid the usual painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. You could safely use a combination of paracetamol and a muscle relaxant in consultation with your orthopaedic surgeon. Fibrofasciitis, on the other hand, is usually seen in patients who have to do repetitive jobs with their arms and hands. These could be industrial workers, computer operators or at times, housewives. The diagnosis of this is made on the basis of clinical examination and careful exclusion of other possible cause of neck pain. This will have to be done by an orthopaedic surgeon.

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