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How to treat shoulder pain?

Q: I am feeling pain in my right upper arm because of which I cannot rotate my hand freely and feel pain when I exert some pressure on my hand. It gives relief when I take pain killers like Brufen but it recurs later. I showed to an orthopedic surgeon who gave me an injection in my upper hand. Now that is also paining.

A:From your description I presume you have pain in the shoulder, though you have written upper arm. This symptom is very common with a condition called peri-arthritis (peri means around, arthros means joints, it refers to inflammation as when tonsils get inflamed in sore throat you say tonsillitis). In other words, for some reason you seem to have inflammation around your shoulder joint. This causes pain on rotation of the arm and on movements of the arm, particularly taking it over-head or behind your back. This condition is common in diabetics. You are around 40, the time at which maturity onset diabetes usually presents. Do you have a family history of diabetes? If yes, or even if no, do get your blood sugar examination done. Occasionally, such symptoms are also because of low grade infections. This can be assessed by a clinical examination and, if necessary, getting some blood tests like your white blood cell counts (WBC counts), ESR of blood. You may also need an X-ray of the shoulder and the arm. But I would not recommend that you get these done without consulting a doctor. Normally orthopaedic surgeons deal with such symptoms, therefore, do consult a competent orthopaedic surgeon in your neighbourhood. In case, it is confirmed to be peri-arthritis, then you need to be on some pain killers along with exercises for the shoulder. The main stay of treatment will be exercises. The disease has a natural history and normally takes about 7 - 8 months to settle.


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