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I have a medical question...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I normally don't ask for advice and stuff on here... but I've been going nuts today...

I've been having back spasms and stuff off and on, and went to the doctor a week and a half ago... she gave me a muscle relaxant scrip and sent me on my way... (I'm going to find a new doc, BTW... I'm just not that impressed with her)

So, sometime last night, I felt a pop in my left shoulder... thought nothing of it since joints pop on occasion as one gets older (my body is out of shape, and I'm almost 35... erg!!). So, this morning, I get up and my shoulder doesn't like moving very much, namely forward-up and out-up. Oddly enough, I can go back-up with less pain.

I'd let this run its course except one small problem: I work tomorrow and I'm a library page, meaning I shelve books... rut-roh.

So, this morning, I took two Aleve (the others don't help me any more.) thinking it would go away... it hasn't.

What I'm wondering is if the muscle relaxant might help? I don't want to take too much of this stuff too often (really need to get my ar$e in shape), but this is bizarre.

If I can make it through tomorrow's shift, I can beg my acupuncturist to look at it... she's also my massage therapist... and man, she's brutal!!

So, do you think the relaxant would help at all? It's 'spensive stuff (my co-pay was 60 bucks).
post #2 of 11
The relaxant might work. I'm not sure what popped in your shoulder but chances are the muscles have tightened up in that area. If you have an extra pill or two I'd take it and see if it works.

What kind of pain are you having...sharp, shooting pain or is it more like a sore muscle, achey pain? I wouldn't let it go too long before seeing the doc though!
post #3 of 11
My first thought is rotator cuff injury, due to the limitations you described.
An orthopedist could even tell you which of the rotators.
If that's what it is, they usually treat with antinflamatories, ice and possibly PT.

I don't do well on muscle relaxers. And I really, really loved Vioxx.
post #4 of 11
You can try the muscle relaxant, but you really need to get to the root of the problem to prevent it from happening again. Do you exercise at all? Exercises to help strengthen your shoulder and back muscles would be really beneficial. Many times, the spasms are caused by a muscle imbalance (ie weak back muscles). I wouldn't be too impressed with a doc that hands you a prescription and sends you on your way either.

As far as the shoulder goes, it could be a warning sign of something more severe, and it could also be nothing (your shoulder muscles are interconnected with your back and chest muscles). I work in a physical therapy clinic and have education in anatomy and physiology, but can't really give you advice on the shoulder because I can't see it and I'm not a doctor. My *best* advice, given what you've said is to watch it very carefully and I'd stay away from the books on the top shelf. Try putting some ice on it and don't do anything too vigorous.

If it doesn't get better within the next couple of days, I'd go find a new doc. Shoulder problems can get really tricky if they are severe and not properly treated. The doctor can do some movement tests and order an MRI if they are concerned.
post #5 of 11
The muscle relaxant might work but from your description it sounds like you have something like bursitis an inflammation of the muscle and in those cases you need an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen or Aspirin.

I get bursitis a few times a year and what I do is take regular or coated aspirin 3 times a day for a few days and that usually works..I also have a prescription for the anti-inflammatory Naproxen which is quite inexpensive. You might want to as your doctor about this type of treatment.

I am surprised they prescribed a muscle relaxant for something other then an injury. Back spasms are usually a symptom of sciatica which again is a inflammation of the muscles and nerves, and should have an anti-inflammatory.
post #6 of 11
The pop suggests to me that you might have a tendon hanging up on something... which could be caused by swelling pushing the parts of the joint out of place. If the massage therapist/acupuncturist is well-trained and really knows her anatomy, she might be able to help! Otherwise, you might try a sports medicine clinic... they know all about that sort of injury.

I've had similar problems and have done well with just keeping my arm immobile for a few days, using a sling. But that's just me... you might have a different situation.

Oh -- and please don't try to use the muscle relaxant while you're out driving and working! That could be dangerous...
post #7 of 11
Whatever you do, don't wash the muscle relaxants down with 40 ounces of malt liquor. Man, in the pantheon of bad ideas, that one had to rank right up there ....
post #8 of 11
You've already been given many great suggestions, but let me recommend something here - since you mentioned having a lot of back problems you may want to consider getting some x rays done of your back. Depending on what those show, maybe MRIs of the shoulder or back too... though MRIs are expensive.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the suggestions...

Some more history for everyone: I injured my low back at 17, but that's since healed, only the sciatica remains... and acts up rarely... I've injured my knees (knee caps pop out then back in... irritating my tendons). I've gone to Chiropractors, but the only one I trust (after trying a few since leaving CA) is down in California... my last one adjusted my neck at Christmas and messed it up... no desire to return to one here...

As for going to a doc. Here's the problem: I'm limited of income and have bare-bare-bare bones insurance. my other job is retail and they provide insurance to us PT'ers, but I'm limited to 5 doctor visits per calendar year... I've killed off four since January. three for my sprained hand and one last week for the back spasms. I want to switch to a Naturopath. Someone who actually *%$%$#%# listens to me as opposed to getting on their high horse and being all 'I know everything' I hate that. my doc back in Chicago was amazing. I miss her!!! Also, as for Naturopaths, someone who is willing to consider more than a scrip for pills to heal what ails me.

So, I can kill off my last visit and then go 'pay up front' for the rest but from past experience, I know full well that Ortho's are NOT cheap. I've spent most of my adult life uninsured. What little insurance i have now is a blessing but not by much.

I know I'm out of shape... but my neighborhood isn't conducive to a lone white girl walking, even for exercise. Gyms are too $$$. I'm thinking of going back to Tai Chi, but even that costs $$$... I'm looking at it though. I can't do Yoga... tendonitis in my wrists (yes, my body is royally messed up.) I long for the days I weighed 120 pounds and danced...

My other arm can do top shelf books... and if I'm slow with it, I can get my left arm up... I was stretching it earlier... trying to help work it out... the kicker for me is that I'm left-handed. ggrrrr...

One more check-mark in the column for trying to go back to working from home...

post #10 of 11
what is the name of the muscle relaxant drug that was prescribed? and how many mgs?
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by CDubbie View Post
what is the name of the muscle relaxant drug that was prescribed? and how many mgs?
Skelaxin, 800 mgs.

I can work when I'm on it as well... which is surprising for me, since i typically have a low tolerance to meds... I have none of the listed side effects...

An update: I took one last night... did so-so... not a huge improvement. Right before bed I took some of my outdated Bayer... as a doctor informed me (as well as one pharmacist) once, when a medicine expires, it basically becomes like the placebo drugs they give in testing... sugar pills... may have a bit of effectiveness, but not full potency. It did help a little... but I need to get some current stuff... If I don't take too much of it, regularly, I'm okay... but if i take to often enough, it loses it's effectiveness with me.

I went to the acupuncturist after work today... she did help some... I can raise it to the side, but the front is still minimal... how long her work will last, I don't know. Although some of her points today make me glad our schedules don't work this upcoming term (she's an intern at the local school). She helped my shoulder but my leg isn't very happy right now... that'll pass, I know... but dang. I will be seeing her for massage therapy, though... that's fine... she's good there.

At work, I did as much shelving as possible without taxing my shoulder... I didn't shelve non-fiction or kids' picture books (both areas require using two hands due to holding shelved books in place to get book *needing shelving* into place).

I'm concerned, though... to wait two days before seeing a doc, means I have the weekend to contend with... not fun. I'll see how it is in the morning... I doubt I'll get into a new doc tomorrow though... I'd much rather make an interview appt with a new doc first... get a feel for the person, rather than going in blind, so to speak. We'll see.

Thanks everyone.... having the gang here if only as a sounding board helps immensely.

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