View Full Version : Pain in My Shoulders.........

11-02-2006, 11:34 AM

I am wondering if anyone else has a problem with pain in their shoulders? This is new for me. I have never had problems with my shoulders before. I mean I have SLE and have had it nearly all of my life. I have the joint pains in the hands, wrists, fingers, hips, knees, feet and spine. For some reason my shoulders are in severe pain big time. I have a bad weakness in my arms as well and when I go to pick up stuff I sometimes just drop it. I am worried here about this big time. Any sigjustions on what there is that I can do about this. I will be seeing the Rhuematologist on the 30th of this month. I had a bad time earlier this month and they ran the labs on me and my SED was way up and the doctor increased my Imuran. Could this be related?


11-02-2006, 07:44 PM
Hi, Kathleen. Is the pain in one shoulder, or both? As you already know, lupus can affect almost any joint or muscle, but many women are especially prone to developing bursitis, which often affects the shoulders and can cause a lot of pain, especially with movement. Here is a link to a Mayo Clinic article about bursitis

Tendonitis, the inflammation of a tendon, can also be a result of lupus - like bursitis, it can also cause pain. You could also be developing arthritis in the shoulder joint itself. If your anti-inflammatory meds don't seem to be helping, you definitely need to let your doctor know what's going on.

11-03-2006, 02:12 AM
The pain is in the shoulder joints. It feels like an arthritis pain. I will be seeing the doctor on the 30th of this month and see what he can do about it. I may need like you said a different NSAID medication.


11-03-2006, 08:37 AM
I have pain in the middle part of my upper arm. I saw the rheumy just this week and mentioned it and he tells me it's tendonitis. It's very sore and my arm is weak ...as in hard to turn the steering wheel or lift things. It's a one spot type of pain. I can put one finger on exactly where it hurts. No real suggestions from the doc as to what to do about it tho :-) Darn. Grin and bear it I guess.

11-03-2006, 09:02 AM
Well I called the doctor and he told me to take the Darvacet for it. He did not give me a reason for it. I can pinpoint the pain too and it is right at the very tip of my shoulder, where the joint is. It is probably the Osteo-Arthritis acting up again. I will just wait until I see the doctor in person on the 30th of this month.



11-03-2006, 09:27 AM
Resting your arm as much as possible and using ice to reduce pain and inflammation will sometimes help tendinitis - instead of an ice pack I use a pack or frozen peas or corn. Keep taking your anti-inflammatory meds and pain meds if you have them - that's about all you can do. You might ask your doctor about physical therapy once the inflammation has subsided a bit - sometimes muscle strengthening will help prevent tendonitis from recurring.

Some doctors use steroid injections into the inflammed tendon but this isn't a good idea for lupus patients because we are at increased risk for tendon rupture.

If you like pineapple, fresh pineapple is great to eat because it contains a natural anti-inflammatory enzyme called bromelain. Tart cherries or cherry juice make also help, even canned cherries are good healing foods for inflammation,

You might also ask your doctor about an anti-inflammatory enzyme product that is used a lot in Germany, called Wobezyme - it is available in many natural food stores, but you should always check with your doctor before using any non-prescription products.

11-03-2006, 10:00 AM
Thank you Marycain, this is good information. I did not realize that foods can be beneficial. I will definitely try this. I have been resting my arms a lot and have been avoiding the sun as much as possible right now. I think that the sun set this all off. I go back to the doctor on the 30th and I am hoping and praying that my blood work comes out ok this time. The last time the SED was way up indicating inflammation. I am trying to stave off a flare from making it get worse. I will definitely try the foods.

Kathleen :)

11-06-2006, 07:26 AM
Marycain ... does the tendonitis go away after awhile or is it here to stay?I have it in my shoulder like I posted above and also in my elbow. The one in my elbow causes my little finger and ring finger to go numb with regularity. The impression my doc gave me was that it was an insignificant complaint and there was nothing to be done. True? In the grand scheme of things I know it's not very important (compared to those with organ involvement and life threatening complications) but if there's something I can be doing to "make it all better" then I'd like to do that :-)

Thanks ....your posts are extremely informative. Thanks for all you're doing here!

11-06-2006, 08:38 AM
Tendonitis caused by an underlying condition like lupus or arthritis is harder to manage because it tends to flare and recur much like the lupus itself. So keeping your lupus under control as much as possible will help the tendonitis too. Avoiding repetitive motions that strain your shoulder and elbow is also important. Once the acute flare of tendonitis has subsided, ask your doctor about a referral to physical therapy - PT can help you strengthen the surrounding muscles so tendons stay in place - this reduces the recurrence of tendonitis. Therapists can also show you different ways to do things to minimize stress on the tendons. Depending on what type of work you do, a shoulder splint or brace might also help.

I often use an herbal anti-inflammatory product product called Zyflamend, which contains ginger, tumeric, and other herbs. You should always check with your doctor before using any herbal products because you might have a medical condition where they wouldn't be appropriate for you. Herbal products that contain the Indian herb "boswellia" are also helpful for tendonitis - some natural food stores carry a cream form of boswellia that can be applied directly where you are hurting. A product called "celadrin" is also available in a topical ointment.

Some people get temporary relief from the over the counter pain patches you find in drugstores, but they can be irritating if you have sensitive skin. As I mentioned to Kathleen, pineapple, papaya, and tart cherries are also natural anti-inflammatory foods - so are the spices tumeric and curry, and ginger.

Some herbalists and homeopaths believe that people with arthritis, lupus, and allergic skin conditions like eczema will benefit from reducing or eliminating the amount of "nightshade" foods in their diets, Nightshade foods are all part of the same botanical "family" and include tobacco, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, chilis, and eggplant. These plants are in the same family as some toxic plants, including deadly nightshade, mandrake root, and thorn apple. The theory is that some people are unusually sensitive to the solanine chemicals in these foods. This is a theory and I don't know if any medical studies have been done in the US, but if you eat a lot of these foods, it might be worth a trial period of avoiding them to see if it makes a difference.
Here is a link with more information if you're interested.

I hope some of this information helps you find a solution to your pain.