Shoulder Numbness

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of swanics swanics 7 years ago.

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    Profile photo of swanics

    I did a search and couldn’t find a topic that covered my particular problem.

    Basically my right shoulder is kind of numb. I can move it around perfectly fine and don’t hear or feel anything wrong with it. It’s just seems to always be slightly numb to the touch. This started happening over the weekend.

    When swimming today I stopped after only 20 minutes because my shoulder started to bother me slightly. I don’t know if it was just getting tired or what, but I do know I didn’t want to push it and potentially cause more damage. There isn’t much soreness now.

    Things that could have contributed:
    -Back injury in the summer from diving in shallow water
    -Wrestling around after a few beers
    -Injury to the opposite shoulder while snowboarding

    I’m hoping it’s just a pinched nerve somewhere and by taking time over the next few days to do a series of back stretches it will go away. I have crappy health insurance so I’m trying to avoid seeing a doctor.

    Thoughts? Advice? Anyone have this problem before?



    Profile photo of Warrior

    Thoughts? Tendonitis, or a trapped nerve. Suggestions, Stretch, take a few days off and see a doc. You insurance might be crappy but you only have one shoulder on that side of your body and your arm needs it.

    Profile photo of prendergi

    I think you are right, a pinched nerve. It could be something from the list above or even before that. I had a pinched nerve but it didn’t bother my shoulder so much as it felt like a sore muscle on the inside of my shoulder blade and sometimes my fingers would go numb. The cause was most likely a car accident I was in when I was 19. I was 35 when I went to the chiropactor for the problem. Depending on where it is pinched will depend on what is affected. My only suggestion would be a chiropractor if the streching doesn’t do it. To this day I still have to strech out my neck the way the chiropractor showed me when I start to feel it again. I do the streches and it really helps out.

    Profile photo of fpugsley

    Even if you have crappy insurance, i think that is serious enough to at least see a general physician if it doesn’t go away on its own soon. numbness is not something to mess with for potentially the rest of your life. Might be worth a couple hundred bucks now.

    A few years a go, I caught a pedal on the downstroke and crashed hard on my mountain bike, taking all the impact on my right shoulder upper chest colliding with a tree that blocked my path to the ground. Got up, finished my ride feeling OK. The next day I couldnt lift a beer can. Went to the doctor, supposedly pinched nerve. Went to the local Chiropractic college to get treatment regularly for a while since it was cheaper from college kids, and a friend of mine was my ‘Doctor’ there. get it looked at.

    Profile photo of Dannyboy

    I don’t know how long you have been swimming but bad technique can aggravate any tendon issues. The most common thing people do when swimming that can cause shoulder pain is crossing your arms over your head instead of just reaching straight up.

    Profile photo of swanics

    Thanks for all the responses so far. I’ve got an email out to a doctor I know (lives far away) and I’ll wait on the response before seeing someone. I’ll think my swimming technique is pretty good largely because I’ve been swimming for a long time and my other shoulder, which recently had a slight tear in the rotator cuff, hasn’t been sore after resting for 4 weeks.

    Profile photo of tri-ac

    if you’ve been recovering from an injury on the other side, is it possible you’re overcompensating in your enthusiasm to return to training?

    [either that or the “Wrestling around after a few beers” – you’ve got to remember to use protection! ;) ]

    Profile photo of Smittie1984

    Most likely a pinched nerve. I doubt it would likely be from your back because if it was you would have numbess in more than just your shoulder and it would most likely happend during the time of injury.

    For something like this you could go to the minute clinics or nurse practitioners. They’ll find out exactly where you are numb and use dermatomes to find out which nerve is pinched. If it is the back of your shoulder then your Supraclavicular nerve is pinched (C4). I find that unlikely since that nerve is in the trapezius and you don’t have any major diarthroses (freely movable) joints that would allow the pinching of nerves. The axillary nerve is most likely since it runs through the backside of the rotator cuff muscles and is part of the Brachial plexus (C5-T1). Rotational movements, inflamed muscles and sometimes just odd twisting can affect that. I’m not a doctor (just a Rad Tech student) so that is beyond me on how to treat it. I would guess ice it and rest to bring down inflammation in hopes it relieves pressure from the pinched nerve.

    You can also find free clinics if you are willing to wait. Despite their reputation, the doctors there are intelligent and did go through many years of schooling.

    Profile photo of swanics

    Thanks for everyone’s help. The shoulder has basically fully recovered. However I’m going to stay out of the pool for another day or two as I don’t want to risk re-injury. I asked a couple doctors I knew and they both felt it wasn’t something to be too concerned about. To help aide recovery I also went and got a deep tissue massage.

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