Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Why The Dull Ache?

Monday, 19 July 2010 01:04 PM

Question: I’m 58 and want to be active again. Five years ago, I began having severe pain in my left shoulder and hip. Since then, I have tried several alternative methods, such as acupuncture, deep tissue massage, trigger point massage, chiropractic, healing meditations, hypnotherapy — you get the picture. I am now 85 percent pain free, but I can't rid myself of the other 15 percent. The pain is now a daily dull ache that increases with changes in the weather. I'm told that I don't have arthritis (MRI and x-rays showed no signs). Any suggestions?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Your pain in the absence of arthritis suggests a disorder of soft tissue or muscle. Ask your doctor to evaluate you for muscular aches. This will usually involve some blood evaluation to include a CPK (creatine phosphokinase), sedimentation rate (ESR), as well as other usual screens of complete blood count (CBC), chemistry, and perhaps a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Muscle aches may reflect overuse, de-conditioning or an underlying medical condition.

Pursue this investigation now until a reasonable answer is found, so you can be more comfortable sooner. If you wish a specialty opinion, a rheumatologist specializes in diseases of joints and soft tissue. Rheumatologists are also the preferred specialists for various immune disorders affecting these tissues.

© HealthDay

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