Mark Freeman wrote:
it only 'really' hurts when I attempt to put my right hand in particular areas, so I spend my time making sure that I don't go beyond where pain free movement allows. I may explore some accupuncture, if I feel it is getting too uncomfortable.
Careful! Too much caution is where the "freeze" starts!. Per accupuncture, I come from the myotherapy end of things, but seems clear to me that it's all related and that "meridians" aren't just ancient Chinese philosophy but specific references to fascial lines. You can produce a passable "meridian" map simply by tracing the lines of muscle boundaries. What's there? Fascia. Strong stuff (tensile strength of 2,000-4,000 psi), contractile (contains smooth muscle fibers), and piezoelectric (perhaps explaining pain referral patterns that travel from head to foot -- no individual muscle or nerve travels all that way, but the fascial net does). Mess that up and you're going to hurt. Bad.
Per trigger points, muscle relaxants and ibuprofen don't affect them. They can be broken up with pressure techniques, and very effectively with dry needles. Apparently needles disrupt (an accupuncturist would say "balance") the muscle electrical potentials. One caveat: I tried this on a subject with a trapezius full of trigger points. The very fine accupuncture needles accomplished nothing. His dad's insulin needles worked great, instantly melting the trigger points; the little devils fired off their textbook pain patterns then just vanished. Quite fascinating!
I just posted some typical shoulder pain patterns at
and added a couple additional ROM tests on the Test page (the Overhead Reach which you described and a Triceps test). If you see familiar pain patterns especially if they appear when doing the ROM tests (and MRI / Xray are normal) consider the possibility of trigger points. Consider tracking down a myofascial therapist or accupuncturist who can actually find a trigger point (not just talk about them!) and and eliminate it -- not as a Last Resort, but as a useful step towards resolving the problem now rather than a year or two from now. (Owww!!) Good luck!