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"I have unbearable neck to shoulder pain only while on my period. What could it be?"

ZocdocAnswersI have unbearable neck to shoulder pain only while on my period. What could it be?


Pain wakes me up and sometimes hurts so bad it makes my stomach sick. It's always on the right side from my neck into my shoulder. When it really hurts it feels like its in my arm too. It's been going on for a few months now.


Sorry to hear about this pain. This is a somewhat interesting phenomenon that will take more visits to your doctor to help explain. Your OB/GYN is likely a good place to start, as he or she will be best positioned to help sort out the hormonal element to your symptoms. Another option might be a neurologist or spine surgeon, either of which may be able to help with your symptoms at the level of your neck. An ear nose and throat surgeon may offer some other insight that could be helpful. Whichever you choose, the approach to your problem will likely be different. Primary care and medical doctors are more likely to use lab work and your symptoms to help arrive at an answer, and may use medications empirically to see what helps to make you better. A surgeon, on the other hand, is more likely to listen to your symptoms, complete an exam, and recommend imaging and other anatomic studies that can help to determine what is causing your symptoms. The pain may have a component of something that changes on a monthly basis with your menstrual cycle. This could be a swelling, or even something as simple as a change in the blood flow. More information will be required, so please speak with your doctor.

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