Donald Corenman, MD, DC
Post count: 8507

Shoulder pain can be a result of cervical radiculopathy (nerve generated pain) or shoulder generated pain (rotator cuff syndrome or other). Cervical radiculopathy commonly is triggered by neck and not shoulder motion. The act of lateral bending or extension to the side of the pain increasing the pain in a good indicator of foraminal stenosis where the neck motion narrows the nerve hole and pinches the nerve.

If you keep the neck still and move your shoulder (especially elevate or “up”) causing pain, this generally means a shoulder problem. A careful physical examination can help to identify and differentiate these disorders.

Your MRI is about 1 1/2 years old so a new one is warranted. The radiologist did not distinguish between foraminal stenosis and central stenosis (“C3/4, central disc protrusion. Right-sided uncovertebral hypertrophy. No significant stenosis”). I assume this means no central stenosis but probable foraminal stenosis on the right present.

You are probably not in danger currently. In these days, a spine surgeon might be required to order a new MRI. You need to get an examination and a new MRI.

Dr. Corenman