Referred diaphragmatic pain...

September 22, 2018


So the reason I’ve been indulging in some sofa and WEG days is that I’ve got a horrible chest infection. It’s hung around niggling for a month (ever since I got soaked preparing for the Chester Zoo Endurance Ride, which we didn’t do as my horse, Harley, broke himself but that is another story!). I’ve just felt a bit tired and basically coughed a lung up every time I did more than make a cup of tea (thankfully tea making was unaffected so I survived). 


Then, 2 weeks ago, I developed a searing pain in the point of my shoulder. Or anatomically my glenohumeral joint (pictured). I thought I might have sprained one of the ligaments coughing but after doing ROM testing, I started to worry about adhesive capsulitis (true frozen shoulder).


I decided it was time to visit my GP, who explained that I had ‘a few bubbles in the bottom of my left lung’ and prescribed (awful tasting, insomnia inducing) antibiotics.  As I only had a single appointment I briefly mentioned my shoulder but agreed to sort the bubbles first.


Less than 2 days later my shoulder pain had dropped from a 7-8 on the pain scale where it has sat consistently for 10 days to a 4. Coincidence? I didn’t think so, as if heard about lung/shoulder referred pain, so I did some research. Sure enough, lower lobe inflammation can irritate the diaphragm which causes referred shoulder pain. I will talk about this with my GP and update this blog with their thoughts...but having tried stretching and TP release to no avail before starting antibiotics and the sudden improvement after 36hrs on them, I think there is a fair chance that this could be the case for me.


Either way, I will always consider this if a client comes to me with a similar history now. A true life lesson you have to experience to appreciate. At least that’s what I’m telling myself 🙂



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