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Worried I Have Skin Thickening, Very Sore Skin On Shoulders.

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Hi everyone,


I have been having painful shoulders on and off for a while, I probably get it about twice a month and it lasts for about 24 straight before easing.

It actually feels like the muscles are tight, like after you exercise, or kind of like I have been lifting weights all day (which I haven't!) and the muscle feels like it is very tight and is not releasing itself.


I figured that if the muscles were tight so when I was in the shower I tried to massage my shoulders and as far as I could reach to my shoulder blades (didn't make it very far!) and it was soooo painful. My skin hurt even when I pressed it gently, and even after I took my hands away the pain of touching my skin lingered for a good minute before it eased.

Now my skin just feels sunburnt and I have had to take my bra off tonight because the straps are hurting on my skin.


I went to see my physio therapist today as I do every week and I mentioned that my shoulders had been tight for about 24 hours and thought since she was a physio she would know how to help the muscle pain.


She had a look at my shoulders and said she thought that across my shoulders (more on my back side of my shoulders and by my neck) that it looked swollen or puffy.

She felt the muscles (which was very painful and she wasn't even pressing hard) and said that my muscles weren't tight at all, and then she said that to her it seemed more like the skin had thickened.......what!!!! I thought to myself!!!!

She said it quite a few times, which worried me even more.


She knows she is seeing my rheumatologist tomorrow, but she doesn't know that I fear that I have scleroderma as I am only seeing her mostly for my scoliosis and to keep my mobility in my joints.


So for those of you who do have skin thickening, or may know, does what I describe sound like skin thickening to you?? does your skin hurt when it first starts developing? or perhaps I do just have some weird swelling across the back of my shoulders.


Thanks for reading my novel. I know I see the rheumatologist tomorrow and of course will tell him all of this.......it was just a bit of a shock to have someone say they thought my skin had thickened, who doesn't know about scleroderma.


Thanks everyone,


Big hugs,


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I am so sorry to hear you are having so much pain in your shoulders.


When my skin thickened on my hands I experienced puffiness and sensitivity to touch, howevr when it tighten on my forarms none of that was noticeable. The biggest symptom I have noticed over large muscle areas such as the thighs was ITCHING!!!!!!


Goes to show ya that every Scleroderma case is different. It is a good thing you are seeing your rheumatologist today!





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Hi Irene,


I'm really sorry you are having this problem - wow it sounds very painful! I don't have any brilliant advice, but I have to say it was very interesting reading your post. I have the same symptoms across my shoulders, and it's on my list to discuss with my rheumatologist next week.


Sometimes I think it feels like the muscles are tight, so I grasp my hands behind my back and pull them up over my head (or attempt to) while bending by body at the waist, trying to get a good stretch. What happens instead is the skin between my shoulder blades, hurts so badly like I have a very bad sunburn or something. This happens periodically and I too have wondered if it's skin thickening.


I don't know if there is any hard and fast rule as to how the skin thickens; it's different with each individual to a point.


Hopefully others will chime in and we can read their thoughts and experiences. I definitely want to know what your rheumatologist says tomorrow so keep me posted!!!

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Hi Irene!


I'm so sorry your shoulder is acting up this way. My Dad's left shoulder felt very much like you describe and an x-ray showed that he was suffering from bursitis.


I have limited scleroderma and calsinosis near my shoulder blades. That makes my shoulders ache sometimes as well.


Maybe your rheumatologist could consider sending you for some x-rays just to check what's going on under the surface?


I do hope you'll start feeling better soon.





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