This message is for the people who:
have been to their doc and they just keep giving you pain pills and scratching their heads;
you've been to multiple people( neurologists, orthopedists, family physician, etc., etc,, etc..) and they don't find anything significant;
you've had multiple tests (MRIs, cat scans, nerve conduction tests, etc.. and they pretty much come up clear
your doctor has told you OR made you feel that THIS STUFF IS ALL IN YOUR HEAD! You're CRAZY. (Gotta love that one.)
then here would be my personal serious suggestion to you...
I've been a licensed massage therapist for over TEN years in practice treating chronic pain. These types of shoulder blade pains (that can radiate directly into the chest or down the arm and into the wrist; sometimes also giving numbness and tingling in some or all of the fingers as well) respond really well to specific, detailed massage therapist by an experienced massage therapist that does a lot of chronic pain. You need to find a NEUROMUSCULAR massage therspist. A regular Swedish relaxation massage just isn't enough. Experience is key (more than 5 years, I'd say) because the types of issues can be the result of multiple muscle causes. You need someone who is able and willing to help narrow it down. They also need to be able to assess you properly and help you figure out what is perpetuating it at home or work. In the meantime, ice your shoulder area where it hurts and try a tennis ball or foam roller to help relieve the pain. Work your way slowly (perhaps over multiple sittings) from the outside area of where it hurts, getting closer to the "bullseye" spot everytime.
Remember, it's not in your head. And if your doc tells you that it is... you need a NEW doctor! Find someone else and get a good massage therapist! You may want to take your pain relief medicine that your doc has prescribed to you BEFORE your massage visits the first few times just to get throught them. It's all downhill after that. I usually expect a change in the pain pattern within the first 1 - 3 sessions; alleviation of at least some pain in sessions 3 - 5, and majority relief in 6 - 12 sessions. I like to try and communicate with the doc if at all possible.
Try the American Massage Therapy Association website to find a licensed therapist and look for someone with additional training in Neuromuscular (NMT).
Best of luck to you all in your search for pain relief! It IS out there. Don't give up!
I agree about the massage therapy is one the most effective treatments. My shoulder, shoulder blade, muscle knots etc. pain was diagnosed as a "snapping scapula" and thoracic outlet syndrome. I have had this as long as I can remember.
1. The snapping in the shoulder blade is when the scapula does not move smoothly over the back side of the ribs.
2. The affected side is very prone to muscle spasms which are painful (of course) and can cause the affected shoulder to be higher than the other
3. Fibromyalgia is often associated with these
4. Can be the sourse of nasty headaches
5. Most physicians and massage therapists have never heard of snapping scapula
6. Some physical therapists are familiar with it and test for thoracic outlet as well as snapping scapula. The blood flow to the distal arm is diminished if the arm is held a certain way
7. Thoracic outlet involves how other structures move across and through the ribs (rib #1)
8. There used to be a surgery that actually removed the first rib on that side. Most were worse than better
9) I forgot: repetitive lifting even a lightweight object can really exacerbate symptoms
Other treatments that have been useful when incombination (at least for me)
1) Massage therapy
2) Proper triggerpoint injections; most Dr's, including pain management docs, have no idea how to give one correctly. Go to a physiatrist (rehabilitation specialist)
3) Streching excersises can help maintain "loose" felling once you have it. Yoga is good too for many reasons.
4) Quit spending so much time typing or game playing on the computer
5) Maintain proper posture and keep shoulders down to prevent them from moving up "to your ears" when stressed.
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