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Left shoulder blade muscle... stinking, sharp, burning pain
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Left shoulder blade muscle... stinking, sharp, burning pain

I get this extremely bad knot in my left shoulder blade muscle area....between the blade and my spinal chord area... when i stuff envelopes or cook or fish.. it gets excruciatingly bad.. i know its just one of the muscles.. but why is it ONLY the LEFT side all the time and how can i minimize the pain because it gets to where i cant hold my head up sometimes.  It was knotted so bad the other day, it started to make my neck have a numbing/stinging excruciating feeling going up my spine from the beginning sore spot.. i just dont know how to cure it...
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Avatar_n_tn
I have that also----I have started going to the Chiropractor and it seems to be helping... I also use a machine on that are that sends small shock waves to the area.....  mine is caused from stress!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been having pains in this same area. It seems to be located between my left shoulder blade and spine. Lately, the pain has gotten worse. Just when I am sitting at my desk chair, the pain is extremely unpleasant. I think the pain comes from carrying around books all day, because I am a college student. I have an office job on campus doing things on a computer, and at times the pain is so bad it is distracting and causes me not to work. I have been to massage therapists twice and they never seem to help. Do you think I should visit a chiropractor? Has it helped anyone else with the pain?
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes-it has helped me-going to a Chiropractor...he took x-rays of my spine and lower back etc to see what the problem is on why my shoulder and ect. is hurting and stiff alot......my spine looked like a "S" nad the shoulder is from stress and me favoring my right side more than my "left" so when I use the left side more at times for some reason...it tenses up You might give a Chiropractor a chance and just see how ya feel!
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Avatar_n_tn
Am I glad I happened upon this forum.  I have for the past few months off and on a burning pain in my left shoulder...mid way down near my spine as well.  It feels like its swollen..as if there is a knot forming there and I've taken aspirin to try to help the inflammation and pain.  I go to a chiropractor for regular adjustments and it seems to help some.  Right now I am in pain sitting here at work.  I am going to a massage therapist starting Tuesday.  It is one of the benefits here at my work.  $15 for 15 minutes so I can easily do this during my lunch break.  I think a lot of it is from me always carrying everything on my left side.  My granddaughter, my purse, whatever.  I played with my granddaughter 2 weeks ago and its been hurting me ever since.  Could be from bending and lifting her up and holding her on my left side and then laying on my back and holding her above me.  I am going to try alternating between heat and ice packs and see what happens with that.  The past two days weren't bad but this morning is painful.  Could be the way I sleep too.  Who the heck knows.  I have a wedding to go to on Saturday and I sure as heck don't want to be in pain.  I wanna dance!  lol  
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same problem. I try to stand up or sit up at the computer and it feels like someone is stabbing me in the back on the right bottom side of my left shoulder blade in between my shoulder and spine. tylenol doesnt seem to help.... Im 9 months pregnant and have a 4 year old so stress may very well be a cause but GOD this hurts!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Its definitly a muscle problem, and the knott need to get worked out. Chiropractors are good as they focus on this stuff. Ask if yours uses graston as that works great. Try to use a warm rag or heating pad in the area when at home, and get a massager or have someone massage the area. It will hurt, but use as much pressure as you can stand and it will feel better afterward.

These things could be stress related you you could have had a tear in the muscle. Just keep working it out and it will get rid of the pain. www.chirofacts.info can help you find a doctor
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a similar pain in my right shoulder blade area.  It hurts when I do things with my left hand.  When I fish, wash the dishes, hold my son, or anything with my left side it hurts.  Typically the pain subsides when I am able to sit down, relax my left arm, or lift my head.  This does not always work, though.  I have taken some over the counter pain meds, but they do not seem to make a single bit of difference.  It hurts so bad sometimes.  Sometimes it feels like the area is tingling, like when your leg or arm falls asleep.  Other times it feels like a bruise or a sore muscle, and I just feel the pain consistantly, no matter what I'm doing.  This has been occuring for a week and a half now.  I don't want it to continue.  I guess I should call the doctor.  I'll try some of the things mentioned above also.  Have any of those things helped any of you?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have this same thing and it came out of nowhere! I can't find a comfortable place to sleep, can't wash my hair, can hardly move my right arm up or down. The pain is burning around my right shoulder blade and middle of my back. Affects my neck and most all I do since I'm right handed. I guess I have no choice but to find a chiropractor and visit my massage therapist again.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok all-- i get to kill all these birds with one stone!!! The problem most likely is NOT really in the shoulder blade area. The problem, believe it or not, is in the muscles of the neck, specifically the scalenes, the SCMs the UPPER traps and the lev scapulae, with some help from the pec muscles. What happens is that these muscles get short and tight due to FORWARD HEAD POSTURE. When your head is held forward, and not over the spine, the muscles in your mid back have to work extra heard to keep your scapulas in place, and to balance out the weight of yor head (16 lbs!!= a bowling ball). If not of these muscles (rhomboids, longitudinal muscles of the spine and other scapular stabilizers ie the ones that hurt) your head would fall to your feet. The solution is trifold
1. fix your posture-- keep your head over your spine
2. Strengthen the mid back muscles I mentioned (do not stretch them-- they are already overstretched)
3. Lengthen (with stretching and triggerpoint release) the tight muscles  --scalenes, upper traps, scms and pecs)

You may use trigger point release on those nasty knts in your back-- but they will most likely reture until the day arrives where they no longer have to work so hard becasue your posture has been corrected.

3 books. 1. a book on posture by Paul D'Arezzo
               2. Trigger point manual by Clair Davies
               3. How to fix your back pain without drugs or surgery by Joie Bookspan

1 website-- by Jolie Bookspan

Regarding chiroprractics for this problem-- probably wil not help more than a few hours or a day. You muscles are pulling your bones, not the other way around. think about that.

How do i know all this stuff? 2 1/2 years of disabling muscle pain in my neck, chest and back. 3 years of research and reading (after dozens of worthless doctor visits). Fixed myself. 99% pain fee now.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well   I  believe that,  I  have the same pain on my left side  shoulder blade  that  comes thru to  my chest and I cnat even lay flat on my back at night I feel like  some one is sticking a knife in my back .  Now  just recently  I have  found that  if I sit straight up in my chair  it  hurts  too so  I rest my head back to relax my neck muscles  and that helps alot.  My husband always  pushes on the knot that is always there  but   I have noticed that I hold  my head forward all the time.  I do daycare  so I lift  kids all the time and I never  really relax my  head   even wehn sittinng  my head is always up straight  I dont  lean it back to relax it and when I do it feels  better   So I have been adjusting the  way  I sit lay and walk  I am more aware  of  how I am  doing things and  realized  I lean on my left side  when sitting  leaning on my left arm..   Thanks  for you advise  it   makes  alot of since..  
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Avatar_n_tn
I also have been to the doctor and  had  ekg thinking it might be a heart problem but all is normal there.  I have been  trying to  catch myself on my posture    and it  seems to be working..
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Avatar_n_tn
yea i dont know exatly what but i feel snowboarding and rolled onto my arm like i was on my face and rolled on my back with my arm underneath me and know i got this it hurts like crazy but i dont think its casue of stress
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Avatar_n_tn
I am having the same pain on my left shoulder blade and it itches, tingles and burns with a bad pain as well.  What is it?
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Avatar_f_tn
You described my symptoms exactly! The itchy feeling especially drives me nuts, and you can't even get any relief when you try scratching the area. I actually reach over my shoulder with a pair of long scissors to reach the itch LOL!
I do not know what is causing this either, I've had this occurring for a year at least now.
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Avatar_n_tn
When I rotate my left shoulder blade it sounds as if bones are scraping or something is crunching around. Whatever it is, it causes knots to form underneath and around the shoulder blade. Then, the muscles going up and down my spine get so tight and irritated and feel like they just need to be snapped to release the pressure. The pain/irritation is agonizing. The pain runs up the muscle along my spine to the base of my head and has now reached down to my lower back as if I had just worked all of those muscles out the day before. My general practitioner said it was normal the first year. The second year she said it was tendonitis and sent my to a chiropractor/physical therapist. He said it was my posture and tried to massage the knots out and give me the electrode whatever you call it therapy. That only made it worse. Then, he decided it wasn't my posture/muscles, but sounded like my bone (whatever that means?). I had to stop going because the problem was now all day everyday as opposed to once a week. Then I went to an orthopeadic doctor. The X-ray showed nothing. Then, the CT Scan showed hairline fractures in 3 ribs (I fell down my concrete steps jsut before this problem started) but that they had already healed and could not be causing the pain. The MRI actually showed 5 discs that were protruding slightly, but on the opposite side! I am at my wits end and noone can figure out what is causing this problem. When I take deep breathes I can feel my shoulder blade pushing up against something - like a muscle/knot. When I rotate my shoulder blade around I can feel it rubbing over the muscle/knots that actually help to massage it. Motrin, aleve, tylenol, nothing over the counter works. Wearing anything even just fitting that puts pressure on my shoulder blade ends up very painful halfway through the day. I am constantly jerking my neck hoping to crack it as if it would release the pain/stress but it never does. The only thing that makes any difference is the athritic cream that I have to lather up before bed and just lay there. SOmetimes there is relief in the morning. This has been going on for maybe 2 years and has gotten progressively worse. About 2 1/2 years ago I slid down my concrete front steps, but no doctors seem to clue in that it may have something to do with my pain. If anyone has information, I would surely appreciate it as I don't know what else to do.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had this problem going on for 8 years now, it started with my first pregnancy. Sometimes I feel so depressed about it, it makes me feel broken down at 28, I can't even play with my kids. After my second prengnancy I tried a chiropractor and that helped with the headaches. The xrays showed that I carry my head forward and my spine is out of alignment. I quit going when I got pregnant for the third and final time and the pain has gotten much worse. My pain is caused from my posture and it is muscular. I have all these knots all in the area between my shoulder blades and my spine, all up and down my back. While I was pregnant a perk of my insurance was physical therapy 3 times a week and massages, but after I quit going the pain is back worse than ever and in more places. It is in my left chest muscles bad. Sometimes I think I am having a heart condition or something. When I take a deep breath the pain shoots through my left chest area and into my left shouldber area as well. I have a horrible knot in my neck right at the base of my skull and it causes headaches and sinus problems. Most days I am in so much pain I can not be an affective mother. I can't play with my kids, and I fuss at them because I feel so bad. This problem is interupting my life so much and I don't have any insurance anymore so I can't get any help. I feel like I have aged so much, I don't feel 28 at all. I am so sick of being in pain all the time.
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Avatar_n_tn
I suffered with the pain for a long time then it "went away". In its place eventually came an itchy sensation that would not stop. This has been going on for weeks. Finally I decided to "google" what I was feeling and sure enough people have obviously been dealing with the same thing. The one term I don't believe was posted here is "notalgia paraesthetica" this describes the itchy tingling to a T! and it ties in with the pain. Look into notalgia paraesthetica and I'm sure you'll agree with my self diagnosis. It took that to lead me to the conclusion of what was happening when I was in pain. GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the exact same pain and it is so bad that it seems to poke thru to the front.  I have found a product called a Theracane.  It looks like a short shepards hook and has a couple handles and knobs on it.  If you place the knob on a knot and apply pressure the pain lessens.  It is amazing how much this product helped me.  It is available for less than 50 bucks at a med supply store
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Avatar_n_tn
To All
Suffered the same symptoms for 15-20 years. Tried Quackapractors, MDs, massage, and excercise. It always came back. Woke up one morning last fall and my left hand would not work. Went to the ER thinking I had a stroke. Got an MRI on my cervical area and found that I had severe stynosiys(sp) and a very bad hernieated disk at T1. Had the surgery and feel better but my hand will never be right because of all the years of letting the idiots pop my back for money. Go get an MRI even if you have to pay for it. Find out for sure what the problem is. Quackapractors and their gizmo of the week can not see soft tissue issues like an MRI. Popping your neck or back will not fix an damaged disc. I have lost the use of my left hand because of listening to those idiot money grubbing snake oil salesman. What are you going to do?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been experiencing a burning, slightly itchy pain on my left side, just below the shoulder blade. It's in the middle of my left side, about half way between my side and my spinal cord. I did some research and came across this, which concerns me:

"Pains that occur under the shoulder blade may signal a warning that the pain is not in the shoulder itself, but can be related to a pain from one of the organs in the body. The shoulder where the pain occurs can give the clue which of the organs are affected and causing the radiating pain into the shoulder. Pain under the left shoulder blade can be a signal that there is a problem with the stomach or other abdominal structures (ulcers, pancreatitis, ectopic pregnancy) or in the chest (myocardial infarction [heart attack], pericarditis, pleuritis, pneumonia, pulmonary embolus, aortic dissection)."

Has anyone been given a diagnosis related to internal organs are opposed to muscular pain?
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Avatar_n_tn
I know your frustration, I also have been experiencing pain. Just like you have described for about 10 yrs and I am a mother of a 3 mnth old and two yr old and after each preganancy the pain got worse! I am 27 and I feel like a 70 yr old women. I'm sitting here at work putting a ball in my back to try to releive the pain. The only type of massage that eases my pain is deep penetrating massages that I usually do with a tennis ball. I recently lookded up "Trigger Points" which actually descibed so much of the pain I have been experiencing. That actually led me to read about TMJ dysfunction, which I actually have just had a cosultation for and I found out that me cracking my jaw and clenching my teeth since Iwas a child might have been the cause of all this pain. They told me that the TMJ might have led to a lot referred pain throughout my whole body.I don't know if this is going to completely fix me yet but I am praying. I'm going to get my TMJ corrected and also to do physical therapy with a Trigger point therapists and see how it works out. You should Google those things, I know how it feels to want to feel good for just one day to be able to play with yor kids!  
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Avatar_f_tn
My pain was related to a collapsed lung.  I went to a chiropractor at first because I thought it was a pinched nerve or similar - after a couple months I had a chest x-ray for bronchitis when they realized the knots in my upper back/shoulder blade area that caused breathing to hurt actually was a collapsed lung.  
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Avatar_n_tn
i had the same problem with the knot in my left shoulder blade and as you all have described mine was like someone was stabbing me in the shoulder.but i knew what caused mine,i have tinnitus ringing of the ears.and as you all know ringing in the ears causes alot of stress on the body.i was exposed to an extremely deafening sound one night and i felt the pain in my shoulder afterward and by the next morning i was in tears getting out of bed.had to take 3 days off work and all doctors could do was give me muscle relaxers which helped a little.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too had a horrible stabbing pain in between my shoulder blades along with a burning, numb tingling sensation along my spine( mostly on the right). I had an MRI and went to a very well known dr. I was told that my paraspinal muscles are degenerated. I need to do exercises to strengthen my paraspinal muscles and also recieve regular massages to help relieve the stress on the muscles because they were having spasms. Well the pain continued for years until one morning it wrapped all the way around my rib cage. I went to the ER and was told I needed to have my Gallbladder removed. They said it had been bad for years and couldn't believe I had no pain. I told them of my back pain and was told that the stabbing pain in between your shoulder blades is a sign of gallstones. That is the only symptom I ever had that something was wrong. So I no longer have the aching stabbing feeling but I do still have numbness and tingling along my spine if I stand in one place too long or have to carry my daughter for a long period of time, but I think if I actually did the exercises like I was supposed to it would get better. When I do them I can feel the strech and burn and it does make me feel better along with a massage. I couldn't afford to go get a professional one all the time so I purchased the homedics shiatsu massager and it helps relieve the muscle tension. It was a great investment. So next time you go to your dr. you might want to talk to them about getting some blood work done to check your gallbladder an liver. I had very high liver levels and the dr. thought the damage might not fix itself because it had been so bad for so long luckily it has been a year and everything is back to normal. Also I went to the ER the very first time I had the pain in my back and they told me it was my muscles, gave me muscle relaxers and sent me home. The next time I went in they told me the same thing but my mom insisted they check my gallbladder because someone told her the same thing I am telling you. If she had not done that they would have sent me home with muscle relaxers and no telling what might have happened. So don't be afraid to get checked even if they are telling you that is not what it is. Better safe than sorry!
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Hello all, I am suprised that this is such a common problem, I am almost 30 and have been dealing with this pain for 10 years... I for a long time would just beg anyone and everyone to just massage me, or sometimes walk on my back... bad I know but when you have no insurance... you get desperate... last year I became pregnant and was covered by Medicade... but I lost the child but still had the insurance. I started with the Chiropractor, after the 4th visit I could barley move my left arm without tears comeing to my eyes, so I went to the ER... all they did was give me some motrin and a few vicoden and sent me home with a referal... I made an appointment it took me a month and a half to get in and when I showed up they told me they didnt except my insurance UGH! Soo no just being pissed off I tried to deal with the pain but couldnt handel it anymore, I called my PCP to ask for a referal and he told me to come in cause he does sports med also. we satrted with heat packs and the electo theripy, and naproxen... DID NOTHING FOR ME... then he added flexeral to the mix...STILL NOTHING... ok time for PHYSICAL THERIPY... 2 months 3 times a week... NOTHING, still inflamed, still spasing, still burning and stabing, and actually after I left eachtime I felt worse. Ok back to the Dr I go... time to go on something for nerve pain... 3 weeks and NO RELIEF... Im at my wits end with this, I just would like to have one day where Im not constantly hurting, Im sick of always trying to crack something, shifting my back and neck all day, anything to get a moment of relief. Honestly half the time Im doing it and not even realizeing it... I get funny looks from people... IM SOO FRUSTRATED WITH THIS...
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi all, I need to add a "me too" to this thread. I have only been dealing with mine for the last 2 months (all Sept. and now Oct).  The only difference with mine is that when I swallow food, my upper back has pain in this one area along my shoulder blade. (I have another thread somewhere on here regarding that). So of course I'm thinking something totally different is going on.

I have had so far, chest x-ray, EKG and recently a barium swallow (Upper GI) because of the pain in upper back when swallowing....However....I also started running around seeing massage therapist, chiropractors, etc. and also taking Flexeril, Ibuprofen, heat etc. and nothing helps. I am almost positive this is 100% muscoskeletal now that most of the serious stuff has been ruled out. I think the massage makes it worse, cause most of the therpists do not know deep tissue or trigger point massage. Also, having my neck and back adjusted makes it really bad..and I think he just aggravates the problem.

I PM'd a Physical Therapist online and he told me to have disc pathology done, which leads me to think that "he thinks" it is a herniated disc in my neck, which at this point makes sense. This all began with my neck doing this weird pop and then a sharp pain spasm in it. It's totally random, and even today I had another jolt just looking to the right. Funny how that started and now my upper back and shoulder blade kill me pretty much 24/7.  I also get a extreme upper back (base of neck) muscle burning pain. I started doing these neck stretches and when I bend my head down and somewhat to the right, I can feel it go from my neck clear down into my shoulder blade where it hurts when I swallow.
It feels like I have either torn something, or it needs to heal in there. It's totally deep trap, or rhomboid area and into neck too.

I am a hairdresser so the chances of this healing any time soon is not happening because I work 5 days a week 8 hours a day with constant left arm motion in all different directions and holding a heavy blowdryer all day *(which could be my problem right there).  I know that I probably need an MRI at this point. I am not wanting to go do this, because it's expensive even though I have insurance...I just would rather see if maybe I can fix it on my own. I plan on going to the gym and seeing about strengthening some muscles.
In the meantime, I feel all of your pain, and I know NOTHING works. The only thing that feels somewhat better is this cream I bought called Zostrix, very expensive over the counter. But once it wears off it's pain again.

Just thought I would throw my story in too. This pain is not fun.
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Avatar_n_tn
Just had to throw my bit in here. I've suffered from these exact problems everyone is stating. Sleeping is absolutely miserable, and I can never sleep on my left side. The pain is like an extreme tightness directly on and below my left shoulder blade. Right side and all other areas of my back feel fine. This had lead to such anxiety at points that I went to the doctor for chest xrays, ekgs, etc. Heart is healthy and he tells me it may be stress related.

The most interesting thing about this condition is the effect alcohol has had on it. I'm a 22 year old college student and as such do a good bit of partying on the weekend. I've noticed lately that pain in my shoulder is substantially worse on Sundays Monday and Tuesdays following a weekend of drinking. The strange part is, it never feels at all a problem while drinking - strictly the day or two after. I'm currently sitting here knowing that if I were to have a few drinks my shoulder would not feel so tight anymore but the feeling in the morning would be just worse! It's absolutely maddening.

I really want to get to the bottom of this. It's so frustrating to have to turn down social events, etc because of how much I hate the pain I get after partying. No one else seems to understand this problem!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there all, I feel your pain. I have had my pain for going on two(2) years now. It is a stabbing pain between the left scapula and the spine. It also radiates under the armpit, up the neck, down the left arm and around to the chest.
I too have had numerous xrays,ultrasounds etc but not an MRI. They cannot find anything wrong! Somedays the pain gets so bad it makes you so depressed and angry. Then when they start telling you perhaps it's all in the head...please give me a knife and I'll stab you in the back and see if it hurts-hahahaha.
Anyway, I go to the chiropractor once a month and have a deep tissue massage once a month. I have just started physiotherapy once a month also. My GP has me on a muscle relaxant and also a low dose antidepressant - don't think it does much. I have started to see an exercise physiologist to try and rebuild the use of the muscles also. I used to suffer from panic attacks and post natal depression. They are all telling me that they think this is my body's way of dealing with anxiety and stress, so I have started meditation as well. Hopefully I can get on top of this because some days it feels as though you are just stuck in a continual cycle...pain,depression - depression,pain. I am determined that I am going to win. I wish you all the best and lets rid ourselves of our pain. Go, go, go.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have scoliosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, degenerative disk disease- thoracic area, broken tailbone in 3 places, and a once broken back, from a bad car accident.  I also was diagnosed with bilateral bone spurs at C4-5 as a result of a horse riding accident twenty years ago. During the past three months I have been plagued with new pain on the left side of my back from my neck to waist, it is worse over the shoulder blade area.  I saw my doctor who thinks its related to my crocked spine, and things listed above.  She sent me to a chiropractor, who I had already been seeing every two weeks.  I see him once a week, and also have deep tissue massage while there, and do exercises formulated for my problems.  The pain comes and goes, and seems to crop up when least expected.  I can even be sitting watching TV in a regular chair and have the pain get so bad I cannot stand, walk or change position without help. I am also a RN and at a loss at to what else to do??? I’m also seeking SSDI, not able to work at all, and have a very limited income.  Any suggestions would help.  Thanks!  Kandy
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Avatar_n_tn
I have this burning left shoulder and neck pain for last 14 months been to my GP so many times had treatment, blood test, x-ray, still suffering from this pain specialy when I am sitting or driving it gets very bad don't know what to do next, had injection 3 weeks ago and it got worse been to see my GP today he has sent me for blood test and x-ray again.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had this same pain for about four years now and am 25 years old. I was a ballet dancer for most of my life and it started when I was in college and no longer dancing. I can feel the little knots poking out when I try and reach back in between my left shoulder blade and spine. It comes and goes but when it is here, it is really bad. If I lay flat on my back it feels better but I often think im going to have a heart attack ( I am a bit of a hypochondriach too) because the pain is all around the left side of my back and it goes through to the front. I saw some other people write the same thing. I just kind of try and ignore it but sometimes I get stressed out about it which probably makes it worse. I guess I'm going to buy a heating pad...

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Avatar_n_tn
I have been experiencing the same thing for almost a year now. It is 4 am and I am up AGAIN. Sleeping is impossible. I feel like I am loosing my mind or my doctor is going to have me commited (NOT really but couldn't hurt) I have a burning aching pain across my upper shoulders, in my neck, down my shoulder blade and thru to the front of my chest. I also have an inflammed shoulder. All of this is on my left side so I to thought the worst. I have had Xrays, EKG about to do MRI this week. No one seems to know what the deal is. I don't see how people can believe someone could make up a pain this bad. Not to wish this on my worst enemy but if they had to deal with it for 1 week they would completely understand. WE ARE NOT CRAZY, WE JUST NEED SOLUTIONS TO OUR PROBLEMS. WE DESERVE REST ALSO.....
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Bursitis? Tendonitis?  Well, maybe somewhat related when you look these up....  I'm in same boat as many of you posting here  Pain started 4 yrs ago in left shoulder area - I had the knot, burning pain, and the crunchy sound you hear when rolling your shoulders.  I often said it felt like I had a bullet in there -- just burning away at the tissue.  I figured it was actually just from stress - especially ignited by housework and career work --computer work was the absolute worst thing for it!   The only thing to relieve the pain a little was by introducing more pain by having an elbow or somehing to get in there and apply major pressure.    I  believe that Mike1105 probably has a good target on what migt initially provoke the issue -(the posture thing) along with any previous injury to neck but curing it isn't necessarily as easy as described.  I've tried everything.  My most reliable doctor calls it myofascial pain syndrome; however, a specialist he referred me to now insists it's fibromyalgia.  If you notice these tender points starting to spread to other parts of the body in the next few years == go to a fibro specialist to see if this might be your problem.   They'll help teach you coping skills to live with the pain as much as possible...and give pointers on things that might help flare ups.  My doctor has fibro and said his trouble spot was always the shoulder too.  Something to look into....as I know alot of us just want to figure it out.
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it is helpful to just read all you have said as now i know i am not alone.  i identify with most of your symptoms. now think about it i have had this pain on and off for years.  it was never completely gone.  good to know that not many dr. or chiropractor can give you 100% as i have just tried couple and my instinct tells me they are not the answer.  i sew quite a bit and i notice when i doing it in a length of time it got worse.  so the head forward too much pulling the musle sounded pretty much on target.  i do yuga and exercise 20 minutes a day everyday for years, you'd think such pain shouldn't happen to me----but it does---i continue to do my routine exercise everyday but wonder if it will make the already stressed tissure and musle more stressful.  i guess i should be more grateful to be able to do all this while still in the "left shoulder pain club".   i am going to get it healed relying on my instinct. i will pay more attention from now on as to what makes it better or worse. and i will check back with you guys once i find some relieve.
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my left shoulder is hurting under and around the shoulder blade.,under left arm through chest and down left arm. i have been hurting for about 2years,and it has gotton worst, when i get a pain shot in it for a hour or 3 it hurts worst than ever. I donnot know who to go to or what to do, i get so tired of saying i am in pain. my husband gets so mad if i even mention, i am hurting, .i get in a corner and pray and hurt and cry. i am so miserable. I donot have a clue. they say it could be degenerate disease or bulging dist or on andon. i hurt i mean hurt. meds make my stomach bleed. so i cannot take much. please help
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I had the same pain for 4 years and only did I get it looked at 2 years ago.  I went to Ortho who said it was a herniated disk and pumped me full of pain killers and PT. Then I went to the Chiropractor for about 3 months, he would do traction and an adjuustment, which would relieve pain for about 5 min.  Finally I asked for a referral to the Pain Clinic, and within a 1/2 hour he had me diagnosed. Told me to stop taking pain killers, that nothing could be worse. Put me on muscle relaxers and Lidoderm patches and Lunesta for my sleep issues.  Then, he sent me to PT for Myofascial Release.  Been going for 2 1/2 months and I'm at about 95% pain free.  If you have not tried it, please do before Dr's try unneccessary surgery!!!
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I could not stay out of this !!  Left shoulder blade/spine been painful for years atleast three. I tried everything!!!  accupuncture/chiro/TENS/massage.  Finally got MRI on cervical spine I have problems at C5 /C6 . but apparently not too bad!!!  

My neck/shoulders are most painful these days. I think I hunch my shoulders too much it is the body's natural response to protect the neck

I feel the neck area is responsible for a great deal of upper back pain.

I always tell everyone about Epsom salts since I found it very good for relaxing my muscles.   Tea-cup full in a hot bath

Good Luck & Best Wishes to all.
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I have a severe pain in my under right shoulder blade, infact it is excrutiating at the moment.  Went to the Doctor this morning and he said it was muscular .. If i turn my head left as in traffic when driving the pain is terrible in my under right shoulder .. I cant even raise my arm without the pain under my shoulder blade and under arm, i thought it was gaul stones, doc said that the symptoms i have are mechanical....Doctor has perscribed semi mild pain killers .. I did ask why is it the it still hurts when im doing nothing, as i thought that muscular pain subsided with rest ??? can u enlighten me im in sheer agony.
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Wow!  I am both relieved and saddened by everyone's testimonies. I too am suffering from from cervical spine pain and shoulder pain on both sides.  It is terribly painful, especially in the morning, in the car, watching tv., etc.  You get the point.  I am so tired of popping pills.  Often times than not, I feel like a drug addict.  Well, technically speaking, I am.  My doctors have me on muscle relaxers (Baclofen), pain meds (hyrocodone), and anti-inflamm's (ibuprofren 800mg).  Wow, right?  I went from drinking water for a headache to this.  Pretty depressing.  But, I refuse to let this thing beat me.  So, with that said, I think I will try the Myofascial Release  swndog92 spoke of.  Also, I think I'm going to stop taking the pacifiers. (ibuprofren and hydrocodone) and stick with the muscle relaxer and capsacian cream coupled with strengthening exercises and stress reduction techniques.   My prayers are with all of you as pain can be very debilitating.  Stay strong and do whatever you can to rid you life of any and ALL stress factors.  STRESS KILLS!  Lastly, do what ever you can to focus on all the positive things in your life and by all means don't forget to LAUGH and get those endorphins flowin.  The Body's own natural pain killers.

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I'm so glad to have ran across this forum. I have that same knawing pain between the left shoulder blade and spine.  It's exhausting!  I have been to the ER, had a nuclear stress test, EKG's, and CT Angio, and everyone is confident it is not my heart.  I am being treated for anxiety because my symptoms have come out on many physical ways.  I still have no answer for the near the left should blade area, but am hopeful with all of the techniques listed like posture and such will relieve it!  Though I am sorry you all are having difficulties, I am blessed to have found your postings.  Thank you
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Update:

Hello all!   Since I last posted, I have continued to take my Enbrel for my RA.  I am suppose to take it once a week.  However, I had an almost near death experience and have decided to take it on an as needed basis.  Through journaling my pain and pain management, I have noticed when it's time for me to take the Enbrel injections the pain in my back and neck is lessened.  I have not taken my Enbrel for the past 5wks and guess what... zero pain in my back and the pain in my neck is almost non existent.  Wow...right?  Also when I spoke with my mother who has diabetes, we found that she had not had debilitating back pains prior to taking insulin injections.  Just something to think about.  I notified Enbrel and my doctor of my findings and they are astonished.  I guess it's true what they say... you must be your own advocate!  I will continue to say a prayer for all of you who are suffering from pain.  I hope this helps

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I too have been suffering from the same issues, and had felt it was due to my low back disc herniation. Walking crooked favoring my right leg ect. The muscles at the top of both shoulders are very tight, and I have pain and knots on both sides of my spine near and under my shoulder blades.Sometimes the pain is so bad it hurts to breath, as if a knife has gone through my back to the front of my chest. Years ago a MRI showed I had Tarlov cysts, no doctor every really told me what those are. Dos anyone one else with the shoulder blade muscle pain have these tarlov cysts? Do yall think that could be the cause of this type of pain?
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Hi everyone. I am so happy that I found this forum. Like others here, I have had the same type of excruciating pain under my left shoulder blade that radiates through to my breast bone for 8 years now after experiencing a trauma to my left arm. Unfortunately, I also sustained blood clots and pulmonary embolisms at the same time, that the doctors have been so focused on that. They originally thought my pain was pleurisy due to a collapsed left lung. I, like others here, have had numerous test that show nothing. Recently, I got lucky enough to find a compassionate PCP and just today we discussed and agreed on the same treatment that swndog92 is receiving. That puts me in great spirits that maybe I will eventually be pain free. Good luck to everyone out there in receiving the correct diagnosis and treatment. Make your voice be heard. Just remember, any doctor that dismisses, diminishes, or belittles a patients symptoms is not worth the waste of time nor money.


  

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Wow, you can add me too.  The tingling, stabbing and itching which I know is a knot behind my shoulder blade drives me nuts.  When I get a massage, I am pain free for a bit, but then it just creeps back.  One thing a massage therapist told me to do was stand straight with feet slightly apart, put your arms to the side and when you squeeze your arms back in front of you, keep the shoulder blades back.  So you are actually just moving your rotator cuffs back to get your arms in place and your shoulder blades stay stationary.  That does alleviate a lot of tension..  Fort hose who can afford it on a monthly basis, Massage Envy is having a special $39 for your first 55 minute massage, and if you join the membership, I think it's $49 for a one hour massage each month, and you can also role them over if you miss one in a month
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i too have this problem.....most of the pain is on the right side ....i constantly feel like i need stretched out.....im always twisting and bending in all differant ways to try and get some relief...i rotate my shoulder blades as to try and pinch the area but still nothing helps...its a constant achy feeling....some days get so bad i just want to scream....but i have been getting some help from my doctor....i take celebrex and that really helps with the pain i highly reccommend it....and i also have been getting pain injections in that area....i got 6 shots in the little muscle inbetween the shoulderblade and spine 3 shots on both sides....and they are really helping me......so you all should check around to find a doctor that is wiling to go the extra mile to help you....i dont have insurance....but i qualify for assistance through my hospital......thankgod......  
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I've also had right shoulder blade muscle pain I've eventually overcome.

As a previous post stated, posture is paramount to preventing pain. Stand in front of a mirror (front and side profile) and assess your posture. Chances are your shoulders are forward and your neck and head are also forward. Consciously adjust your posture so that the weight of your head is supported by your spine. Pull your shoulders back slightly and puff out your chest a little. Remember this position and try to maintain it during your day.

I've discovered 3 stretches that reach those deep tissues:

1) Shrug your shoulders to your ears. Now, roll your shoulders back until your shoulder blades are flexed, really puff out your chest (the tighter the flex, the better the stretch). Depending on how chronic this has been, you might have trouble breathing. Now slowly roll your head back, then slowly look to the wall your right shoulder (or whichever is sore) is pointing to. Hold for several seconds.

2) Hang from bars with overhand grip, keep head forward and slowly flex the blades as tight as you can. Hold there for as long as comfortable. Repeat several times. Try moving hands further and further apart. Do not attempt unless you are physically fit, or have someone properly spot you.

3) Lie on your back (on the floor). Support your head with a pillow. Arch your lower back, so that butt, upper back and head are the only points touching floor from upper body. Put arms in front of body. Slowly shift weight so that only head and butt are touching floor. Hold for as long as comfortable. Try tilting head slightly up for a slightly different stretch.

Hope this helps
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i promise that this helps.  there is a muscle blocking the muscle that hurts so you can only get to it by holding your left arm straight.  stand against a wall of lay on the floor and put a tennis ball between you and the wall/floor.  hold your arm above your head and put as much pressure on your muscle as you can stand and roll the ball in little circles.  I was so relieved when i found this!  i had this kink for 9 months!
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I also have a pain between my right shoulder blade and my spine. the knot and all that as well.  But my pain will also travel up my back to the right temple of my head.  This only happens after I do any push ups or bench press work out.  I have been to the bone doc and he said just what a previous poster stated.  It was from my head being forward.  He thought he would correct is with adjustments but he could only give me temp. relief. I think the posture would be best as well it makes a lot of since.  
The only pause I have is my pain started after I picked up a weight from the rack and felt a pop in my spine right between by shoulder blades.  Now if the pain gets to bad I can lay on the floor and cross my arms over my body so that my elbows are lined up with each other,  My wife then applies pressure to my chest by pressing on my elbows and my back pops in the same place and the pain goes away.  The knot is not as intense either.  This leads me to think it could be a slipped or ruptured disc in my back. I can also lean my head to the left and kind of pick up on my right shoulder and I get a couple of pops in the same area that keeps the pain at bay, but no working out.  Will I ever be able to have any kind upper body physical activity? Or has anyone ever experienced this because of a spine problem (ex. Ruptured disc or herniated disc.)    
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For those who have pain on the Left side under your shoulder blade or between the shoulder blade and spine - you may also want to check with a gastroenterologist.  I have had a similar pain for several years, and during evaluation for another issue, it was discovered that I have a hiatal hernia (a hernia at the sphincter at the top of my stomach).  This results in some acid reflux, but also in pain in my back, right by my left shoulder blade.  I also go to a chiropractor, who has significantly helped with stress and posture-related muscular pains, but she is not able to fix the shoulder blade pain because it is not musculo-skeletal.  The pain has gotten worse now that I am pregnant and have more reflux and stomach agitation.  I would suggest having an endoscopy if your insurance will allow it.
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I feel happy I am not the only one out there.  I have be suffering for 14 years.  I have has 2 MRI and other x-ray.  They only found tendonitis.  I have tried physical therapy to pills to chiroprator to a orthopedic dr.   I am of mother of 5 kids under the age of 10.  I specially have a hard time with just doing the daily chore of washing dishes or folding clothes my arm will go numb.  Need help, don't want to be a dopped up mom.
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I'm 19 and I've had this problem for more than 9 years..
I'm not stressed and my posture is fine.
My dad and my grandma both have the same problem, they both have a slipped disc, but i don't know if I have that because I am so young.
everytime i work, clean, use the computer.. whatever it hurts like mad.
My right shoulder becomes weak and the right side of my spine on my neck gets a really sharp pain. Then it starts to hurt all down my whole back. Occasionally I'll wake up with my right arm very numb, sometimes even my left arm.
I can barely move my neck. I got an x-ray done but they said they didn't see anything [arthritis] and that it was just inflamed and I need physical therapy, so i tried it and it didn't seem to help. I think I need to get an MRI just to make sure I have nothing serious.
As I get older it seems to be getting worse. I feel like I'm too young for aches and pains, something has to give.
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I read all the post..I didn't think I'd make it through..pn getting stronger. Just wanted to ad some things. I thank all of u that mentioned posture. I truly believe that it makes a difference if we'd just stand up straight. I have failed in that catagory. I tend to protect my back and it is making things worse. I just got back from seeing a new Neuro and he found...which is strange and I will see if anyone hear can tell me anything @ it. I had normal EMG's 2 yrs. ago and this time he found me to have carpel tunnel in both hands...this can't be because I haven't worked since '04. How can this be? Does anyone have a clue. He said that my EMG of legs were fine...well my right foot just at the top and the last two toes are completely numb and going on a month strong. What up w/that? Tell me if that makes sense. I was hit in my Thoracic area w/an ESI..it hit me so hard I jumped like a jumping bean on the table and my head immediately arose from out of that hole and I asked..."What happened?"..."WHat was that?" The dr. told me after he studdered that it was friction..WHat is that? Does anyone know or has anyone heard of it? Well, since then..3yrs ago Dec. my hands and feet have been numb. I have so much pain in my back and I want to mention a few posts that helped me...Mel12000..had this in commen w/me the bones in my right shoulder does scrape and u can hear bones crunching, but no probs have been found..hmmmm..and sawy I forgot to put down who mentioned the Epsom salts...I will give it a try..hmmmmm in a hot bath..that does sound good to me, but can't stay long...wearing Fentanyl patch(50mcg) and u know u can't enjoy that nice long bath...I loved the one @ laughing and how it releases endorphines..it does and we all need to do that...thanx to jake12474,he reminded me of how I used to get these Novacaine Steroid Injections that would give me a good month or two of relief...try it, it works...at least it did for me...And really a good thank u goes out to mk79 for the shoulder shrugs...I think I at least can do that for my back and posture probs,I find myself burning in the middle of my back if I stand too long and find myself leaning against a wall for relief and it works ...temp....but thank u to all for helping me assess all of this. This is one of the best forums/threads I've found on all of my pain..Mostly in shoulders/neck/back/arms....well,it is almost everywhere, but I have to be totally honest when I say that the Lord has taken at least half of my pain away...it's true..when I rededicated and am living right for HIM, I can truly say that I have felt better.U wouldn't want me to list all of what they have dx me/with, but I will say I have hope and that is so important...keep the faith and I will definately keep all of u in my prayers...GOD BLESS...K
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As they say ...bumping up..I don't know just learning ..need someone to answer..:)
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Has anyone tried a posture back support brace?  I am going to buy one because right now I have two sports bras on and feel a little relief.  One on the proper way and the other backwards. I'm just doing this until i can buy a brace within a day or two at a medical supply store.  I believe my pain has to do a lot from having bad posture.  I've tried a lot of stuff too and one thing that did help was when the Physical Therapist taped my shoulder towards my spine, like athletes do.  This isn't a long term remedy but it is something that could help to ease pain if you have a special event to attend and don't want to be medicated.  I was told to keep the tape on no longer then 2 days but it felt so good I would keep it on for a week.  
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I just got back from seeing a Main Management Dr. and he said a back brace won't make a difference.  He is going to give me trigger point shots in the muscle near my shoulder blade a week from today.  He also gave me a prescription for Celebrex and Robaxin.  He said to keep taking the hydrocodene if needed.  I have been taking a 1/2 tablet of the Hydrocodene every 4 hours.  I will keep you all posted on how the meds and shots work.  I do not like taking meds so I am hoping the shots take care of the pain.  He thinks the pain has something to do with my scoliosis (curved spine) and possible beginning of arthritis.  I am 43 years old and have always been in good shape. I still plan on getting me a back brace to help my posture anyway. I have noticed that when I eat a red apple everyday I rarely get a cold or flu. This pain has really taught me to SLOW down and stop trying to get so much done in so little time.  I definitely do have more compassion for those who have had back pain for years.  
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Wow - lot of pain out there!!
Lots of therapies help to reduce the pain but what CAUSED it?? You need to consult a chiropractor who knows about rehabilitation assessments - they will look at how you do things - how you use your shoulders HOW your muscles work. If muscles are not balanced then the joints can become overloaded and pain results - don't forget that 53% of the stability of the shoulder and upper back depends on the core area......it's not just about treating the pain but about identifying the cause - only then do you get lasting relief.
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Hi Everyone,

I feel your pain... literally.  I have had this same problem off and on for years and I have SOMETHING THAT HELPS...

I take a pair of socks rolled up tight to make a ball, place it on the floor, and lay down on it so the socks are right where the pain is.  Then I place my left hand on my right should and my right hand on my left shoulder (like mummy style but with your elbows sticking up in the air), bend my knees so my feet are on the floor and proceed to roll on the socks.  It's like you're going to roll over onto your bad side but you do it in a rocking motion.  Move around so you're massaging the whole shoulder blade up and down on the socks.  When you feel you're on an area really tight, stay still on it for a few moments and breathe through the pain.  You'll hear things shifting and moving around a little, but that's a good thing.  Slowly and gently get up being careful not to undo the work you just did.  You should feel some relief immediately.  You can repeat several times a day if need be.

I hope the helps you as it does me.  It doesn't always take all the pain away, but it should relieve it some.

Sending healing thoughts your way.

God Bless,

Elizabeth
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My problems is most likely due to my curved spine and possible arthritis at age 43.  I have been taking "Celebrex" for 1 week (one pill before bed)  I started feeling relief the 3rd morning after taking it 3 nights in a row.  It felt so good to be without pain after suffering since April.  I did get 3 trigger point cortison shots and right now I am sore from it but I will let you know how I feel in a week.  I was told to take Celebrex only as needed.  I had met an 80 year old man in the Dr's office who also gets the shots and has been taking Celebrex for 20 years without any trouble. He looked so great, I was surprised he was 80. I am hoping I do not need celebrex or the shots long term but living life in constant pain is not an option for me either.  It certainly has been affecting my loved ones around me which I owe a lot of hugs and kisses.
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After getting the cortisone shot a week ago, I still have the pain.  Celebrex doesn't seem to be working either anymore.  Maybe it takes awhile for the shot to kick in.  
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After reading all these posts I can relate in a sense. 1 year ago this month I was laying in bed went to roll over and stretched just a little bit and heard a pop in my left shoulder blade area, with immediate sharp pain, tingling and I could barely move my neck. I went to the ER and all they did was give me hydros (which I cannot take) a muscle relaxer (which I cannot take) and a neck brace. I have suffered ever since with stiffness and pain and when I feel it getting too bad I will go to the chiro and it seems to help, but then a few months later it will come back. I know for a fact that this is all stress induced, with of course something else going on. I am getting sick and tired of this though, I have a 3 year old and a 1 month old baby and a husband who works on the road, so for me this is so painful but I know I am probably making it worse by having to do 100% of the work around the house all the time.
I have been up for the past 2 hours now after rolling over in bed and stretching a little and sure enough my shoulder popped again, I am in so much pain right now, I can't sit, stand, lay or anything, and of course its a Saturday so I can't go to my chiro or my doctor and I'm not going to the ER for the fact that they will probably give me some sort of pain killer that I cant take!! I don't know what to do anymore either, this is miserable and NOT FAIR at the age of 24. I am going to make an appointment with my Dr and talk to him about some of this stuff that I have read, and maybe I need an x-ray or something to see if there is a bigger problem. I am so glad like all of you are as well that I'm not alone on this, which I felt like I always was.
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It's horrible when no can figure out your problem. I've had problems for years and finally have found relief. You don't need western medicine to solve it either.  This problem needs maintenance because it will return over and over, for life. I have an answer for some if not all of you. Question is, can you handle this type of therapy?
Your muscles are in knots. You need deep tissue, trigger point massage therapy, by someone well trained.  Plain and simple. Other things you can do is heat in hot-tubs, hot "socks" microwaveable rice socks (Walgreens sells) them or hot-stone therapy. The popping sounds are because your muscles/connective tissues have become to tight/hard/bound up that they are not moving freely like they should. They will also block proper blood flow and cause constant tiredness. Don't ignore the problem because the tightness will migrate furthur and furthur into other nearby tissues turning you into a hunchback old lady.
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Sharp muscle knots in between my shoulder blade and spine occur almost on a regular basis for me. It happens when I'm under alot of pressure/stress or may have slept wrong? It's a great thing my best friend is a DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy). One night, I asked him what a GOLF BALL was doing on his floor, he doesn't even play golf. His response, "to get rid of the tight muscle knots I have in my back." Amazed! Now wheneever I have a knot in my back (like I do now) all I do is roll on a golf ball and it INSTANTLY removes the knot on my back. I LOVE IT!!! Having knots in your back is a huge burden. Can't comfortably move on with life. I hope this helps you all!
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I'm a masseuse who has been in private practice for 22 years and I know your problem well - it's common and I know the pain can be excruciating. First let me explain what's going on, where, and what you can do to relieve the pain. It's really quite simple. What you have is called an active trigger point. The reason it's difficult to get at is because it's located in the serratus posterior superior muscle and the trigger point is under the shoulder blade. If you have a masseuse work on this problem you must lay on your side so your arm hangs forward so your scapula (shoulder blade) moves out of the way. You can relieve the pain yourself by laying on a tennis or golf ball while you lay on your back on the floor with your knees bent. Your arm must be positioned across your chest so your shoulder blade moves out of the way. Place the balls underneath the sore spot and let your body weigh add the pressure. For an excellent description and illustration of the problem turn to page 900 in the book Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction. The Trigger Point Manual. Volume 1. by Travell & Simons. Janet Travell was John F, Kennedy's doctor. If this explanation is not clear please let me know so I can help you.
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I have the same thing and I can't believe any of you guys can stand for that area to be touched.  The burning/stabbing is bad, but when someone even barely touches it I want to crawl out of my skin.
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You make a good point. When severe, I start by placing my finger tip lightly on the active trigger point. I can feel the electrical stimulation under my finger and it slows down. By the end of the session I've been working vigorously to release the tension. Going to someone who knows what they're doing and who feels confident in their ability to help you can go a long way. Good luck!

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I need to comment on this and thank you, THANK YOU PPNH and the others who noted how to RELIEVE this same exact pain I have been dealing with off and on for appx. a year. It has reached a point where I didn't know how to cope with the consistent pain and I was starting to get depressed that the pain would continue for the rest of my life. I'm a mother of two small children and it was getting difficult just to do my daily routines and to play with them with the constant pain in my shoulder.

Please, anyone who has this, please try what PPNH says three posts above mine. There are a couple others on this thread who mentioned the same excercise. Thank you so much,, I wish I could give you a big hug and kiss. The pain is gone today for the first time in weeks. I'm so happy.
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Slouching is normal for homo sapiens but we must try to avoid this posture as it puts the trigger points on a painful stretch and aggravates them. No one really knows why trigger points become activated but being cold, tired, bad posture and stress are all contributing factors. Active trigger points can occur in anyone regardless of their level of fitness. It's just a sorry fact of life.

An excellent preventive measure is to stretch the pectorals (chest muscles) as they are antagonists which means they work in opposition to the upper back muscles. If they are out of sync one is too tight (front) and the other too loose (back) you're going to have a problem. To correct this one must balance the muscle tension.

There are two effective stretches that I recommend that are easy to do. One is called the 'in doorway stretch'. In this position your body falls forward while you hold on to the frame. Because the pectoralis muscles are fan shaped you must do this at three levels. First your hands are positioned at shoulder height and then you gradually place them higher and higher again. Stand on the tip of either your left or right toe and bend the other knee and keep it all flexible and loose as you look and 'fall' forward. Don't forget to breath and your jaw should be relaxed.

The second stretch is done while laying down on your side with your knees bent. Stretch your straight arm out behind you and look in that direction too. Remember the idea is to open your chest.These preventive measures are necessary if one wants to avoid this debilitating pain altogether.

Since you're noticing how you walk here is a reminder to help keep the body (shoulders) aligned. Swing your arms properly. I notice people swinging their arms across in front of their body and on the rarer occasion behind them. Arms should be swung along side your body in stride with your step. Think soldier.

I hope you find this information helpful Dee8600.
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It's normal to feel sore after going in deep and the self-massage is not illustrated in the book.

I suggest that when you want to work on a specific trigger point you focus on locating the right spot and the strength of the pressure you want to apply. Also, remember to breath - I pant - and the deeper I go the harder I pant. Experiment with the position of your arm(s) just remember that this trigger point is under your shoulder blade so the blade needs to move away from the midline (center) of your body. Start by applying gentle pressure.

To give yourself a general massage place the two tennis balls - one on each side of your spine - and roll them along the length of your back using your feet, knees bent, to push yourself along. Lace your fingers behind your head and point your elbows up. Let me know if you have any questions.

Warm regards,
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I read something years ago that helped me tremendously and may explain, in part, why I've never have problems with muscle tension. Now, what I'm going to write isn't completely true as we all know it takes the whole to make a system function optimally but I love the simplicity. Imagine a standing skeletal body - the bones are holding it up. When you're in a bad posture the muscles are doing the job instead of the bones, this takes energy and it can become painful. I focus on keeping my spine straight and letting the bones do the work. I hope this is helpful.
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So I've had this pain for a couple days now. I feel for all of you because it is so defeating and excruciating. I am pain free for the first time in two days and this is what i did. It's just a combination of two posts i found here. Super hot shower focused on the area. Bring a tennis ball in the shower with you and get it between the sore spot and the wall of the shower. Roll it around using your body weight lean for pressure. Take time off with the ball but keep the hot water pounding down. I worked the knot somehow from underneath my shoulder blade up closer to my traps (shoulder tops). I also did some circles with my head while under the heat and with the ball rolling around. Try it out. I really hope this helps some of you. oh and dont forget to cross your arms to get the shoulder blades out of the way...it did not work until i did this. took me about 10 minutes to feel a heck of a lot better.
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The pain is excruciating because the trigger point is between two bones - the ribs and the shoulder blade. The cause is most likely due to overloading the muscle. I read a research study that showed that people who have chronic problems with activated trigger points are deficient in B12 and folate (folic acid). Paradoxical breathing doesn't help either.
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God Bless you all.  Today is the first day in 6 months that I do not have this horrible shoulder pain.  I spent 10 minutes in the shower with the tennis ball and IT REALLY WORKS. I stood in the shower (see johnnyb14's instructions) and leaned my head against the wall first before letting my body lean into the ball.  I didn't think it would work but I was so desperate that I tried it last night and today I feel wonderful.   I have lost all faith in Dr's and medicines because I tried everything and spent a lot of money.  The lesson I have learned is to SLOW DOWN and appreciate the little things in life.  I prayer for all of your healing.
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Yes, go to the doctor and get yourself checked out if you're concerned about your heart and please let me know how it goes. In the meantime rest assured that what you're experiencing in the chest is what's called referred pain. When severe, people also feel pain down their arm and into the little finger. Such is the nature of active trigger points. Good luck!
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I'm so glad you're feeling better. The treatment really was quite simple wasn't it and Smokeypokey you got creative and used hot water. I use a wet face cloth and a (water proof) heating pad. Moist heat is the most penetrating.

Cheers to a pain free life!
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I got injured at work, a gentleman twisted my forearm & pulled me down towards him..of course I freaked & pulled away.  This has caused SO MANY problems.  The doctors all told me he just pulled all the muscles in my chest & back.  I have had surgery on my shoulder (or rotator) this didn't fix anything.  I have a giant softball size lump that is right there with my neck & shoulder. It burns, stings, goes numb, spasms, cramps , & just plain hurts like heck!  I have been sent to several bine & joint doctors & they say my bones are fine. I have been sent for 2 EMG's in which 1 came back mild neuropathy of the ulnar & the other was fine I guess. I went to my PCP & he said it wasn't the trapesius muscle, that there was something underneath it causing the problems.  I have been put on antinflamitories, pills, creams & patches & nothing has helped it. I don't know what to do anymore. I have been off work for a year come the 12th of December & I'm goin crazy!  If anyone knows what this is can you help me please!  I have done Physical therapy & everyone of my doctors & therapists say not to go to the chiropractor because it will do more damage.
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Mike1105 had the answer. I had the same pains (sharp knot pain between shoulder blade and spine which is aggravated when I tilt my head forward) on the right side for about a month. Nothing would help. Changing my posture and head position along with the tennis ball trick on the trigger point made all the difference. I dont know why my posture was off after 40 years, probably stress related. Thanks for posting.
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A gentlemen? Surely you jest! I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time aliyah217. What exactly burns, stings, goes numb, spasms, cramps? Please be specific. Your softball size lump does it feel hard to the touch or soft and is it always there and is it always the same size? Please provide as much information about your symptoms as possible and I'll try to help you. Also what is a PCP?
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I'm sorry I gave smokeypokey the credit for being creative by using the hot water. I thought at first you were the same person.
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Yes, Mike you're definitely onto something when you mentioned the scalene muscles because these muscles work synergistically with the serratus posterior superior muscle (the muscle responsible for the under the shoulder blade trigger point).

Because these muscles work as a functional unit often times if you have a active trigger point in one muscle it will be in the other. The intercostal, levator costae muscles are also a part of this muscle group that aid in inhalation.
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You're right hw534.

Rotating your head fully to the right (or left) and dipping your chin into your clavicle (collar bone) is how one tests to see if the scalene muscles are tight - it is also how you stretch them out. Coughing vigorously can cause these muscle in your neck to develop trigger points as can pulling, lifting and tugging. Correcting paradoxical breathing is essential.
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I've had the same pain in my right shoulder since last July and NO painkillers (including morphine) help. I went to a chiropracter who got the pain down to  about 75% in the first couple of sessions but since then no improvement. She told me to never use heat but to use ice packs which do give relief for about an hour.
I'll try the tennis ball treatment tonight and let you know the results.
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Thank you. Remember that the active trigger point is underneath the shoulder blade so in order to access it you must move your arm across the front of your chest so the blade moves away from the midline of the body.

As for heat versus cold.  Ice reduces swelling and is best used as soon as an injury occurs. Heat is used when there is no inflammation or swelling -  it stimulates blood flow  and helps relax tight muscles or muscle spasms. Good luck!
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I have been suffering from this for the past few years. My pain starts in a knot in between my shoulder blades and goes through to my chest. Sometimes it even hurts to swallow or breathe. But I have been able to find something that seems to clear it up. When I feel the pain coming on I start taking Claritin (the allergy medicine). I know it may sound weird but I think it may be related to sinuses. It takes a few days days but the pain starts to subside after taking the Claritin. I hope this helps.
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It seems to me like you may have a couple of things going on that are not related.

If it hurts to swallow and breath and if you have nasal congestion that is helped by taking Claritin it sounds like you're suffering from an allergic reaction to something. Please go to your doctor for an evaluation. In the meantime look up the definition of anaphylaxis - this is to be taken seriously.

The pain you experience from the knot in your shoulder blades that goes through to your heart sounds like an active trigger point.

Good luck and please take great care of yourself.



Please take great care of yourself.
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Hello all, my pain is similar to all the above but started after a night out dancing, woke up and couldn't move out of bed (although no pain whenever the "injury" occured).

Mine is a deep dull pain within the muscular area of my left shoulder blade which knots in between my shoulder blade and my spine. When i'm nervous or put under any kind of pressue, socially or at work the pain in the shoulder worsens, travells to my back (if not there already) and then progressively travels in a tingling sensation to my neck. The final stage in the worst case scenario will be my neck actually trembling; i'm not aware that anyone notices but it feels like my muscles in my neck are spasming and my heads about to fall off! Its had a pretty bad affect on my life, depression and quite withdrawn. I used to go out frequently but i'm not the same happy go lucky joker i used to be, my freinds have noticed but it's hard to be in a good mood when in perpetual pain. What makes it worse; stress is the biggy but also coffee, smoking (i used to smoke allot of cannibus before but this makes it really, really bad stragely) and basically being under pressure.

I've had it for say 6 years now; ocassionaly there will be periods where the pain is barely there but most often its atleast a 7/10. Suffice to say its killing now hence me reading this (very helpful and reassuring (thk you all)) web page,

The tennis ball trick works for me but only for 10 mins. I've become an expert at manipulating my back and shoulder to "crunch" the pain away but this again is only a 10 min solution ,,, no chance of getting a tennis ball out during a client meeting when ur under pressure !

I'ev tried all the above but haven't tried chinnese medicine. Alcohol helps but no medication does.

Anyway, there's my winge, thanks to all for your posts, if anyone has exactly the same symptons as me (particularly the final "neck" stage explained above) i'd be pleased to hear.

Best to you all
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I'm sorry to hear you're having such a tough time Jcq. I wish you could come for a session.

You describe your pain as "a deep dull pain within the muscular area of my left shoulder blade which knots in between my shoulder blade and my spine...  the pain in the shoulder worsens, travells to my back (if not there already) and then progressively travels in a tingling sensation to my neck.

What you have developed Jcq is what's called a satellite trigger point and associated trigger points.

The scalene muscles in your neck work synergistically with the serratus posterior superior muscles which are responsible for the deep dull pain you feel in the shoulder blade. The knots you feel between your shoulder blade and along your spine are associated trigger points.

The tennis ball trick works for only for 10 minutes because you are not targeting all the active trigger points. The rhomboids, iliocostalis. longissimus thoracis and multifidus muscles all have to be worked along with the scalene muscles in your neck.

I suggest you read back to November 30 and read what jonnyb419 did to help himself get rid of multiple trigger points.

Good luck!
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OK... I have read every single post here and I too can relate. I have had extreme pain in my left shoulder for several years. It used to only be when I washed the car so I dismissed it but about two years ago I flared up and has not gone away.  I have had 4 CT scans of the cervical spine, 3 MRI's (with and without contrast) of the cervical spine and 2 MRI's of the brain. I had a neurosurgeon just yesterday, tell me that he did not believe that the burning/tearing pain I feel in my left shoulder that goes up my neck (causing severe headaches) and travels down my left arm (causing it to ache and sometimes go numb) is a structural problem.. He has referred me to an orthopedic surgeon and a neurologist. He said that he did believe that it was real, but just did not know what was causing it. I am 35yrs old and am going crazy! Not literally, but sometimes it feels that way. I have seen massage therapists, chiropractors, and all the home remedies but nothing helps. I will let you all know what the next two doctors say when and if they can figure it out.

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I must say that we have something in commen. I have had MRI's and CT scans(with and without contrast as well) and nothing is yet to be dx that can be done or even said that justifies what I am going thru either. I suffer on a daily basis and am at my wits end. I went yesterday to a Neurologist(NL) and he couldn't give me any basis for my pain either. He said I had Migraine the first visit that I had, but I call him back after he had changed my meds and told him that I was glad that he took me off the Lyrica for it was only making  turn into a giant blimp, but it has to be something more than that. I am in too much pain and my muscle are just disapearing. I have places in my legs that are sunken in where the muscle is just gone. It hurt while it was happening too. I am trying to get to the bottom of what is causing my pain, the root of it. I don't just want to take med to ease it. I want to try and get it repaired because I hope I have a long life before me and don't want to suffer the rest of it.
I know how you feel when you say that it is driving you crazy. I feel the same way. It takes over all of time and effort just to get thru the day. I can't seem to do anything or I pay for it. I try to do this and that when I have a good day and it is so hard to push myself to get thru it, but it has to get done.
Yesterday, he did want me to see an Orhopedist too and get a sleep study done.I guess it wouldn't hurt since as you see I don't sleep. IT is 5:46am here and I have been up since 4:00. I do good to get 4 hrs. at a time. By the way, my doc(NL) seemed  to think that a lot of my problem was stress related...hmmm!!!  , but I am just frustrated because I seem not to be getting anywhere. I had an ACD & F spinal diskectomy ' in '06 and ever since then have suffered worse. I had to get ESI's(Epidural Spinal Injections) just to try to ease the pain I had in my right arm, neck and shoulder, but I wouldn't advise it because I was hit by the needle by the third one I had. I literally jumped on the table and raised my head to ask the doc what happened. He said, "Friction"...I don't know. I really think with all of my heart he has caused me to have a SCI(Spinal Cord Injury) and I am no doc, but I am not stupid either. It is just that things went crazy after that. All of my pain was just in the upper limbs b4 and after that my legs and feet got unbearable to live with and the pain went thru the roof!! I got to where my feet felt like risons and I couldn't walk. I forgot to mention that right after he hit something and I jumped, he asked me to sit up real fast and asked me if I had heavy breathing or were my ears ringing. I said no, but my hands and feet are completely numb. I have to tell you that to this day they still are. The procedure was done a yr. after my surgery just to relieve my shoulder, arm and neck pain and wound up with soooo much more pain. I just wouldn't advise it to anyone to do those. It is too much of a risk to me anyway.I wouldn't advise a Chiro either. Especially if you could have a problem in your Cervical area.
I sure hope you the best and if anyone out there has any ideas that can help either one of us...please do. We are so tired of the agony that each day can bring us. Life seems to be passing us by. I have two young boys that would love their mom back again..the way she once was..fun. I would love to be that girl again too.
ALL TAKE CARE AND ALWAYS....GOD BLESS  Karen
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I too am like all of you. The pain will knock you to your knees.  Went to an Ortho Doctor who says I need surgery.  Both right and left sholders are frozen.  Maybe even a torn rotater cuff.  Who the heck knows.  Anyway have decided not to have surgery.  I am a diabetic with RA and fybromylgia and An Abdominal Arortic anurism so I think surgery is to big a risk.  I still have my pain meds and my muscle relaxers so if i have to become a drugie so be it.  At least I will still be alive.  What ever the problem really is some smart doctor will figure it out like maybe in 10 years.
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I will be 30 years old this summer and have been struggling with similar pain for 5 years now.  My "injury" was aquired during a jiu jitsu match.  During the match, I felt a slight strain in between my right shoulder blade and my spine but closer to where my shoulder blade starts to curve out in my mid back.  In my case, the pain grew more and more unbareable as the night went on and at one point, i was sitting at the edge of my couch, bent over at the waist at a 90 degree angle and unable to lift my upper body up because of an extreme amount of  "pressure" and EXCRUTIATING "pain" in my mid back.  After being bed ridden for a couple of days, i went to see the doc.....  It's been 5 years and NOBODY has been able to pin point the problem.  I've seen multiple specialists (some of which were mentioned above) had MRI's done, X-rays, tried sports medicine, acupunture, deep tissue massage, you name it!  Some provided temporary relief, but the pain always returns.  It has not only affected my life, but also the lives of my loved ones and those closest to me because being in constant pain and agony is so very frustrating and has mentally made me an angry and bitter person, whom which I ABSOLUTELY NEVER used to be.  I've learned to kind of just "live with it," like Im sure most of you all have too.

But about a year ago, I started doing neck a neck retention excercise a friend of mine mentioned and it seems to be the only thing helpful for me and i would like to share it with you all.. (note: this should only be tried if no pain or discomfort is present while attempting it)  On your bed, lay flat on your back with your hands at your side and your shoulders at the edge of the bed with your head hanging off and still as possible.  Start off with 2-5 minutes of this and eventually work your way up to whatever you feel comfortable with each time you do it.  Now here is the most important and crucial part to this: DO NOT use your neck to lift your head back up!!  When getting up, make sure to put your hands behind your head and use your arms and abs to lift your head back up, turn to one side, and get up as slowly as possible!!  This is extremely important because if you "just get right up," you basically just erase all the tention you just relieved.   I try to do this nightly and i've even designed a little upside down reading workstation to keep me occupied while i do it.  As it  It may seem, it is uncomfortable and a little awkward the first couple of times, but i have found it to be the only thing that helps my particular case. Good Luck and God Bless!!    
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Please read my post written on November 24 and the posts written after by the people who were helped.

I hope this sheds some light on your problems.
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I too have been having the same problems for the last 13 years, i am now 33 with 2 young children and it has been really debilitating.

I have on many occaisions felt that enough was enough and gone in search of help only to find temporary relief from Physios, Chiropractors and Osteos.

As i get older i worry about the long term effect this is having on my whole posture and ability to work and do daily chores, this has made me more determined to find a solution.

I had a snowboarding accident when i was 20,  i went to my GP (i'm in the UK) and was told i couldn't get on the physios waiting list) as a student i wasn't able to afford to see anyone so i just lived with it and the immediate injury symptoms eased but i was always left with aches back and shoulder aches that i had to live with.

As time has gone on my posture has got worse,  my body has been overcompensating for the injuries for such a long time that i now use muscles i shouldn't and my pain has been getting worse and worse.  I have a torn rotator cuff muscle (left shoulder) and my left shoulder blade sticks out and i recently found out that from my tailbone my spine is very straight before going in to a more pronounced curve inducing making a very pronounced curve in the upper back an impact injury.

My job involved sitting at a computer and heavy lifting (not sure which was worse!) which i think has massively contributed to my problem and subsequently being pregnant, breastfeeding and carrying children has compounded the issue making my posture even worse.

I really believe my problems are two fold - yes i have an injury but i also have postural issues that are preventing me from healing the injury effectively and in turn making my posture worse.

I have just started on a new treatment called Spinal Touch - Simply, this is about having you posture examined using a plum line and markings made on your back hips and shoulders, neck etc to show where you fall out of line, you then lie on your stomach whilst the therapist holds a release point under your bum cheek and gently works parts of your back hips shoulders, neck etc depending on your problems - it feels like they are doing nothing very much but i cant' tell you how much i ached the next day, more than any treatment from the osteo or physio, after only one session i have stopped having the urge to put weight on one leg and subsequently hand on hip for support - i have only just realised that i had been doing this for what seems like forever - the lady doing my treatment (my Pilates Teacher) had said that my hip was slightly rotated forward, my shoulders were forward and i had a lot of tension in my neck, plus she identified the flat part at the base of my spine which the countless physios, osteos etc did not notice which is causing my back to curve (this was also from same snowboarding accident an impact injury).

I have another 4 sessions booked as it will take time to keep the corrections in place - i will update the forum on the outcome!!!  very excited by it.  I am also restarting pilates after 1 year off (very busy year not able to get to a class) and hope that the pilates will build my core back up and stabalize my shoulder blade i then figure i can work to strengthen my rotator cuff and hopefully avoid surgery.

Its been so comforting to read everyones complaints as i had felt the only one and was made to feel like i was moaning about nothing - no one can understand the daily pain and burning in your back and how debilitating it is. I think for most of us there is no quick fix -  the only option if you don't want to pop pills is to to find a formula of treatment that works for you - i suspect there is no one size fits all as we are all unique.

That said from reading all the posts on this forum it would seem that posture is a good place to start and this spinal touch is a great place to start with that.  there are also other techniques i have read about  that are alot more involved such as the Alexander Technique but this would cost too much for me - i will try Spinal Touch with Pilates first!

I will also be trying the tennis ball /golf ball  to relieve the pain!

Thanks for the brilliant forum!

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Hello Everyone! I wanted to share some great news.... A few weeks ago I went to see a Neurosurgeon who looked at my MRI's and confirmed that I do have two herniated discs and some degeneration in my cervical spine but did not feel that this was the cause for my pain. He referred me to an orthopedic surgeon and after two minutes with him he diagnosed me with a torn labral. He sent me for another MRI this time of the shoulder with an arthrogram. I went and had the the procedure done yesterday and let me tell you...IT WAS ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE!!!  

So now for the good news, the doctors office called today and it turns out I not only have a torn labral (cartilage) but I also have a torn rotator cuff. Apparently the torn cartilage was causing the burning pain under my shoulder blade and the pressure on the nerves was causing the neck pain and headaches. I scheduled surgery on the 22nd of this month. I am just so excited to know that this wasn't just in my imagination and I'm not crazy.

I will let everyone know how the surgery goes. And for everyone dealing with similar pain, maybe you have the same problems I do. It never hurts to check into it.
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OMG...I am glad 4 u, but at the same time sad 4 me bc I cancelled my appt. with the Othropedic doc bc the receptionist said that they had me scheduled to check my shoulder. I said shoulder. I hurt in my neck/back. So, I just felt that it was all wrong and the trip is so hard on me...4+hrs. round trip...hard on me. I don't know. I have been to an Ortho back  a couple of yrs. ago and he checked my shoulder, but didn't do any Arhrogram and I wanted him to bc I was hurting so badly. He did do an MRI and didn't see anything. SO, am I in the clear since he said so then or could it be that it just didn't show up at that time. Maybe it was the doc. I don't know. I did reschedule w/the Ortho, but now waiting another month of pain...Oh...I wish I would have gone now.
     I am so glad 4 u though. It is great news to hear someone doing better and getting the help they need. Take care and always....GOD BLESS.. Karen
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Karen, I am really sorry you are still in so much pain but whatever it is I'm sure they will find it.  I know that it is really hard to find a good doctor who will actually believe you when you describe what you're feeling. As far as the arthrogram is concerned it was absolutely horrible.   They put me in the MRI bed for about 25 minutes and did the preliminary exam then the took me to a CT machine where a doctor came in and inserted a huge needle into my shoulder. Once it's in they check to make sure they have the right spot in the CT machine. If it not they move it around and keep checking until it's in the joint. Once it's in they put in the dye and then back to the MRI machine for another 40 minutes. When the doctor called the next day he told me that if I had not had the arthrogram he wouldn't have been able to see the tears fully and might have dismissed it.  He also said that the tears are causing inflammation which inturn presses on the nerves causing numbnessbin the arm and neck pain and headaches. I thought it was a pinched nerve. A knot. A herniated disc. I have self diagnosed for so long it's actually pathetic. Lol! But believe me knowing that relief is a little over a week away is wonderful. So keep your appointment and if the doc says to get the arthrogram do it. If anything it will either diagnose your problem or elimate another possibilty. Either way don't lose hope. And please don't listen to any "home remedies" that will only aggrivate the problem until you know for sure that it's not a tear. I will keep in touch!!! Jen
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I have had the same burning between left shoulder blade and spine for the last 7years or so, been to see every doctor, had xrays, mri... Chiropractors, physical therapy...many different opinions to my problem. (And for the first 5 years I was definitely looked at like I was crazy!)  
Long stories as I have been dealing with this for sooo long. It has in spurts totally ran my life, broke me down! It mostly occurs sitting at desk, standing, hunching doing dishes or laundry, ect. as I have been reading the same above.
In the end, I am convinced it is a Dysfunctional Muscle (a combination of Orthopedic Dr. and physical therapist information). I carry stress in my neck and shoulders ( hold shoulders up to my ears without even noticing). They say to exercise it and make it stronger but I am in fairly good shape and when I do, it burns like hell in the aftermath. So I just realize it's something I am going to have to deal with my own way. I pay attention to how tense I am, and Believe me! it make s a huge difference. If I start to feel tingling or burning, I relax my shoulders and sit back for a few minutes and I am ok. It is far from pleasant or gone daily but I also use a racket ball to hit my "trigger point". I lay on it on the floor with my arms crossed and roll a little till I "feel" the spot that is so tight. I lay on it for a few minutes and you can feel it relax. So this is how I deal with all of it and I was overwhelmed when I read some of the posts and how many ppl were dealing with as much pain as I am, and with the same exact symptoms, it brought me to tears.  I wish all of you luck!  And Be very careful if a doctor wants to inject anything into the area!!!!! It can make it worst and irreversible if it IS a Dysfunctional Muscle or similar problem-GET a 2nd or even 3rd opinion.
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hi thank you for your time here in helping us out.   i have had back surgery and have rods going down my spine, i had a s cruve but it was behind my heart not lower part of back, i had surgery at 35 now turning 51, i have lots of ackes and pain with my back, lots headacke from the pinched nerves i guess i have , my hubby trys and rub them out and they burn and hurt on both of my shoulder blades.

when i woke up from the surgery all i could say was my chest hurts, it was hurting like a heart attack but it was ok guess because they took it from a 65 to 35 i think cant remember but it was a huge curve and took me from 4'11 to 5 feet.

now i have a dull acke in my chest a lot or some times just pain, i had a stress echo last feb heart looks good, but it worries me with the pain in chest. my left hand goes numb some times . is this commom with this kind of surgery and what can i do about it , mine is not all on one side i have the whole back that hurts and chest.   my rods go all the way down from top of my neck to the 3rd verbra i have 3 left to help me bend. thanks again for your help and kindness,Barbara
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Yes, you have what's called an activated trigger point in the serratus posterior superior muscle and the trigger point is located under the shoulder blade where the muscle attaches to the ribs. That's why crossing your arms help - that position moves the shoulder blade out of the way so you can target the trigger point directly. And that is also why the trigger point is so excruciatingly painful - it's located between two bones - the ribs and shoulder blade.

Sorry to hear you suffered for seven years when laying on tennis, racquet or golf balls with your arms crossed is such a simple cure.
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Thank you Barbara.

I think it's unlikely that the chest pain you're experiencing now has anything to do with the surgery you had 16 years ago. Most problems are due to overloading the muscles, poor standing and sitting posture and lack of exercise - not to mention dehydration and poor diet.

The fan shaped pectoralis (chest muscle) is a complex muscle and there are five different areas where trigger points can become activated. But because you mentioned headaches and that your left hand goes numb sometimes I will focus on those trigger points.

If you have active trigger points in your pectoralis major muscle you will feel pain in the anterior chest, breast, and down the inside of your arm to the fourth and fifth fingers.

If you have an active trigger point in the left subclavius muscle  you will feel pain across the front of the shoulder and down the front of the arm and along the radial (thumb side) of the forearm and the radial side of your hand. In addition the thumb, index and middle finger may hurt.

Headaches can be caused by the shortening of the clavicular head of the pectoralis major muscles which produces a downward and forward pull putting tension on the sternocleidomastoid (neck) muscle.

Your upper back muscles are tight due to the overload from the tight pectoralis muscles -  these muscles act as antagonists.  Once you massage and stretch out the pectoralis muscles the back pain will disappear. So, your man should be massaging your chest muscles along with your back muscles.

To stretch the chest muscles you must abduct and flex the arm at the shoulder. The In- doorway stretch is an effective exercise.

To avoid this problem don't do any heavy lifting especially when reaching out front and correct your posture. If your chest muscles are tight your shoulders are pulled forward in a stooped, round shouldered position and your head is in a forward position. Also don't expose your fatigued muscles to cold air.

I hope this helps Barbara. No one needs to live their life in pain.
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thank you so much for your advice, i do have my hubby rub the back out a lot and the headackes do go away, chest dont hurt all the time just last two days dull and it comes and goes.  

i have the burn areas when i put both my shouldersback it burns and hurtsmost on right side. seems like lots under shoulder blade to, i guess its took its toll since the surgery and i should been getting massage therepy all these years . would that help my insurance will pay for that?

i knew it was not heart i see a cardio dr once a year and have had test ran but after it hurts all day you start to worry, than it goes away and comes back weeks later so everytime my chest hurts its a worry as with anyone.

thank you again for your kind words you ease our minds and help us out. Bless you .Barbara
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Thank you for your appreciation Barbara.

Please read the post I wrote on November 24 regarding how to deal with the burning pain under your shoulder blade and the responses that followed by those who were helped including kkokko who wrote just before you yesterday.

You're right, it's common for people to think have they have heart problems when they have activated trigger points in the chest area - front or back.

Yes, considering what you went through it would have been good if you had been getting massaged all these years. I suggest you call your insurance company and ask if they cover massage and if not find a masseuse/masseur and see if you can do an exchange - you may have something to offer her/him in return.

Having an experienced and compassionate masseuse/masseur you trust can go a long way - I recommend everyone have one. There have been many times that I have heard clients say as they settle on my table that they feel better already - it just happened again yesterday.

Please do whatever you can to take good care of yourself.

Warm regards,
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i had a severe case of bronchitis this winter, it lasted four months. the bronchitis has cleared up, but now i have a horrible pain under my right shoulder, and it hurts to breathe. it's much worse at night. the doctors don't know what is wrong with me. perhaps it's muscle inflammation. i don't know. i've been living with this for months now, and it's not getting any better. i can't sleep at night. sometimes my right arm tingles. i can't get a deep breath at all...it just hurts...sometimes i hear a crackle in my shoulder when i breathe. i don't know what to do. i've been abandoned by the doctors. i'm frustrated, they think i'm making it up. when i press on my back, under my shoulder, it doesn't hurt...it almost feels better...so if the muscles are inflamed, it's not close to the surface. i'm sure it has something to do with the bout of bronchitis i had, because the bronchitis cleared up, but this pain didn't. at first i thought is was pain in the back of my lungs, but now i'm not so sure. does anyone know if the muscles surrounding the bronchial tubes could be inflamed? suggestions? i'm desperate. i've been practically bedridden all winter.
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You're right, coughing activated a trigger point in your serratus anterior muscle. You have all the symptoms - it hurts to breath, you can't get comfortable at night and if you were to look at your back your scapula (shoulder blade) will be sticking out (winging).

To palpate this trigger point you must lie semi-supine (on you side leaning back a bit), bend your elbow backwards to adduct the scapula  (let it hang behind you) this also helps to stretch the muscle. The trigger point is most likely located approximately at the level of your nipple over the fifth or sixth rib at the midaxillary line (down from the armpit) but occasionally they are located lower or higher or underside the vertebral border of the scapula.

To self-stretch the serratus anterior muscle you sit in a chair and stabilize the scapula of the involved side by placing your arm behind the chair back. After taking a deep breath exhale slowly and turn your thorax toward the opposite side.

In order not to reactivate this trigger point learn to clear the throat rather than cough, use synchronized (not paradoxical breathing), avoid push-ups and lifting heavy objects overhead, and don't hang from or chin yourself on a bar.

I hope this helps, I know you're suffering.

Warm regards,

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I forgot to mention not to dismiss the fact that you may have a broken rib.

Cheers to a speedy recovery!
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I have had a lot of the same symptoms as the preceding posts for the past 6 years.  I am currently 30 years old and I am an engineer.  I have tried many things to try and correct the discomfort.  About a year ago I tried a few things and the discomfort has seemed to disappear...at least for the most part (90% of the time).  I am a healthy male and my only aliment at the time was borderline high cholesterol (LDL) and low HDL.  To this day I am not sure if this had anything to do with my discomfort.  
Because of this I started to change my diet.  I used to eat lunch meat everyday for lunch - i reduced this to only once a week.  I increased my activity level hopefully lower my trig level.  But what I feel the most significant change was adding fish oil to my diet.  Not only did this reduce my cholesterol but it seemed to reduce my shoulder blade discomfort noticeably within a month and only got better as time progressed.  I have researched fish oil extensively and found that it also has anti-inflammatory benefits which may have been contributing to the discomfort. It is also well documented that it has benefits for the heart the brain.  There is researching being done regarding its mental health benefits as well.  It can hurt to try...it worked for me.  I followed the manufacturers suggested dosing.

Some other thing I did was add cinnamon to my coffee which is supposed to help with blood sugar levels.  I also reduced my sugar intake and stopped adding sugar to my coffee.  Though I don’t think this had as much of a dramatic effect as the fish oil.    

I was never into taking medication or believe in herbals and I am still not but it seems like the fish oil worked for me.  
Maybe you can try and anti-inflammatory such as Advil and see if the pain is temporarily relieved.  

Let me know if it works.
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thanks so much for your advice. i'm pretty sure there's no fractured rib, because they did perform x-rays. i did the stretching exercises that you suggested and it helped a lot...i have more relief now than i have in months. this will eventually go away, right? i'm just worried about permanent damage, worried that it is something more serious. i wasn't sure bronchitis could cause lasting discomfort like this...i'm sure it's not bronchitis, but something that happened as a result of it. what you wrote makes a lot of sense. once again, thanks so much. another quick question...would anti-inflammatories help?  
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Please don't fret any longer. Fears that problems such as yours will last forever or it is something more serious are common. And having an activated trigger point - for how ever long it may last - does not cause permanent damage.

Keep up the stretching exercise and the self massage and if you decide to take an anti-inflammatory don't mix it with alcohol.

I'm so happy you found relief - it's only a matter of time now.

Warm regards,



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I had the same pain behind my shoulder blade... my PM doctor did a medial branch nerve block on T-12/L-1 & L-1/L-2 & L-2/L-3 which was a very painful procedure... Afterwards; the pain was gone... completely gone.  The procedure was a couple years ago and the pain has not returned. Hope everyone finds relief soon.
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It is very easy to massage your trigger points by yourself. You only need a very hard bouncy ball and the following book:
"The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook" from Clair Davies (see comments on Amazon)

Massage your trigger points according to the book and after 1 - 2 weeks they are gone - a very easy way to get rid of all your pain. I've had amazing results and you can have them too. An additional comment to the book: Also massage the end and beginning of a muscle with trigger points!
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Hey how ru? I am interested in all u have said. I suffer on a daily basis. I can't brush my teeth very easily. It hurts to lean over the sink. I get it done, but have actually cried while doing so. It does burn under my shoulder blades. I also have this burning that comes on me while standing in the middle of my back and lower back. It is so bad that I have to lean against something fast. I have to straighten my back up against the object which is mostly a wall or post of some kind. I just want to get something done. I am so tired and that is an understatement. I am just @ to go crazy at times bc the pain rides me all day long somedays. I have so many symptoms I can't tell them all to u bc it is just too much. I know it has to be something pretty bad to cause so much pain, but can't get a dx to get it repaired or something.
     I read @ how ur chin can pull down to ur collar bone and mine does that. It makes me feel like I am having a stroke.My head has these places that feel so sore that my hair hurts just to touch it. I am serious. It hurts to touch the skin even.
     The muscle issue that is going on in both of my legs really frightens me. It is strange that symetric rings are forming on both legs in exactly the same place, but each ring is starting on the opposite side of the leg. It is like something targeted that area, so it must be of some importance to figuring out what is going on. Right? My feet stay sore like risons. I gave myself Vit.B-12 @ every 6-7 days apart. It helped at first, then after @ it made me be able to walk w/out my feet being sore. So, I thought I had perniscious anemia, but then the effect wore off and they started hurting again and nothing has helped anymore. Everytime I get out of bed,I can only stay up until my back literally feels like it is on "FIRE". Is there anyone out there that has these symptoms? Maybe we should work together on this and get to the bottom of it! I mean it. I am so tired of suffering sometimes...I do feel  and pray to The Lord that I don't lose my sanity. I pray to keep it so much. I just need to know what to do or where to go to find the answer. I could write a boook!!
     I have been through the ringer. I mean we have been shuffled from doc to doc. Just to get ....NOWHERE.....am I right?I know some of it was insurance issues, but thank GOD I have good ins. through my hubby.
     I know sometimes I have prayed to The Lord to send me to that right doc who is going to answer my prayers and make me where I can just have some kind of life. I have written to "Disease diagnoses" practically begging to see if they would take me as a patient to find the reason 4 this insanity. Well, it is actually "The National Institute of Health".
     We are here to seek 4 answers...right? Why has it taken so long 4 me to get an answer? OHHH it seems like my kids are seeing me in bed and know where mom is. Don't have to ask...just comes to my bed.
      So, please if there is anyone who has burning legs and it started first hurting behind my knee. My feet were sore, but numb. I can actually get a dental pick and scratch it...hard. My son can't believe how he accidently pushed his toenail into my foot. Then, after hitting my foot pressed it in to see how much pressure it took to make me feel it. I didn't until he retracted his foot and said, " Mom, u should be bleeding...I didn't mean to hurt u...Look at it."  I looked at it and I could see his toenail in my arch(I guess..in the middle, the tenderest part)and it was @ to bleed. I could see blood coming to the top and I had it bleed a little. I told the doc and he said never to do that again. I could have some sort of blood clot happen or something like that.
     Man, I should start a website blog or something...lol. I love to veeeent. It just gives me some sort of release on this debitating disease or whatever is going on in my body.
     Well, I think I gave enough tonight. I hope I didn't take up tooo much space..:)You all take care and I do pray 4 all of u. I think of all the people that suffer and I just wish it would all end. IT is up to HIM. HE is The Only one who can do it. If we can only excecpt HIM as "OUR LORD AND SAVIOR...only then will we be able to get the strength to get to where we can smile and have a life. I know He only chatises those He loves. If we suffer, it is only because He suffered for us first....Yeah, we ought to humble ourselves to Him and maybe if He sees that you will stand by His side will He heal you. It is only a feeling.
      Hey, U all take care and always GOD BLESS....  Karen
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Thank you for the recommendation. I'm glad you've had amazing results using trigger point therapy and you took the time to write.

Mile1105 mentioned the same book plus two others in his Post on August 5, 07. I bought all three.

Yes, it is easy to massage trigger points by yourself but you must know where they are, in what posture to position yourself, how to breath correctly, where to avert your eyes and remember to keep your jaw relaxed.

It's also helpful to have an understanding of how muscles function - where they attach - so you can stretch effectively. I can't tell you how many people think surgeons "cut through" muscle when they operate or preform a cesarean.

Warm regards,

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I'm well thank you.

It hurts to lean over a sink because you're shortening already tight rectus abdominal muscles. The referred pain you feel in your middle back is directly opposite the trigger points in the abdominal muscles. That's why straightening up helps - you're stretching - rectus in Latin means straight. The cobra pose used in yoga is very helpful for this problem. Just remember to keep your pelvis on the floor. The relief you feel in your lower back will be immediate.

If you have pain behind the knee and it hurts to crouch, run or walk uphill or going down the stairs the popliteus muscle is responsible. I recommend you wear an elastic sleeve around your knee and avoid prolong immobilization.

If you're taking medication read the list of side effects and see if any apply to you. I've been reading about Ciprofloxin - used for bacterial infections -  and how it can cause joint stiffness, back pain, neck or chest pain, gout flare-ups etc.

I was with my doctor last week getting ready for a trip to Africa when he said he would prescribe cipro for diarrhea. I refused and explained that I didn't want to take the risk. He said he had just been with a patient who suffered from a spontaneous tear in the Achilles' tendon due to the drug - it's a common side effect.

Good luck Karen and cheers to frolicking in the sunshine with your children!






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Hey, I am glad to hear from u and the info. Unfortunately, I think there is something really wrong here. I don't know if I said much @ this,but my whole body is sore and my muscles feel as if they are pulling..but not like RLS. IT is a different kind of pull.
     After I had my surgery all I felt then was my right arm burning. The doc as I said commented that it was my C5 and my surgery was on C5-C6 and that worries me bc I feel there is where my prob. started. I saw the man(NS) for 9 out of 11 mos in the same year. I was complaining of pain and all he would do is give me med. and I wanted to find what was causing the pain. Now, after suffering for a yr. I went ahead and had the ESI's in which then is when all of my leg pains started. At first i just ached and as I said was totally numb in my hands/feet. I feel he hit my spinal cord or the nerve fibers. What can I do @ that? Could it be some of the things I have researched like "Arachnoiditis or Dystonia?"..My back is burning just sitting up straight in this chair at the comp. I can't stand long for my back is on fire. I am scared and I have to admit it. I even have this swelling that seems to be happening in my head. It feels like it is tight and my skin is pulled to a degree. I just want answers and it seems like it is taking forever and I am a patient person. OHH... pain in my hand. Oh yeah, I was told I had carpel tunnel in both hands and that is after just a year ago they were normal...until this last one found it in both hands. How is that when it was fine a yr. ago and I haven't done any work..can't or I will pay for the least thing that I do. U know my back started burning after I tried to do those shoulder blade stretches...Is that good or bad? That is when my hands started to hurt too. MMM? I pray that I find an answer...soon b4 I lose my mind...NAW...I prayed to The Lord 4 that one. He has me covered.
     I wanted to give u the list that they say that I have: Cervical,Lumbar & Hip/Joint DDD, Myofascial Pain,Spinal Stenosis, Spondylosis, Cervicalgia(don't know anything @ this one..yet),Fibromyalgia(18 out of 18 tender points),CM(Chiari Malformation 6.5cm),T3-T4 compressed fractured vertebrea(the last 2 things I didn't even know @ until I filed for disability and was getting paperwork together), and I am sure I am missing something..oh well, I will give it to u next time. I hope you can think of something that will help me. Who do I need to see? Who would you recommend?
     I appreciate the comback and hope we can keep in touch so maybe I can find a clue or something until I can get in to see the NS that I suppose to see after the get my paperwork and film to him. He suppose to be one of the best in the state. I pray he finds the problem so I can get it fixed...hopefully and get on with my life...
     I wish u the best and GOD BLESS...always... Karen
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I'm sorry to hear of your continuing troubles Karen.

All the conditions you describe you have except for the Chiari Malformation are found in many people from midlife on and research shows that when you fix them the pain usually doesn't go away.

There used to be a show on the telly called Mystery Diagnosis which portrayed real people  who suffered at length -  just like you - before they found a competent doctor who was able to correctly diagnose their problems. I urge you to do the same.

Good luck with your search Karen and keep the faith.

Warm regards,

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Due to the following observation you wrote in a previous post I suggest you get checked for Lyme disease. If this is something you have not already considered please take note as his can be a serious disease if not treated early. But beware that it can be difficult to find doctors who are "Lyme literate"   because most don't recognize the symptoms and the rash is never the same on two people.

"The muscle issue that is going on in both of my legs really frightens me. It is strange that symetric rings are forming on both legs in exactly the same place, but each ring is starting on the opposite side of the leg. It is like something targeted that area, so it must be of some importance to figuring out what is going on. Right?"

Good luck Karen, always wishing you the best.
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I thought I was the only one who rubs her back on posts, sharp corners of doors and leans against walls to ease the pain in my back. About 6 years ago a tightening in my back began in the right side and went to the left..and eventually around my chest and it felt as if all of the muscles in my body were contracting..it was painful and finally when I couldn't breathe anymore, I passed out.  The emergency crew came..gave me oxygen and a doctor gave me a shot of something in my hip but while coming too the pain everywhere in my body was terrible.  It took quite a few hours to re-coup.  Since then the pain has never left the right side of my back just under the shoulder blade.  It comes and goes but seems to come when stressed like driving or under pressure.  Now for the last 3 days I have been waking up at 3-4 AM with the worst pain I have ever experienced in the area under my left shoulder blade, spreading across my whole back and down my left arm to my elbow.  It feels very raw there when the pain goes..usually after 45 minutes after taking Excedrin  or aspirin.  It is terrible..this is a pain I can't live with...the other re-occuring every day was tolerable.  I found that pressing on the area or laying on it on the floor was helpful...but
no longer..it is getting worse.  I wonder if it is caused by stress..which is what I am having to deal with multiple serious problems right now!
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Yes, active trigger points can be debilitating. I once had a client who was going to take Amtrak across the country for a pleasure trip but he had to get off the train because he couldn't tolerate the pain under his shoulder blade.

Lying on your side is intolerable because this causes the scapula to press against the trigger point. Remember that this trigger point is positioned between two bones - the rib and the scapula. That is why the pain is so excruciating.

Stress is always going to exacerbate myofascial pain. When you drive you're reaching out forward and your shoulders are probably elevated -  this movement stretches and over loads the serratus posterior superior muscle where the trigger point is located.

Also, if your multiple serious problems have anything to do with respiration such as asthma, pneumonia or emphysema you could be exacerbating your problem as the serratus posteriior superior muscle assists in inspiration.

Learning how to breath correctly, not paradoxical breathing, and correcting shallow breathing can be a tremendous help, in part, because when you exhale you automatically drop your shoulders.

When using tennis balls to apply pressure use two, both sides should be worked evenly. Apply pressure not only to the area under the shoulder blade but the whole of your upper back and along your spine as you may have associated trigger points in the rhomboids, the iliocostalis, the longissimus thoracis and the multifidus muscles of the back.

The goal is to locate and affectively inactivate the central trigger point which may be difficult because if it's in the serratus posterior superior muscle it lies under two other muscles, the trapezius and the rhomboids, and the scapula.

The scalene muscles in your neck may have developed trigger points as they work synergistically with the serratus posterior anterior in inhalation. To test the scalene muscles for trigger points rotate the head fully to the side and dip your chin down into the hollow behind the clavicle (collar bone). If this hurts, stretch the muscle, improve your posture, use a proper pillow when sleeping, proper lighting when reading, elevate the head of the bed, and keep your body warm.

To relieve the raw feeing try using an ice pack or moist heat and interchange them until you figure out which works best for you.

Please take the time and make the effort because - if done correctly - you can rid your body of this pain - and who doesn't want that!
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yup, me to. 7-8 years now. All kinds of tests, MRI, Nerve tests, 2 years ov Vicodin addiction, etc...

I was driving 82 miles each way to work along with sitting at a PC all day. Yeah, really bad posture!!! And it would worsen itself because the drugs would kill the pain for the ride to work and allow me to slouch the whole way! It will get worse and worse until posture is perfect, all the time. And, mines not yet! I try several times a day to sit up straight, pop it, etc... My pain is on the right. Someone hit the nail on the head with the grinding while rolling my should and a freaking bullet in there burning me. I always compared it to a hot poker being shoved in under my shoulder blade.

We have found that my new job 4 miles from home helps the most.

Second, sleeping right. Go a night with only a couple hours sleep and you'll know what Im talking about.

Third, we switched to Ultram. Its the only thing I need to take and it really knocks the burning away. Yeah, I still feel a bit tight and sore, but for prolonged exposure to a chemical, its a good choice for me.

Fourth, I've found that I need to take Ultram about 1 every three hours or so on bad days. As well, I started taking one during the night when I wake up. This makes it a little less painful in the morning.

And yeah, I'm getting the forward head. We need to go back to standing and sitting up straight all the time!!! Also, if you have a desk job it is so important to take a three to five minute stroll around the office at least once per hour.

The human boby is NOT supposed to sit at a computer for more than 5 hours per day. Or ride in a car for that long. I rode for 2 hours, worked for 8 then rode another 2 for a grand total of 12 hours per day sitting and slouching.

When I was in therapy, I layed stomach down on a weightbench, grabbed a five pound weight and tried to lift out the the side (like raising to a flying position if we could fly) and I could not even lift it more than sic to seven inches off the floor. The muscles in my thorax are soooo weakened in there.

Baby steps... thats all I can say to get yourself straight again.
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I've found that there is not a lot to help, but with my 6' 145 lbs skeletal build, this is one thing that relieves some pressure for me anyways.

I lay flat on my back with my hands behind my head, elbows out like a chicken and relax for at least three deeps breaths.

I then exhail all of my air, move my elbows out in front of me and use my hands to pull up on my head like a crunch. But instead of using my shoulder muscles like a sit-up, I pull with my arms and hands to stretch everything back there. It usually gets it to pop in that magic spot just to inside of my right shoulder blade.
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Like a lot of people here I have the left shoulder blade pain that feels like a knot. It is now (I think)  radiating to my arm and hurting under me lef rib cage (in the front) I'm ok when walking or doing any activity but it starts after sitting. Is frustrating, it's been a year now! I went to the doctor and they just prescribe pain killers or NSAIDS. But I just want to solve the problem. Stretching alleviates it for a few seconds
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I have been experiencing most of the symptoms everyone has talked about above. It started with my back and trap muscles getting very sore as if overworked. Eventually it has progressed into severe pain behind and below my shoulder blade seeming to also tire and agrivate many surrounding muscles. My left arm is weaker than the right and all the agrivated muscles are causing my ribs to come out of place..

For those experiencing similar problems  go to a mirror with your shirt off and go through all your muscle functions  biceps triceps traps pec's back muscles. Check your collar bones for equal thickness and placement.

Through much thorough testing and imaging I found that when I flex my left peck my left shoulder blade wings way up which is totally different to the right side.

They said it was caused by nerve damage which then fused together and now works as one firing multiple muscles at one time which allowd my shoulder blade to move in a way its not suppose to which in turn agrivates my back muscles and causes abnormal function of my left arm...

I hope this is of help to at least one person...
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OK, I have been complaining about this & its occational partner, tight neck & upper shoulder muscles w/pain.  Here's what works:
1. Massage, deep & perhaps painful (lasts 1-3 days)
2. Massage + chiropractor adjustment (lasts 1-3 days)
3. Ice gel pack on spot, then STRETCH that muscle, hot whirlpool (lasts 1-3 days)
4. Maintain good posture, esp. at work/computers - yoga classes may be the only way to achieve this, get some back muscle excercises & roll backwards on large ball, lie on tennis ball on "the spot" to break it loose (lasts 1-3 days ... with last longer with regular practice)
5. Doctor gave me three small needle injections on "the spot" to break it free, then prescriptions to insure deep cycle sleep at night (so far, so good after 14 days!)
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Please read what I wrote about activated trigger points under the shoulder blade on November 24, 2009 and the following posts by those who were helped. This is a problem that has a simple solution and no body should be suffering or taking medication to mask the pain.

I wish you well.
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I can totally relate. I am a 53 year female w/ past history of neckpain. For several years now I have the burning/pain in my right scapula area. I feel like someone is sticking a hot poker through me, as it comes through to my chest...actually my right breast.... and actually causes my nipple to tighten. I have had many mamograms and breast exams and that area is ruled out. I have been to a chiro, ortho, done PT, been on painkillers, anti inflams and Lyrica. I just want to jump out of my skin!! I jump between thinking it is muscular/skeletal vs possible GI problem. I had a previous liver problem (turned out to be an allergy to a blood pressure med) but sometimes also feel like someone is stuffing a tennis ball under my ribs in my chest. I have tried the golf ball technique...actually ruined the wallboard from constant use.....but didn't cross my arm to open up that area....will try it again on the floor with my arm crossed.
Wishing you all success in solving this pain problem.
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I am 18 yrs old. I have this sharp pain between my shoulder blade and my spinal cord. Every time i breath hard, it tightens up, when i carry something from my left arm its so weak. What muscle is it?? Is there a way to loosen the muscle? I've tried to stretch it out massage it, and had my sister walk on my back...

I carry my bag mostly on my right side and I'm a dancer. Is that what made this muscle cramp up? how??

*Guam Student
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I HAVE A QUESTION FOR ALL OF YOU,
(1)DO YOU USE CONTRACEPTIVES,IF YES HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN USING THEM.
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Sounds like it could be ur gall bladder?
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Update to doc solution:
(so far, so good after 27 days!)
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hope people are still responding.  I have the pain in my right shoulder area that radiates down and sometimes into my armpit.  Recently it goes down my right arm and into my elbow and wrist.  I had carpel tunnel when i was pregnant with my last child but it went away after birth.  Sometimes it happens in my left side but not as severe.  I wouldn't say that the pain hurts but is nagging and noticeable and constantly feels like i want it rubbed or it needs to pop.  It lasts all day long and when i wake up in the morning it feels tight like i need to stretch.  I have no insurance and have gotten myself all worked up thinking that it has something to do with the internal organs...ie liver, gallbladder or pancreas according to answers on the internet.  There is relief when my husband massages the areas but soon after the pain returns.  Does anybody have any input.  Its clear that i have poor posture and i am on my feet 5 days a week as a bartender.  PLEASE HELP!  ANYONE FEELING THE SAME?  Is there any solutions?
Thank you
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Yes I have been using contraceptives consistently for about 8 months now.
I have horrible muscle tension and knots between my spine and shoulder blades along both sides of my back.  The upper right side is almost unbearable right now. It's very painful to take deep breaths. I've tried massages but they cant ever release the knots,
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does anyone experience, dizziness and fatigue?
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I have had many tests done and have tried everything for the pain between my right shoulder blade and spine.  The only thing that WORKS for me is to take an ace wrap with velcro and wrap it around my chest and back.  After I wrap myself I then put on a bra.  If one ace wrap is not enough then you can pin or sew two together.  Whenever I take off the ace wrap the pain always comes back so it is something I'll probably have to wear for the rest of my life but it is worth it to be free from mediciations that never worked anyway.
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I thought I was the only one with these kinds of back pains!!  My pain began in my left shoulder blade, and it almost feels like it cramps making it hard to move my neck and left arm, and then I get pains under my ribs on the left side. Then randomly it'll get really painful and it almost feels like the muscle is disintegrating (all tingly but like needles poking me tingly)...and I can barely move my neck Next, my upper spine area gets all tight, and I find it hard to breathe!  Finally, my hands and feet were constantly purple and blue...especially when I played basketball. I've had this for about 10 years (since i was 10), and have gone to the doctor, who sent me to a physiotherapist, which I tried for a year and a half with no results.  So I switched physiotherapists, and the new one had me for two sessions, then said it's not a muscular problem and sent me to an OSTEOPATH (they specialize in problems related to bones, muscles and organs, and how they all relate to each other)!  This guy...really really helped!  Turns out, the pain in my shoulder wasn't the root cause of the problem.  The problems I had that all contributed to my overall condition were as follows:
- My right hip wasn't rotating properly putting stress on my lower spine
- My diaphram was tight and cramped, making it hard to breathe, and effecting the breathing muscles that wrap around to my back
- My Liver and Stomach were stiff, meaning they weren't allowing my diaphram to expand properly
- And finally, the top ribs around my left shoulder blade were stuck, a.k.a not moving when I inhaled, also putting stress on the rest of my back to tighten when trying to compensate.

I think that's it lol...once the Dr. fixed all these problems, I was pain free, able to breathe and my hands turned a normal colour for once, for a good week and a half..then my body re-adjusted back to the way it was, and I had to go again...but my visits are becoming less regular.  I recommend it.
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question to pose to all of you (b/c i didn't really see anyone with the exact circumstances....)

I also have a stabbing pain near the top of my right shoulder/lower neck on the right side (kind of right below where my neck curves into my shoulder, if that makes sense).  It started a could of weeks ago, gradually....i would get this sharp, stabbing pain for a minute or two, couple of times per day.  but starting 2 days ago, the pain became more frequent. NOW, as of yesterday and today, the pain is constant :(

this is what i can't figure out: i have no injury that triggered the pain, no swelling, AND the pain is constant - it is NOT aggrevated by moving my shoulder/arm a certain way, or if i move my neck a certain way. i still have full range of motion, and no movement makes the pain any worse or any better.  heat does seem to help some, and i definitely am not going to deny that I have always had terrible posture :P but i am 26 and this is the first time i have had this pain. it's very disconcerting! if the pain was worse with a particular movement or came on suddenly, I would feel better about it, b/c it probably meant that I had pulled/strained a muscle, but this constant pain is maddening! do i need to be worried/have this checked out by a doctor??
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Pain between the spine and shoulder blade is due, in part, to activated trigger points in the rhomboid muscles which connect the spine to the scapula (shoulder blade).

The reason stretching, massage, laying on tennis balls, or having your sister walk on your back are not effective methods of treatment is because the source of the problem is due to tight pectoralis (chest) muscles. In order to release the activated trigger points in your rhomboid muscles you must first stretch/massage those antagonistic pectoralis muscles.The In-doorways stretch is recommended and if done properly the release can be immediate.

I recently saw a client who came for a massage because he was suffering from back pain. When he showed me his pain pattern I asked him to get on the floor and stretch. The relief he felt was so immediate - he said he felt a pop - that when he jumped up and said he was all better I expected that he was going to leave.

Knowing what muscle to massage and stretching properly is key to treating pain effectively.

Good luck and please don't give up until you get it right. You'll be glad you made the effort.

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so i have this intense pain in my left shoulder. it comes and goes. normally when im typing for a long period of time or i sometimes notice if i dont have a good posture. but the pain becomes so intense i cant do anything i feel like. it almost feels like a pocket of hot hot liquid almost boiling under my skin and i dont know what to do. if i sit there n massage it myself it sometimes feels a little relieved but once my shoulders shrug forward again or too far back the pain comes back. it sometimes helps if i lean to my side i feel like to relieve some of the pain. what should i do???
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Yeah I also have an tingling burning sensation in top right side of left shoulderblade afew inches away from my spine i do alot of gym so im thinking maybe i pulled an nerve or maybe its from bad posture ( siting on couch to much watching TV ). I dont know but seeming as none of you guys really know what it is im guessing I wont die from it. So im going to try keep an good posture maybe stop doing Gym for abit and hopefully it will go away.
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Yes, there are solutions but describing your pain as in the shoulder area is not enough information. But you do mention that you're a bartender and your constant pain radiates into the armpit, down your arm and into your elbow and wrist.

If your constant pain is in the back shoulder joint area and radiates down the back of your arm and if it feels like there is a painful band around your wrist especially on the top and if you can't reach backwards with your arm held at shoulder level as when throwing a ball (a lateral and abduction movement) the subscapularis muscle is in question. This is one of the four rotator cuff muscles.

Your subscapularis muscle which is located under your shoulder blade and attaches to the inside of your humerus medially rotates and adducts the arm. Repetitive motions such as pouring drinks which requires medial rotation can cause this problem as can overloading the muscle by reaching back and catching a fall at shoulder level.

When things get really bad your range of motion in the shoulder (arm movement) becomes limited. One is unable to reach across to the opposite armpit and unable to stretch out the hand with the palms facing upward (supination) as this puts the tight subscapularis muscle on a painful stretch. And if you were to look at a photograph of yourself from behind with your arm hanging down your palm will be facing backwards instead of toward your side.

If you hire someone to help you make sure beforehand that they know how to deal with this specific problem as the subscapularis muscle is one of the more difficult muscles to examine. Or you can teach your husband to help you.

Lay relaxed on your back and move your bent arm away from your body so the scapula moves laterally (out). Have your husband grasp the muscles in your armpit area (latissimus dorsi & teres major) and with his thumb or finger feel the inner border of the scapula where the subscapularise attaches while gently pulling your arm in a lateral rotation. Have your husband feel for tenderness and when he finds the right spots light pressure will reproduce your pain.

Stretch this muscle by laying on your back and lift or have your bent arm lifted gently overhead until the forearm is hanging over the edge of the bed or table. When standing reach up behind your head and reach for the ceiling. The In-doorway stretch is effective especially after you've warmed up in a tub, shower or used a heating pad.

When sleeping on the painful side or on your back place a pillow between your upper arm and chest to prevent the muscle from staying in a shortened position for too long.
When sleeping on the pain free side a pillow is used to support your arm and prevent the shoulder from adducting (hanging down) which puts the muscle in a fully shortened position. No more slumping and place your hands on your waist when standing for long periods - you're preventing your arms staying close to your body.

Please read my post in response to me636 on April 16, 2010 if you need reassurance that your problem is not more serious.

Warm regards,
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Hello to all,
     The world seems like a brighter place to be in today. I will explain why. U know I have been searching endlessly to solve this excruciating pain that I have been in. If u want to know I have so many posts that I have probably almost 100. I have found that after I started taking some powder vitamins that my M-I-L gave me for xmas last yr. I was sceptical @ them so I just put them away. I just felt there just vitamins...well, I have to say I started taking them @ a week ago and woke up yesterday morning like me again. I am not in that agony I was in. Could it be the VItamins?....it has to be. I am astonished at how well I feel. I am not going to say that I don't have some pain, but not anything like what I was going through. Seriously I thought I was dying. My Pain level has been a 6 or 7 everyday and some days here lately have been 9 or 10...very bad. I couldn't walk good,burning spots,cramps in hands/feet,edema,pain was everywhere and now I just can't believe it! I am just so happy and excited @ this. I want everyone to know @ it. I pray that this could do the same 4 u.  
     I just want to let people know that Vitamin defienciency is very serious. If that is what made me suffer for over 4 yrs. I am just dumbfounded that I just feel so great. I hope each and every one of u take this serious for me and maybe it'll help u too. I know I can't mention the name of them or I might be trying to push the product. Believe me it is not like that. I just want to help others feel as good as I do. I guess if you were to leave me message I could do it that way. Contact me if u want to know what they are called. Matter of fact, I think I am going to start selling them too because they are so goood. I just can't say enough. I hope I can help someone and maybe they will be on their feet again too. I have to give credit to The Lord also. I can't say that he finally answered all those prayers I've prayed and others that have prayed 4 me also. THANK YOU GOD...4 ALL UR BLESSINGS AND GIVING ME HOPE TO HAVE A LIFE AGAIN.... Karen
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I have a pain near my left shoulder blade. It get worse when I sit in my computer chair or when I drive.  It is better when I lean a certain way on my couch.  I have to roll around for a while before I can finally get to sleep due to pain any way I lay.  Anyway the pain also runs down my arm.I get tingling in my hand as if it had gone to sleep.  I had this before and then my palm would itch, this time not.  Right now while I am typing my forearm is hurting in my tricep area.  The NP at the clinc put me on an anti-inflammatory and gave me a muscle relaxer, which I don't take because it makes me too loopy.  I also do ice.  After a week I went back.  She referred me to a PT.  They did the machine that massages you.  Then an ultrasound and then a cream where he did some pulling on my shoulder area.  He said it is Thoracic Facet.  It is from me putting a lot of stress on my shoulders and upper back for years.   I felt better  from 11 til 2.  Now the pain is back.  I go back day after tomorrow.  I hope this will help.  If you have any suggestion please let me know.  
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Thank you for your confidence. I would be happy to help you but you must be more precise in describing your pain.  Where exactly is the pain in relation to your shoulder blade? When you're on the couch which position is helpful in alleviating the pain? You mentioned that the pain runs down your arm - is it in the back, front or on the lateral side? Is the tingling constant or only when you're in a certain posture? Also, your forearm and tricep are different areas. The forearm is below your elbow and your triceps are behind your upper arm.

Is the pain constant and is it sharp or a dull ache? Do you have any restricted range of motion? Have you suffered any trauma and what is your profession? Is your car difficult to steer and do you drive a lot?

This information and anything more you can add would be helpful in making a correct diagnoses.

In the meantime when in bed sleep on your side with a pillow next to your body so that you can rest your sore arm and prevent it from hanging forward. Please note if this posture is helpful in relieving your pain. Perform the In-doorway stretch and lay on tennis balls in order to apply pressure to the sore spot. Sit in chairs that have armrests that support your elbows and lighten up on the activities that make the pain worse.

Please take the time to answer these questions and follow through on my suggestions. The sooner a diagnosis is made the sooner you can heal yourself.
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i have knotted muscle on my back due to poor posture, too much computer and stress. I usually sit slouched and therefore tend to tilt my head upwards slightly so that my line of eyesight remains parallel to the floor. i find that's a major problem. my back feels a lot better if my head were correctly aligned with regards to my spine instead though i tend to forget that.
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The pain is inbetween my left shoulder blade and shoulder.   The PT has me doing thoracic extensions and has me rotating my arms foward and back on a machine with peddles for the arm.  He also pushes and pops my back after I do stretches a Y, T, and W stretch while I am lying on my stomach on a table.  Two days ago he pushed on top of my left shoulder while I was lying on the table and it hurt very much  The pain in my arm is in the tricep area mainly I feel a stretching pain when I set my elbow down on something it is in the back near my underarm.  The pain that runs in my forearm on the top is occasional..  Driving I just have the pain  It does not interfer with my range of motion.  I have tried the pillow thing, but does not work.  The tingling in my hand seems constant.  The pain is dull.  No trauma  except the fact that I had to start exercising once I was put in a physcial ed class that my have traumatized my whole body due to the fact it was not used to it.  But  I just woke up with the pain one morning.  I do sleep funny I put my arms under my pillow stretched out above my head.  Lying on the couch I am slumped back with my shoulder against the arm of the couch.   I have always been lazy shouldered.  The PT visits have helped, but they won't tell me what to do at home yet.  
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You state that your pain "is in between my left shoulder blade and shoulder."

I'm not sure what you mean by this but please read what I posted to Guam 1992 on June 20, 2010 regarding pain between the shoulder blade and spine and see if this is helpful.

When you wrote that your PT "pushed on top of my left shoulder while I was lying on the table and it hurt very much" I suspect the scalene muscles are involved. When you have active trigger points in the scalene muscles (in your neck) the referred pain is in the tricep area and the upper part of your back between the scapula and spine and when severe you experience tingling or numbness in your hand and there is a tendency to drop things and for the hand to swell. Unlike the levator scapula muscle when the scalene muscles harbor active trigger points there is no loss of range of motion.

Propping yourself up on the couch is helpful and sleeping is troublesome because when you have activated trigger points in the scalene muscles and lie flat you tend to shorten the muscles by holding your shoulders up your ears.

An effective at home stretch is the side-bending neck exercise in the supine position (on your back). Drop your left shoulder and place left your hand under your bottom to be used as an anchor. Reach the right hand over your ear to help rotate and stretch the muscles after using moist heat for warmth. Both sides should be stretched and make sure to pause between stretches and use deep diaphragmatic breathing to help with the relaxation process.

The scalene muscles consist of a posterior, anterior and medius muscle. If it hurts when you stretch and turn your face away from the sore muscle the posterior muscles is responsible. If it hurts more when you turn your face towards the sore muscle the anterior scalene is responsible  and if you look straight up or slightly towards the hand you're using to pull your head to the side the medius scalene is responsible for your pain.

End this stretch exercise by dipping your chin towards your clavicle (shoulder), returning to a neutral position and breathing deeply. Repeat this cycle in the opposite direction. This exercise  stretches and contracts the scalene muscles - this is called active range of motion - and should be performed several times after the side-bending neck exercises.

For long lasting relief correcting poor posture is essential as is correcting paradoxical breathing and using using proper body mechanics. Also keep your body warm - I encourage my clients to wear scarfs or turtle necks not only during the day but at night when they sleep. Elevating the head of your bed is helpful as it prevents your shoulders from riding up to your ears. The proper use of a pillow is important - I recommend a feather pillow that you can bunch up and place under your cervical spine for support. Your shoulders ought not be on the pillow.

I encourage you to mention the possibility of having active trigger points in your scalene muscles to your PT as they are often missed as a cause of upper back and arm pain.

Good luck!

P. S.
The "funny" way  you sleep is common, especially among woman, and a good way to stretch the latissimus dorsi, the teres major and the subscapularis muscles.
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This is interesting. Yesterday I saw a new client from out of state who came, in part, because she was having a problem with her scaleni muscles. This problem is not new to her and she said that her present therapist is the only person who ever made a correct diagnosis and knows how to fix her (she sits in a chair when treated). When she mentioned she feels pain in the upper part of her back (between the shoulder blade & spine) I told her that this was a referred pain. She knew - she said that the treatment is very painful but as soon as it's over the pain disappears.
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Hi. I am going to try the tennis ball exercise. How long and often do you do this exercise? I've been running 20-30 minutes on the treadmill. Should I continue exercising or wait until my shoulder feels better? I really think this is going to work. How often should I do the in doorway stretch? Thanks.
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I like you're optimism!  Here is a post that a reader sent me and how she dealt with her shoulder pain.

"Hi, wow! The pain has been gone since Thursday night. Last night it started to creep back slightly and I just did the excercise again and it relieved it again right away. In the mornings, the area feels sore, which I imagine is normal. I'm so grateful to have something to do about it."

If running on the treadmill hasn't helped then I suggest you stop until you deal with the problem you're experiencing - your workout may be aggravating your condition. The In-door-way stretch should be a routine part of your exercise program.

Good luck and cheers to being healthy and strong!
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after researching cervical fusion, which i had about 9 yrs ago,(with screws and a plate replacing c4 and 5) because of an injury., and dealing with the numbing and tingling in my left hand and arm, which comes and goes, i also have the burning sensation in the mid left shoulder area, pt's saying the hand could be tendinitis, closely related to cts, i actually think it's all related!  the ns has scheduled for a nerve conductor test in about a week or so, awaiting work approval..thinks the pain is coming from my neck..medications for swelling and pain are getting old,( good for sleep), pain in the neck and shoulders are an everyday thing, i'm now trying a  daily multi vitamin and a liquid glucosamine chondroitin, hope all is well for everyone and looking foward to the test, to finally find out whats causing all this...      
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If you have active trigger points in the anterior or middle scalene muscles in the neck and it's severe you're going to experience neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling in the arm, edema of the hand and you may drop things. The referred pain is in the upper back between the spine and the shoulder blade and in the chest.

The anterior scalene muscle attaches to the cervical vertebrae 3 to 6 and to the inner border of the first rib. The (largest) scalene medius attaches to the 2 through 7 vertebrae and also to the first rib.

The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves and blood vessels that supply the shoulder arm and head. It emerges where the anterior and medial scalene muscles attach and descends between these two muscles and exits the thoracic outlet by crossing over the first rib.

When the anterior or middle scalene muscles harbor active trigger points, or spasm and tighten, they lift the rib causing compression and entrapment of the lower trunk of the brachial plexus - hence the neurological symptoms.

You know these muscles are involved when you do the Scalene cramp test. If your problem is on the left rotate your head to the left and place your chin down into the hollow behind your clavicle. This movement places the muscle in a shortened position and it will be painful.

If this is your problem ask your physical therapist to administer the Scalene-relief Test. You should feel relief  almost immediately, if not, focus on the Pectoralis minor muscle by doing the Wright full-abduction test. This muscle can also compress the brachial plexus if it has active trigger points.

Good luck in finding someone skilled and knowledgeable enough to help you can get the help that you need.
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I have been feeling this for about a week now on my left side around my shoulder blade. It hurts in my back to laugh, cough, sneeze, and take a deep breath. I am a 15 year old male and I have recently started bodybuilding. I started feeling this problem after I squatted my max weight in the gym and my weight got caught on a bar on the right side, so I had to push up with my left side to put the weight back onto the rack and thats when it hurt. I saw my massage therapist and chiropractor and it helped but didn't take it away. I also tried Rub A535 and it did nothing.

*****THIS IS HOW I FIXED MY PROBLEM:*****
     - Practicing better posture
     - Putting a hot water bottle on the area while sleeping or watching TV
     - And the thing that helped the most was lying on the ground with a pillow under my hips, and putting a baseball under the effected area and rolling around on the ball. It provides a deep tissue massage which is what you need, because the muscle that hurts is deep inside your back. It massages the area just as well if not better than my massage therapist did and its free. Do this when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed, and any other time you want.

Good luck everybody
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Thanks so much for all that info on trigger points. I recently had acdf on my 4/5 and 5/6 and the shoulder blade pain is unreal. Now before my surgery I also had nerve compression going to my left arm and hand. Now i only have the pain going to the elbow. I know it's weird. My neurosurgeon said it could be scar tissue that is causing the continued pain but I think it's also that because the cord was compressed for so long before surgery it could have cause perm injury. Thanks to all of you for this thread, it really is a good one :)
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Good for you! If you're having trouble keeping the pain at bay please read what I posted on Nov 24, 2009 about pain under the shoulder blade and the following posts by those who were helped.
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I'm sorry but I don't understand your abbreviations. What exactly was the procedure that you had done and did it cause the pain you're experiencing in your shoulder blade?

I don't buy the scar tissue explanation for your pain and the theory that there is permanent damage to the spinal cord but a nerve could have been injured during surgery. One would need to know more information such as when the pain in your elbow started.  

It's important to be specific when describing your pain and to be clear if there is any restricted range of motion as all muscles and nerves have a specific function that affects a specific area.

If you have an activated trigger point in the pectoralis muscle you're going to feel it in the front of the shoulder and if it's severe it will travel up to towards your clavicle and over your breast on the same side - people often think they're having a heart attack. You may also feel pain down the inside of your arm (ulnar side) elbow, forearm and the last three fingers. The nerves that supply the pectoralis muscles originate from C8 and T1.

In contrast, the scalene muscles can refer pain down the back (posteriorly) of the arm, front (anteriorly) and outside (laterally). The pain skips the elbow only to reappear on the thumb side of the forearm (radial) and into the thumb and index finger. The nerves that supple these muscles originate from C1 - C8.

Symptoms of an active trigger point in the pectoralis minor muscle are difficulty reaching up and forward (a cupboard) or reaching backward with the arm at shoulder level (abducting & lateral rotation). This movement compresses the distal portion of the brachial plexus where it passes underneath the collar bone where the pectoralis muscles attaches to the coracoid process (a part of the scapula). The Wright full-abduction test positions your bent arm above your head.

All muscles that are subjected to acute or chronic overload can cause trigger points to become active - for an example read what xxTjxx recently posted. This problem may also be caused by satellite trigger points from the scalene muscles or the pectoralis major muscle which is almost always the case and would explain the pain you're experiencing in your back mid left shoulder area.

If you experienced whiplash, if you're walking with a crutch, coughing hard, breathing paradoxically, if you are round shouldered (stooped posture), or carrying a heavy purse over your shoulder you put yourself at risk for developing active trigger points in the pectoralis muscle.

I wish I could direct you to the site where I read what Paula Abdul wrote about her experience. She suffered for years and had 15 operations on her neck - all to no avail - until she was finally diagnosed with TOS (thoracic outlet syndrome).

Oh, there is still always so much to learn!





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I received your personal e-mail - it was accompanied with message.

Please note: This e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.
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I had the same problem when I was pregnant and I went to the doctor and they said most likely it was a pinched nerve. So they sent me to a neurologist who confirmed what the doctor diagnosed. The only thing is that I was pregnant and there was nothing they could do about it. So I suffered it out but it really sounds like a pinched nerve because you are describing EXACTLY what I went through.
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Sorry but telling someone they have a pinched nerve and not offering a solution - pregnant or not - is a meaningless diagnosis. What the doctor's are really saying is that they have no idea what's going on and they can't help you. Nothing wrong with that - nobody knows everything.

I have clients who are doctors and medical researchers and they are the first to admit doctors don't know everything. Like I wrote earlier - there is still so much to learn.

But don't be discouraged because there are those who have the answers. These problems are not new they have been around since the beginning of mankind.

I'm sorry you had to suffer.

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No, I'm sorry but we are not neighbors. All the information you provide is that you are experiencing pain right below your shoulder blade and that it has been going on for two months and x-rays reveal nothing out of sorts and the chiropractor, acupuncturist and deep tissue massage were of no help.

Please read the post I wrote to me636, on Apr 15, 2010 regarding activated trigger points in the Serratus anterior muscle and keep reading. If this does not apply to you we can look at the latissimus dorsi muscle.
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This pain on the left side developed after many nights of sleeping on the couch. I also notice that the pain intensified after doing push ups. I am 44 years old man. I think what i would do is to apply muscle pain relieving balm and just forget about it. Even after sex( The way you position yourself whilst doing it) which is more like push ups, does add to the pain. And again a friend attributes it to exposure to cold conditions.....i am going to apply balm and just pray it goes away. Despite the pain i feel very energetic and i breath very well. But sometime i do not feel the pain if i position my body in a certain way.....

.Clement Aigbogun
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I'm sorry I meant to write Apr 16, 2010 - regarding the post I wrote to me636,  in regards to her activated trigger points in the Serratus anterior muscle. I hope you found relief.
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Yes, a slumped forward posture is going to aggravate trigger points in the shoulder girdle area. Focus on strengthening your back muscles (extensors) and stretching the antagonistic  rectus abdominis muscles (flexors). Once you have found the right balance between these two muscle groups your head and shoulders will naturally fall into place.

Focusing on straightening your posture is always worth the effort, plus it looks great.
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Hi all,
Found this forum trying to find answers for my back problems, after looking through this forum,the problems people are having here seem to be the nearest to mine that i have found, i will just ramble for a while as it helps to let it out,lol,just bear with me.
I changed jobe about 5 years ago form catering to being a courier lifting heavy items up to 35k in out out of a van between 40 to 70 times a day,getting in and out of the van i have to stoop my neck.i first noticed my symptoms after i had a couple of weeks off after christmas (busy time ) 2 sore points either side under my mid shoulder blades,much more prominent right side and a sore sturnum,doc said body had just crashed after hard work and stress, but did liver,kidney and some sort of bone blood tests which were all negative.it went after a few days,during the year i id notice that if i carried my napsack on my right shoulder it got unbearably sore strangely the same thing happend last christmas and went again.this time however it came back in may where i also had sore ribs and sore under and over pecs again prominantly right side,i have had a problem turning my neck fully right for a long time ,tilting my neck forward or to the right i can feel it pull by my spine and on the  sore point by my shoulder blade,it sometimes crunches,if i twist my body especially right, i feel it through my whole back, little aches in arm fingers,these pains seem to move around, also a strange sensation in the bottom of my throat, slept for years on my front,head to right arms by my head, went to an osteopath for a while, did nothing, went to chiro, he said i had locked ribs and did his stuff, which  this helped with my sore ribs but nothing else, both tried to work the sore point out which hurt like hell during and after,so some days i really feel the neck and sore point,other days sore chest, one thing that helps is a warm shower on the area, i have been stressing over this for the past 4 to 5 months and have aquired other symptoms which could be stress related as i was diagnosed with ibs years ago,my tum playing me up,stiff lower backslight nausea,belching and wind,palpitations,one other strange symptom, seperate thing ?my last rib at the back left side hurts mainly if im sitting or lying down,if i stand or sit up,sudden big pain,the rib is very tender when i touch it but other times it does not bother me.
Ok sorry to drone on but have been very stressed about this,been to the docs 3 times,back again tommorow to ask for more tests to rule anything else out.
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PS, adding to my last post,
pronounced clicking/popping in right shoulder when i lift my arm up and down, and if relevant it does not hurt if i breathe in or out.
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Please take note. Someone in this forum (now I can't find it anywhere) wrote that his shoulder pain was due to a torn glenoid labrum.  This is a common problem that is just gaining attention as new technology enables doctors to see inside a joint and are better able to make correct diagnoses.

I saw a new client yesterday who said he suffered from low back pain for 30 years before a doctor finally saw on his MRI that his hip labrum was torn. He had surgery and felt immediate relief and has been pain free for the last four years.

The possibility of having a torn shoulder or hip labrum is definitely worth exploring for those who suffer from shoulder, hip or low back pain.
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For your IBS symptoms, get on a strict gluten-free diet for at least 1-month and I'll bet your symptoms improve.  Also, may need to take DairyCare for lactose intolerance.(available at DairyCare.com--not available in stores) But try one change at a time so you can see the results individually.  I've had serious gastro symptoms for 30 years and was able to reduce my meds by 3/4! I now need to see if I can figure out the last dietary intolerance. I prefer an Osteopathic Doctor for pain because they can do what  MD's, chiropractors, and physical therapists offer combined.  It's like "One Stop Shopping." Meds for pain, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatories kill my stomach. Recenty tried and liked pressure point therapy--same idea as trigger point therapy.  Excellent pain relief for chronic pain in my neck! I'll try it for other areas.
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I have been having similar back pain! It seems to be in between my shoulder blade and my spine. To describe it..It feels like a knot, burns like i've been working out ..and when I lift my shoulders or stretch my upper back it feels like a rock is going to explode out of my back!!!Sometimes it feels like gas..(like i have to burp) but i guess that isn't the case. it has to be the most annoying and aggravating pain ever. Its constantly hurting..not a day goes by that i don't feel it. muscle relaxers don't even help..and it takes me super long to fall asleep. I've gotten the deepest massages in the area of pain and i can feel the knot! but the masseuse feels nothing..That is why i know it is more than a knot.. I cant take it..its driving me crazy!my doctor seems to not know what the pain is..Can Somebody please tell me whats going on with my back!!!
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I had this severe shoulder pain for several months and it went when I changed from sleeping on one pillow to three pillows, obviously my neck did not get enough support on the one pillow
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Please read the posts written by TFPH on Jul 23, 2010 and missyag1 on Aug 29, 2010 and read my responses because it sounds like you all have/had the same problem - tight scalene muscles in the neck.

Propping yourselves up on pillows or the couch is helpful and sleeping is troublesome because when you have activated trigger points in the scalene muscles and lie flat you tend to shorten the muscles by holding your shoulders up your ears.
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Okay...so I have a variety of things going on here and the Docs just act like I want drugs which I do not, so therefore are not taking the things I say seriously...I have repeated my symptoms so many times and they may focus on one thing or the other but never the entirety...here goes

Long term...
    Major Migrains and tension headaches....pressure in the base of skull that shoots around randomly...Anxiety and panick attacks...tmj...

Past Year...
    Same symptoms as above with Muscle spasm and pain in lower right side of back...stiffness and pain down right side of neck hurts to turn and look behind me...Fatigue...poor circulation...carpal tunnel...numbness in fingertips and hands swell when walking...dizziness and spots...feeling cold...feeling like there is pressure or weight on top of head...lots of bone popping particularly in shoulders and back...

Recently in the past few weeks...
   All symptoms above though they seem to alternate...very sharp pain between shoulder blades accompanied by cold washes and tingling that shoots down back of shoulders into arms...lower back pain with cold or hot spots...heated sensation in face around the eyes...hip pain on left side which is strange as all symptoms were localized to the right side before along with left arch cramping and pinky toe cramps...nausea comes and goes...worse of all of late skin crawling sensation throughout entire body head to toes that has turned into a stinging sensation

All seems aggravated by anxiety and stress, car rides, desk work, and prolonged activity

Doc did a cervical neck xray which was negative and blood work which only showed mild anemia

I have been demanding an mri...they are treating none of my symptoms not even the anxiety...i eat bottles of aleve, excedrin...etc and take vitamins particularly vitamin B which was helping for a little while but not now...otc meds are not helping me massage helps for a little bit but doesnt help much...have tried heat patches on shoulders and lower back helps slightly...

I have read up on pinched nerves, MS, fibromyalgea...nothing quite matches every symptom...this crap even makes my face itch...the burning in my lower back as i type this and stabbing between the shoulder blades drives me to distraction..i am a single mother to four children, work as night auditor and tech so I have my head bent alot...stretch quite a bit...and am or was fairly healthy...some IBS issues and had a hysterectomy four years ago...everyone says pinched nerve but they wont issue the tests and the docs make me feel like i am there for the wrong reasons or like they are not taking this serious...I would not be going if this was not a serious problem it is interfering with daily functionality and i am beginning to get depressed and sleep alot...anyone shed any light on this for me i would sooo appreciate it.  :)  Angela
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Are you available for appointments?
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A condition that is "aggravated by anxiety, stress, car rides, desk work, and prolonged activity" is most likely to be postural in nature.

I'm going to urge you to get a deep tissue two hour massage from an experienced masseuse/masseur once a week for a month to start, and have her/him focus on the alleviating the muscle spasms and aggravated trigger points in your body using moist heat.

The classic symptom of a tight levator scapulae is that it hurts to rotate your head.

The scalene and pectoralis minor muscles can cause poor circulation, tingling that shoots down the back of your shoulders and arms, carpal tunnel syndrome, numbness in the fingers and cause the hands to swell. Think thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS).

In the meantime focus on correcting your posture and learning how to breath properly. Coordinated respiration, where the chest and abdomen move in and out together is called diaphragmatic breathing.

If you're like most people when you take in a deep breath you also suck in your gut - paradoxical breathing - and you raise your shoulders up to your ears. Not only are you getting less oxygen - which causes fatigue -  but you're overloading muscles in your neck (scalene) and shoulders.

Shallow breathing is all too common. Take in deep breaths through your nose - without raising your shoulders - and think in terms of filling up your lungs with oxygen which in turn pushes down on the diaphragm muscle which causes your belly to extend like a ballon.

Remember that it is during exhalation that tension is released from the body.  Diaphragmatic breathing should be the first defense in dealing with anxiety and panic attacks and stress to the TMJ from clenching or grinding your teeth. The four basic steps to using your breath effectively include inhalation, pause, exhalation and relax. Depending on the timing the effects can be relaxing, balancing or energizing. Start with the count of four - four in, four pause, four exhalation, and four relaxation to establish a good pace & rhythm.

Feeling cold is a symptom of anemia and true migraines should be treated with medication - they're not good for the brain.

Please, please don't take supplements without getting a  vitamin test profile done first. B6 toxicity is becoming more common, even though it is a water soluble vitamin, as people overdose on supplements and food is being fortified. Symptoms of B6 toxicity can lead to nerve damage and fatigue. Hemochromatosis - too much iron in the blood - can cause serious damage to the liver and calcium supplements can cause diarrhea which can lead to deficiencies and dehydration.

The client I mentioned in an earlier post who suffered low back pain for thirty years before being correctly diagnosed with a torn hip labrum had a total of six MRI's and not one of the doctors or radiologists read the images correctly. Always keep copies of your test results  - you never know when you'll meet the right doctor.
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Dear Mr. White,

The reason the masseuse felt nothing and deep massages were not helpful is because the painful area, called the referred pain zone, is not the source of the problem. I think you knew this instinctively when you wrote  that, "It seems to be in between my shoulder blade and my spine."

An example of referred pain is when men have heart attacks. The heart is a muscle in the chest but the pain spreads to their shoulders, necks, arms and jaws.

Please read the posts I wrote on Jul 26, 2010 and August 30, 2010 regarding activated trigger points in the scalene muscles and see if this information is useful. The referred pain pattern of activated trigger points in these neck muscles are in the upper back between the spine and the shoulder blade and in the chest.

The scaleneus anterior and medius muscles attach above to your cervical vertebrae and below to the first rib - that's why it's painful when you lift your shoulders -  you're shortening already tight muscles.

I wonder how you stretch your upper back - that would be helpful information to know.

Warm regards,
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Thank you ever so much for asking but I'm not taking on any new clients. I would be happy to help; if you have any questions please feel free to ask.
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Okay, thank you for offering to help.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.

For over 20 years I have been dealing with tightness and pain that affects my entire right side and seems to be getting progressively worse.  It feels like my right side is a tight rubber band and I am constantly trying to stretch to get relief.  I do all kind of contortions hoping that my body will correct...I think this makes the situation worse.  I have tightness in my neck and pain when I turn my head to the side, sharp pain between my right shoulder blade and spine with crunching noise when I rotate the right shoulder back, ribs that "stick", numbness and tingling in my right arm down to the last two fingers, pain in the lower back, pain in the right hip all the way down the outer right leg to my foot.  On external rotation of my right hip there is a popping noise in the hip joint area and a sharp shooting pain goes down my right leg.  When it is really bad I take Flexeril which helps.

Over the 20 years I have met with several MDs, two orthopedic surgeons, several chiropractors, several PTs, several massage therapists, a couple of acupuncturists, a rolfer (went through the whole series) with no success.  The diagnosis include spondylothesis, piriformis syndrome, ulnar nerve entrapment.  I am currently working with a massage therapist, a posture therapist and an acupunturist...I have temporary relief after a session but it doesn't last.

I have had two MRIs; one of my lower back which, per the orthopedic surgeon, showed spondylothesis L-5 and the other MRI of the right hip and upper leg area that was normal (a couple of PTs had diagnosed me with piriformis syndrome so I wanted to rule that out for sure since the orthopedic surgeon said it wasn't piriformis syndrome but was spondylothesis).

The posture therapist tells me that my whole right side is torqued forward and to the left.  I have the right winged shoulder blade.  He feels the right glute muscles are weak/right psoas & hip flexors are tight.  The right chest muscles are tight and right shoulder muscles are weak.  He has me doing exercises/stretches to strengthen the right glute and right shoulder muscles and to stretch the chest/psoas/hip flexors.  I have been doing these exercises in conjunction with bi-weekly visits to the massage therapist and weekly visits to the acupuncturist...there is temporary relief but not permanent.  There hasn't been any real discussion about my neck.

I'm pretty frustrated and don't know what to try next.  I have been spending hours researching and reading on my own.  After finding this site this past Friday and reading all of your posts I have been trying to hold my head over my spine, have been working on my breathing (I am definitely a chest breather and at times feel like I can't take a deep breath due to restriction and tightness in neck) and have been sleeping with a pillow to support my right arm when I sleep.  I have also been working on my scalene muscles and the muscle that runs right behind my collar bone (very tight and painful).  When I worked on my right neck muscles my right lat muscles loosened and my right hip seemed to "unlock"  Sat & Sun were the most comfortable days I've had in quite some time...thank you!

Here is my question.  Do you think that the tightness, pain and locked feeling in my right hip, the lower back pain, the sharp pain between my right shoulder blade and spine and numbness in the right arm with tingling in the last two fingers could be caused primarily from very tight neck muscles??  It seems like everyone that has evaluated me wants to work on the core area of my body as the problem area but I haven't had any results from that and I felt immediate relief after trying what you have recommended to others.  I'm hoping that you can help me focus on the primary problem areas that can hopefully lead to a permanent solution.  I know I have trigger points all over the place but don't feel that anyone has found the root cause.

Some additional information...I spend many hours a day working at a computer, holding my right arm elevated on the computer mouse.  Over the last few months I have been making an effort to take a break at least every hour to stretch for a few minutes.  This seems to help a bit.

I look forward to hearing from you and really appreciate you taking the time to respond.
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Have you been sitting at your computer for over 20 years holding your arm in an elevated position and getting up to stretch for only a few  minutes after every hour? If so, that is the root cause of your activated trigger points and the tension in your body.

Yes, I think the sharp pain between your right shoulder blade and spine and the numbness in your right arm with tingling in the last two fingers (ulnar nerve compression) are caused from tight neck (scalene) muscles. These are the symptoms and your posture is aggravating your condition. Plus, you wrote that you felt immediate relief after trying what I recommended to others.

One of the problems with medicine today is that everything is specialized. Every professional you have seen is onto something with the possible exception of the orthopedist, but they are not looking at the big picture. You've torqued your body into a painful knot and you continue to do so.

I recommend you do one of two things for lasting relief, one is to hire an ergonomist, and the other is to change jobs. It's as simple as that.

In the meantime when you get up to take a break coordinate your breathing and eye movements into your stretching. Please don't be discouraged because you can't take a deep breath, that's normal, you will get better with practice and it will be easier when you train the correct muscles to do the job and your scalene muscles aren't tight.

You're right, contorting an already contorted body is painful, what you need to focus on is straightening out.

l hope you find this information helpful and take heed. What's more important than your health, especially as you age.

P.S. I wonder if the flexeril knocks you out.
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Thank you for your comments.

To answer your question...yes, I have been spending 9+ hours/day at the computer for the past 8 years and didn't start taking stretch breaks until a year ago...I know this is not good.  The neck and arm pain has been getting progressively worse which, as you mentioned, can be contributed to my work environment/ergonomics.  I have had the right hip pain and lower back pain for a much longer period of time and before I was working at a desk for so many hours a day so I don't know if this issue is a result of something else.  I am going to take your advice and hire an ergonomist since I really enjoy my job and don't want to change careers.  

I have a few follow up questions.

You mention that I should coordinate my breathing and eye movements with the stretching...could you explain what you mean?

Do you think that the pain and tightness I have in my right hip with shooting pain down the right leg and the lower back pain is a result of what is happening with my neck muscles or is it a separate issue?  I'm trying to figure out if my focus should be more on my neck and upper body muscles to straighten out the whole right side or if the hip issue is contributing to the neck and back muscle tightness...or if they are two separate issues.

I read the recommendations you made to kasilogan and am curious if you think the longer massage sessions with moist heat would be beneficial to me.  I have been going in for an hour every other week with the masseuse only working on focus areas, usually my chest, arm, back and psoas/abs...not my neck much at all (I did have them work more on my neck last week and felt much better after the session) and no heat.  Since my whole right side feels like it is one trigger point after another do you recommend that I request a full body massage with moist heat?

Does it sound like the posture therapist is on target with the areas we are working/stretching?

The flexeril makes me tired but doesn't completely knock me out.  It certainly helps with the pain when it gets really bad.

Thank you again for your help.

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I must admit that I responded rather hastily to your post because I was shocked to read that you've been suffering so much for so long and that you hold your arm in an elevated position when you're on the computer.

If you continue to go to therapy have the therapist work on your latissimus dorsi muscle. This is an interesting muscle not only because it connects your lower body to your upper body but it has fibers that run every which way with a lot of different attachments (partly to the ribs) which means it has numerous functions that directly affect your neck, trunk and pelvis.

The scalene muscles, which attach to the inside border of the first rib (right behind your collar bone), pull up and the latissimus dorsi muscle pulls down, they're antagonists. So, to load (put pressure on) the latissimus dorsi muscle sit with your hands by your sides and press down. But, most likely you're going to feel pain when you reach up and forward as in getting something out of a tall cupboard.

Referred pain patterns in the latissimus dorsi, due in part to satelite trigger points, are in the mid back region, the bottom part of your scapula (inferior angle), the back of your shoulder and down the inside of your arm (ulnar aspect) to the last two fingers - just like you described.

Some of the latissimus dorsi muscle fibers interdigitate with the oblique muscles which cause your body to rotate (torque).

As you have discovered there is no position you can put yourself in to relieve the pain.

To stretch and test the latissimus dorsi muscle lay on your back (supine) with your hips and knees bent (flexed), feet and lower back flat on the floor. Stretch your arms overhead, close to your ears. Ideally your arms should lay flat on the floor. Then lay on your side and bring your arm over and press it behind your ear. To release the nearly horizontal fibers pull your arm across your chest (adduction).

Incorporate your breath into these movements by inhaling first and exhaling when you relax the muscle. Use tennis balls (while on your side), moist heat and always end by moving your arms through their full range of motion. And, when sleeping, keep the pillow in the armpit area to prevent your elbow from getting close to your chest as this prevents the muscle from shortening.

The reason the latissimus dorsi is often missed in treatment is because some therapists don't know that it is in the arm pit area where one palpates for active trigger points.

And then there is the serratus posterior superior muscle whose pain patterns are similar to the latissimus dorsi. Trigger points in the seratus posterior superior muscle are activated when you sit for long periods with your shoulders elevated and rotated forward. This muscle can cause satelite trigger points in the latissimus dorsi and vice versa. So both muscles must be worked.

Regarding the popping sound when you rotate your hip externally -  look into coxa saltans and see if that applies to you.

I can go on and on and I will if you ask - you've certainly suffered long enough but what you really need is to improve your posture and master the art of breathing correctly. Every time you breath out imagine your body relaxing a little bit more.

P.S. For the most part, I stand when I work on the computer - it allows for more flexibility and movement.
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O.K. I just received your email and will respond tomorrow if I have time. I like your curiosity and willingness to improve your situation. I am curious and if you would be so bold as to send me a personal message and let me know where you are located I would appreciate that. In return I will do what I can to help you.
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i have had a pain on the left side of my neck and down into my shoulder for a week now.  Went to a walk in clinic and was told it was muscle spasms.. received a muscle relaxant and pain med. neither helped much.  The pain moved from my neck, right into the top of my shoulder, now this morning it is back into the neck area and i can not lift my left arm up. My arm  will swing back and forth but I can not lift it at all... the muscles just won't work. can't get in to see a dr. today so I'm going back to the walk in clinic and maybe they will do some x-rays or refer me somewhere.  The large part of the pain has subsided but it hurt so bad at first I was in tears and could not sleep.  It is interesting that there are so many people out there who have similiar problems.  I have no idea what I did, had no falls or injuries, just happened one day.
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Two separate issues?  They are and they aren't.

If you're hip and lower back pain are not being treated there is a good chance that you are eventually going to develop problems in your neck and arm (shoulder girdle region) whether you're sitting at the computer 9+ hours a day or not.

If you didn't have the hip and lower back pain you would still develop a problem in your shoulder girdle region from sitting 9+ hours at the computer for eight years with an elevated shoulder and no breaks.

I think you need to focus on healing both your upper and lower body. I can't imagine that a masseuse would not work your neck muscles. A two hour massage with moist heat and gentle stretching is ideal and once every other week is not enough.

Your whole body, including your head, should be massaged and stretched during every session using deep tissue techniques and your position should change from lying face down (prone), on your back (supine) and on your sides. The order is not important.

Point your eyes in the direction you're facing when you stretch. For example, when you're stretching the scalene anterior muscle look towards the affected side. When stretching the scalene medius muscle look up and the posterior muscle requires you to look away from the affected side.

I don't agree with your posture therapist's approach to separating the muscles on the right side of your body from the left. Sure you're more sore on the right but the body should be treated as a whole - that's how it functions.

When you're standing with your hands by your side do your palms face behind you?

The psoas (the p is silent) is the main hip flexor.

Nice to hear you really enjoy your job - so do I.
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If were unable to lift my left arm I'd pay a visit to the emergency room - the sooner the better.  
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Thank you. I only just read your personal message.

There is something going on with your hip/low back that everyone is missing and I doubt very much it's muscular in nature.

Did you read that I have a client who suffered for 30 years with low back pain and had six MRI's before a doctor he met at a Christmas party offered to take a look at the images and found that his hip labrum was torn? All the previous doctors and radiologists were looking at his low back because that's where he felt pain. The problem turned out to be in his hip.

I have another client who recently had surgery because he suffered from low back pain for 25 years. Spondylolisthesis L-5 was his diagnosis and the surgery was tremendously successful.

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A lead: Coxa saltans (snapping hip syndrome).
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Hmmm...interesting.  I guess I need to go back and read all of your posts.  I did read up a bit on coxa saltans and I do experience the popping in my hip with shooting pain down my leg.  There is a "rubbing" feeling when I externally rotate my hip and it is very tight.  Another reason I requested the second MRI was because I recalled an injury I had +/- 20 years ago while playing softball.  On the first sprint to first base I felt shooting pain in the back of my leg which I thought was a strained hamstring.  I wrapped my leg and continued to play the rest of the game and never had the leg looked at by a medical professional.  I wanted to have the MRI to see if I did or did not have piriformis syndrome and also wanted to see if, by chance, scar tissue had built up as a result of this injury.  They said the MRI was "normal" so I dismissed this idea.

Based on your comments, I will see if I can get a copy of the MRI images and get another opinion.  There is definitely something that is not right and I have wanted to believe that it is just muscular.  Do you think I should consult with another orthopedic surgeon?

Thank you!
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I suggest you talk to your orthopedic surgeon and mention coxa saltans and ask him if you may have torn your hip labrum. From what I read it's a difficult diagnosis to make. If he says no, consult with another and I will in the meantime get the name of the doctor who helped my client. Let's make every effort we can, 20+ years is way too long to suffer.

Piriformis syndrome is easy to treat.
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Okay, I will contact my orthopedic surgeon.  



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I may have a solution for some - whether or not you beleive or trust chiropractors, I have been suffering for a few weeks with severe pain behind the shoulder which radiates pain through the head, down the back and arm and specifically through the elbow joint.
I experienced this years ago on the other side and after mutliple chiro and massage appointments, I solved the issue by quitting my labor intensive job and waiting for relief for several months.

This time, there was no such work type cause. I did get a cold/broncitis and coughed quite a lot.
I have been at the chiro every day for a week - the past two nights, the pain was so bad that I could not sleep. Last night I dosed up on T3's and extra strength Roxacacet (still a little high).but the pain did not go away and I got almost no sleep.

O.K. the solution:

I went to the chiro this morning (there are 3 all of the same family in this practice) I was seen by the young lady who I have never been adjusted by before.
I described the issue - extreme pain about the size of the end of a thumb behind the shoulder blade in two spots.
Her immediate response - you have a rib out of place. This is not muscle related at all and is probably due to the violence of either coughing or sneezing.
She adjusted me and put the ribs back into place (they came out and had to be done again) - After this adjustment she recommended: Drink a lot of water and stretch by placing your hands together behind your back down by your bottom and gently push down toward the floor, keep your shoulders back when standing and sitting.

I cannot beleive it, I am writting to you all now almost completely pain free (a touch tender) an hour after this treatment.
I want to thank you all because after reading all these posts last night, in desparation, I concentrated on some of your suggestions and experiences to better describe my situation to the chiro which I am sure got me to this point.

I can only hope that this will help some of you,

Cheers
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I agree completely. Like you I've tried it all with very little positive result. I often avoided exercise of the area that was in pain thinking I had some damage, tear or back problem. This just prolonged the symptoms and actually made it worse as that area got even more weak and the other areas got stronger creating a more pronounced misalignment. I finally went to a kinesiologist for some personal training. Instead of telling me to avoid that area as other personal trainers had and instead of telling me to stretch it as my doctor had. He got me right in to work it out. Light weight, high rep, get the blood flowing to the area. Target area was the mid back, upper back and shoulder. Combined with stretching of the pec area this provided quick relief. In the first week I felt relief.
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My Post was actually in response to Mike1145 concerning strengthening the area and posture. What I didn't mention that before I went to strengthen the area, I had to have my back adjusted because my gate was off. 1 Side was higher than the other which was causing all kinds of problems. It was my Chiropractor that recommended the kinesiologist to work on stability and strengthening so that the adjustments stayed in place.
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been going through this for about 3 months saw the chiropractor/sports clinic and had seven sessions but he did NOT get rid of the problem. have been self managing by massaging the area on the LHS by bundling up a sweater into a tight ball and placing between affected area and car seat as i drive. what i have noticed that when i "crack" my neck on certain days the tightness dissipates or even as of yesterday "went". alas it came back today and i have been quite discomforted. i feel like i want to put my fingers through the flesh and take the knot out. good stretching does help but the pain can be searing at times like whatevfer it is wants to snap. occassionally in certain positions there is a tingling sensation and heat passing horizontally across the external area of the spine it feels spooky. i was told any exercise is good so after a two hour badminton session it aint at all that bad. from that i assume that there has been extensive warming up of that area. i will keep at it having nearly ebery other injury there is over the last three years - it is just another hurdle to overcome and conquer. always nice to see other people with the same issues as they say we are not alone out there. good luck with your self management as it is hard to afford three massage a week. i think the way lie in bed does not help or maybe it is just the inactivity or my wife kneading me in the back - may be both good luck everybody
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Please read what I wrote on Nov 24, 2009 and the responses by those who were helped. Hopefully my solution to your problem will apply to you.

Warm regards,
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if you are experiencing a sudden sharp stabbing pain in your neck that begins to radiate into your chest you may have pneumonia or pluerisy  my husband started with neck pain, that became neck and shoulder, then neck, shoulder, chest and shortness of breath.  a trip to the ER told us he has pneumonia but his symptoms seem more like pleurisy - The hallmark symptom of pleurisy is sudden, intense chest pain that is usually located over the area of inflammation. Although the pain can be constant, it is usually most severe when the lungs move during breathing, coughing, sneezing, or even talking. The pain is usually described as shooting or stabbing, but in minor cases it resembles a mild cramp. When pleurisy occurs in certain locations, such as near the diaphragm, the pain may be felt in other areas such as the neck, shoulder, or abdomen (referred pain). Another indication of pleurisy is that holding one's breath or exerting pressure against the chest causes pain relief.
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This is just amazing to read all of these posts. I've had this pain for years and I've struggled to explain it to anyone because no one else I know gets it. And because they don't get it they don't realise how bad it is! I feel it all through my shoulder and up my neck and get headaches that last for days. It truly ***** and I've often wondered if it's caused because I have large breasts (does anyone else who suffers from this feel that that could be a reason). The only relief I can get is to lay my head all the way back, that seems to relax all the right things. I get my husband to rub the spot but even though it does eventually fix it (temporarily) the massage hurts so much it can make me cry. I'm really going to focus now on my posture and all of the other advice people have given here. So thanks so much to everyone!!
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Absolutely! Carrying excessive weight on your chest causes a tremendous strain on your shoulder girdle muscles. Rest assured that your problem is more common than you may realize. When I studied to become a masseuse 23 years ago one of the teacher's assistant, a young woman, had breast reduction surgery because the pain she experienced was so constant and severe. I had an elderly client with the same problem and her big regret in life was that she didn't have the surgery when she was younger. She felt like she had suffered needlessly her entire adult life. Breast reduction surgery is an option certainly worth considering.

Good luck!
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Thanks for confirming that for me! Surgery is not something that would be an option for me but both of my Aunties have had it and it really helped them. I have really been concentrating on my posture over the last 2 days and find that this is really helping. I am feeling a bit of pain around the bottom of my neck when I try and keep my head back but it does start to feel good after I've kept it there for a while!! Can you recommend any stretches or exercises that might help?
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Yes,  I'm so glad you asked. You're on the right tract - good posture is of the upmost importance.

I'm going to suggest you start by focusing on the pectoralis major (chest) muscle and the trapezius (back, shoulder). Because portions of these two muscles oppose each other - they are antagonists - a correct balance between them is essential for good posture and once obtained your shoulders and head will naturally fall into place.

Think in terms that when the muscles in the front of your body are contracted they pull you downward and forward in a stooped, round shouldered position with your head in a forward posture and when the muscles in your back are contracted they pull you up and back (erect).

People with poor posture have tight muscles in the front which in turn over stretches the muscles in the back. To counter this lack of balance you must stretch the tight pectoralis muscles and strengthen the trapezius.

The In door-way stretch exercise is an effective way to release tight pectoralis muscles. Laying face down (prone) on the floor while lifting your head and limbs, either all together or right arm, left leg will strengthen the muscles in your back.

I recommend you hire a trained experienced professional to teach you how to strengthen your back extensors and set you up with an appropriate exercise program at home. Good posture is not only essential in everyday activities but if you attempt to strengthen specific muscle groups incorrectly or you do too much too fast you can injure yourself.

Needless to say, but I have excellent posture and when I pick something up off the floor in front of my clients I ask them if they noticed my posture which of course they always do. I do this because they tell me they learn this in pilates or yoga, etc., but they still do not use correct body mechanics. So, when I demonstrate how to bend correctly I tell them this is a habit that must be developed and that I read that it takes about a month for a habit to take form.

I think it's equally important that you to be fitted for a good support bra. Tight bra straps that cut into your trapezius muscles are always going to cause you pain no matter how straight you're sitting or standing.

Please put every effort into correcting your posture and investing in a good bra as not only will you be pain free but you'll look better and feel more confident. Plus, you'll be stronger.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the information!! I will certainly be talking to my PT about some different exercises I can do. I have actually been giving shoulder and back exercises a bit of a break because I've been getting a lot of pain in my shoulders so I'll speak to him about working the areas you mentioned and see how we go! And you're right, habits are hard to break. My work for the last 7 years required me to spend a fair bit of time leaning forward and looking down so I think I've got myself a little stuck that way :O)

And ddff, I'm neither fat nor weak but you are rude.
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Avatar_f_tn
I just want to thank you for all the great info you give here!! I'm so glad I found this. I read a lot of your posts & now understand much better the pain I've been having just under my left shoulder blade. It also extend up to the left backside of my neck to the base of my skull. Now I suspected it's been caused by sitting/laying on the couch a lot. I have MS & at times all I can do it sit/lay down. I think the key is that I always sit with my left shoulder pressed against the arm of the couch (with a pillow, but still more pressure on the left) & my head turned to the left where the TV is. I also read your posts on muscles shortening & I really think that's what's happened to me. I used the tennis ball on the floor, but against the wall did the trick. I can see it will take some time, but really relieved a great amount of pain! Also going to get back to a few basic exercises/day - esp modified pushups. Thanks again!!!
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