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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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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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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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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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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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658614 tn?1224719248
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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666921 tn?1254994218
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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st. louis, MO