I have been experiencing a persistent ache in my left shoulder blade and upper mid back pain. when i swallow it seems to irritate the ache. what can be causing this? symptoms began after carrying heavy groceries from the car to the house.
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of your symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
Most often, symptoms in the location you describe are musculoskeletal: a muscle strain, which usually improves with initial rest, mild stretching and gradual exercise, and sometimes anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants. The other possibility is a radiculopathy, or pinched nerve, if the pain seems to radiate (spread, or shoot). The spinal cord is encased by bones called vertebra. Nerves start to form as they come off the spinal cord and exit through holes formed between the vertebra. If a nerve is compressed on as it exits through these holes, particularly in an area called the nerve root, a radiculopathy results. The compression could be due to arthritis of the spine or due to a herniated disc or other lesions. The symptoms include pain at the level of the problem (i.e. neck or back etc) and pain that may radiate down the arm or leg (depending on where the problem is). In more advanced cases, muscle weakness or sensory symptoms such as tingling or numbness may occur. A radiculopathy is often diagnosed based on history, physical examination, and MRI of the spine.
Evaluation by a general practitioner (internist, family physician) is recommended, with referral to a specialist as indicated.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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