neck/trap/upperback/shoulder pain for 3 years (weight lifting?)
Sorry in advance for the long post, but I'm running out of ideas here
First a little backstory. I played soccer while growing up and throughout college. When I stopped after college, I started lifting about 4 days a week. I had some discomfort in my shoulders from lifting and my doctor at the time recommended I take some time off lifting and gave me a cortisone shot (dumb move, I know) in my shoulder for what he thought was bursitis. After taking some time off I started lifting again with no discomfort.
Fast forward to about 3 years later and one morning I started getting headaches coming from the back of my head, behind my eyes, and in my jaw. Each week they became more frequent until they were constant all the time. The only relief I could get was by taking ibuprofen 2-3x a day. I saw a neurologist, PT, Chiro, ENT, and nobody could figure it out. Finally I saw a PT that diagnosed it as my tight upper back was pulling on the muscles causing tension headaches. After a couple months of PT everything felt better.
Then I graduated and started working full time at a desk. Since then my pain came back, but no longer in the form of headaches. Now I have constant aching upper back pain, only on my right side. The pain is always present and will start off in my upper back and slowly work it's way up into the side/back of the right side of my neck. I also have tons of knots in my upper back and I'm aware that I have a bit of head forward posture. My shoulder on the right side I believe is the culprit. It is much weaker than the left side and is rolled forward badly. I have gone through tons of exercises to correct this problem but they don't seem to help. When I roll my right shoulder around their is constant popping and grinding. I also noticed I have a numb patch of skin on the front of my right shoulder above my armpit, which makes me think I could have a pinched nerve. My right trap is also hard as a rock. It never seems to relax regardless of what I do. I'm starting to think I might shrug my shoulder involuntarily in my sleep, as they are up by my ears when I wake up each morning. I've been taking Ibuprofen 2x a day for the past three years while I try everything to get rid of the pain. I foam roll, lay on tennis balls, get massages, and I even stopped lifting to see if that would help (it didn't).
I don't know if this is related, but everything on the right side is weaker and has been giving me problems lately. I pulled my right hamstring several times in the past couple of years and my right hip/glute is tight as can be. I also noticed that I put very little weight on my right leg and my body always seems to want to sway to the left.
Any help/ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'm so frustrated and I'm starting to think I will be dealing with this for the rest of my life (or until the damage from the years of ibuprofen catches up with me).
Well, without a clinical evaluation it would be difficult to determine the cause of your symptoms. Possibilities that may need to be considered include postural issues, neuro-muscular causes such as muscle sprain, nerve impingement, injuries to muscles/ ligaments etc inflammations, fractures/ dislocations, referred pain from other regions, micronutrient deficiencies etc. I would suggest getting this evaluated by a primary care physician initially and depending on the cause diagnosed/ suspected, it can be managed accordingly or specialist care may be sought.
Hope this is helpful.
Your neck muscles are most likely not strong enough to hold your head up. so it's resting your your back, witch is tensing your traps and pulling your shoulders up and forward. And causing shoulder impingement syndrome, witch leads to curvature of the spine, because one side of your body ends up being more dominant. You need to see a Physical therapist and learn how to strengthen your romboids and traps and stretch your chest muscles. Good luck, I've been battling this for four years.
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