pain in right scapula area and numbness in fingers


I have been kayaking for over 8 years. This year I have been paddling much more than anytime I have in the past. About a month ago I started feeling numbness in my right hand from the forefinger to the pinky finger. I would typically paddle 5 miles a night. At firet I ignored the numbness (it would go away momentarily when i opened my hand and put it in the water) but eventually that numbness combined itself with pain in my right scapula. I went to get a deep tissue massage from a reputable clinic. They focused on my right shoulder and pectoral muscle. This didn't alleviate the pain.

I took a couple of weeks off from paddling but it still hurts. The only other time my shoulder bothers me is when I'm mt. biking. Then the symptoms are the same so I know it's just not the repetitive motion of the paddling.

I don't believe that it's a torn rotator cuff because if it was my shoulder would hurt doing regular activities. What can i do to alleviate this problem? My guess is that it's a pinched nerve. I don't want to quit exercising my upper body altogether because I don't want to lose any more muscle gain.

No, you're quite right, this certainly isn't a rotator cuff problem.

What's interesting is that it covers two or more dermatomes. That suggests that it's not a pinched in the neck, but probably a problem in the Inter Scalene Triangle where the artery and nerve bundles to the arm pass.

Ask for Adson's test to be done, though it's a difficult and very sensitive test, unless one does it regularly.

The key sign is that raising your arms above your head is likely to increase the tingling, whereas a pinched nerve in the neck would usually lessen.

The fact that it affects your pinkie rules out Carpal tunnel syndrome.

I'm afraid only a thorough chiropractic examination is likely to plumb the mysteries of your pain. Look for an experience thorough local DC. Take this note with you.

I hope this has contributed.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr B  came initially for a painful and stiff neck and then asked whether chiropractic could help the cold numb feeling running down the side of his thigh for six months. Meralgia paresthetica is a double crush syndrome with the nerve affected in the back and groin. He's 80% improved after five treatments.

2. Mrs C has a long history of severe, disabling migraine headaches since having her wisdom teeth removed. She clenches her teeth at night. After six treatments she has no migraines but some jaw joint discomfort remains; a bite plate is in the offing.

3. Mrs U has the trophy for the worst back this year. After major surgery with plates and screws two years later she still had paresis in the lower leg and severe disabling back pain. She's doing far better than expected, in no little part due to a lift in her shoe for a very short leg.

4. Mr V is 86 years old and hurt his back helping his wife into the car. Just one treatment of the sacroiliac joint and he's eighty percent better. It's not always like that.

5. Mr W lay on his back knocking down a pillar. Turning his head causes severe vertigo. He needs the Epley exercises, not pills, research shows. Update, he's fine.

6. Mrs X, a young mother has severe lower back pain, with numbness down the posterior thigh, calf and side of her foot. It started after a long drive in the car. After six treatments she is 60 percent better, but it's slow and is going to take the full 6 weeks to heal.

And now a setback, after lifting her child she now has leg pain. It's going to the be difficult.

7. This lady is a 70 year old woman, is on maintenance care for a nasty lumbar stenosis despite having to do everything at home. Her husband has a hospital acquired infection after a total shoulder replacement. After four operations he is incapacitated.

8. She is an 78 year old woman, is doing remarkably well with a bad sciatica. But over 200 pounds she is not losing weight; in fact, gaining despite my suggestions. She's high risk for a stroke. I have referred her to a dietician to crack the whip.

9. This man is a 73 year old engineer, still working, is doing fine after a long episode of lower back pain. Some pain on the side of the hip remains after five treatments. I reassured him it's not hip arthritis.

10. A 64 year old woman has had scheuermanns disease; it's left her with a spinal kyphosis and chronic middorsal pain. She responds well to chiropractic treatment provides she come every six weeks or so for maintenance treatment.

11. Mr C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mrs D, a middle aged woman with hip pain of one year duration, despite other treatment. Xrays reveal an impingement syndrome and early hip arthritis. There's much to be done.

13. Both Mrs E and I can't believe how much better her lower back and leg pain are. Surgery for a scoliosis and spondylolysthesis three years ago helped greatly for one year. But then her leg went lame and weak. He was responded extremely well despite all expectations.

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.



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