24/7 scapula and shoulder pain

by Kayla A
(California )

» 24/7 scapula and shoulder pain

Back in october of 2014 my back was stepped on causing a shoulder injury. After a few hours of pain and limited movement I felt it pop and the pain went away (for the most part). I wore a sling for a week and called it good.

A few months later I woke up with the same shoulder pain. Again a few hours later I felt it pop and it felt better again. Wore a sling for a week and called it good.

After that the pain never went away so sometime in march I went to the doctors. The first doctor took an xray said I was fine and not to come back. After I went to the er and they gave me narcos and an immobilizer. A couple days after that the pain had grew a lot worse so I went to a different doctor. They did a rotator cuff injury, which I passed, and gave me a referral for a physical therapist.

I went to one twice a week for a month and it had helped somewhat in the mean time, but after I stopped the pain came back and has never left since.

It's now 18 months later and I have to deal with this pain pretty much 24/7. I do home exercising and ice it but nothing helps and neither does ibuprofen, advil, etc.

The pain is located mainly on and below my scapula, travels up the side of my neck, completely around my shoulder/collarbone, down to the middle of my ribs (just on the back though) and down mid arm.

I'm beginning to develop lower back pain which I think actually might be because of this issue.

Please help. I'm 17, I shouldn't have to be dealing with this. Oh, also, I have normal mobility, just a lot of pain.

Hello Kayla,
Do any movements of your neck hurt at all? Where, and what kind of pain or tingling?

Did anyone test reflexes and whether there is numbness in your arm?

Please use the search function at Chiropractic Help and do the Upper Limb Tension Test.

Does working with your arms above your head increase or relieve the pain, and where?

Does deep breathing cause pain, and again where is it? Any breastbone discomfort, or headaches?

Let me know.

Dr B

» 24/7 scapula and shoulder pain

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Mar 18, 2018
Easy fix
by: bun4getable@gmail.com

I have had the exact pain for years. Doctors told me all kinds of crazy stuff. By chance a physical therapist showed me how to alleviate it with a stretch; but also my chiro can fix it on the spot.

It's usually the C7 or T1 vertebrae out of place causing a rib to aggravate everything around the scapula and back up the neck. It sucks and had it off and on for about 20 years. Oddly enough at this very moment I have the pain but due to a fusion and 2 spacers on my C 5-6-7 three days ago I cannot perform the stretch. It's been a long weekend as my chiro is only Mon-Fri so I will be in his office tomorrow. Good luck hope this helps!

Mmm, not so easy fix otherwise you would not have had the fusion. I doubt your chiropractor will have done too much on Monday morning after a neck op a week ago. Am I wrong?

It would be useful to others (and to me!) if your could describe that stretch.

Be really sensible and follow the surgeon's instructions to the letter for the next few months; ever heard of failed back surgery?

It's a difficult problem that both you and Kayla had; thank you for your contribution.

Dr B

Jul 07, 2015
Dr b
by: Kayla

If i turn my head in either direct to where my chin is right above my shoulder there is a pulling feeling that hurts at about a 5 on a scale of 1-10. The only tests done for my shoulder was a rotator cuff injury test. Sometimes when i inhale i get a stabbing sensation in my left rib cage that lasts for about 30-45 seconds. And I cannot do any overhead lifting above a certain weight. It doesn't hurt i am just not physically able to lift anything over my shoulder anymore. I do occasionally get numbness in my arm. I like to describe it as the achey and weak feeling you get when you're sick, but just in my arm.

I need the answers to the question too, Kayla to give you a helpful answer. Exactly where is the numb feeling in your arm?

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

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

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

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