Chronic pain just below my left shoulder blade after a fracture

by David W
(Letchworth, Herts, UK)


I have a chronic pain in my back which feels like a point pressure applied just below my left shoulder blade. This pain started following a fall from a ladder 10 months ago. The pain starts when I am standing and is relieved, after some time, by lying down. An X-ray has shown:
Cervical Spine: Normal vertebral body height and alignment
Thoracic Spine: I have a wedge fracture of T6 and some minor reduction in height of T7.
Because my thyroid was removed in 2004 my doctor suspected that I may also have weak bones. This has since been confirmed by a DEXA Scan:
My Lumbar Spine has osteoporosis (T-score of -2.7).
My Hip has Osteopaenia (T-scores of -1.9 and -2.1).

The actual cause of my pain has not been identified. Painkillers (Naproxen, Tramadol) do not relieve the pain. I have followed exercises prescribed by an Osteopath and then by a Physiotherapist and have had various acupuncture treatments. None of these resulted in a significant or long term reduction in my pain.

Please can you advise on what you think is causing my pain and how I might prevent or relieve this pain.

Thank you for your help and for your website.


Hello David,
It's really pretty clear; compression fractures virtually always cause pain; you've had a nasty injury from that fall.

After ten months you could have some gentle manipulation of the area; more than likely one of the rib joints with the spine was disturbed too. Did the osteopath doing any clicking of your back?

I would start some gentle exercises for you midback; ask the physiotherapist; I like what is called the shotput action. Start swimming regularly; and perhaps skipping, initially with no rope. It will help with the osteoporosis too.

Go to Chiropractic Help and in the navigation bar on the left you'll find the site search function. Type in "best calcium for osteoporosis". You have to take your diet seriously, or you'll start getting fractures in the hips and lower back too. Start eating tofu and hummus, and 'real' bread made with 100% wholemeal flour. Keep active.

I hope this helps.

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» Chronic pain just below my left shoulder blade after a fracture






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