deep pain & tingling in right scapula area

by Karla
(Villisca IA, USA)

I have had triple fusion C4-C5, c5-C6, C6-C7 two years ago Anterior then had another neck procedure (foramenotomy & lumpectomy) done 12/31/2013. The surgeon was working to release nerve to the right arm, and in doing so, hit a nerve with a screw on the left side. I also have had 3 rotator cuff repairs since 8/2013, with the last one 2 months ago.

BUT, in February 2014, just over a month after my last neck surgery, I started getting INTENSE feeling of numbness around the right scapula. Needless to say, I have seen numerous specialists. Every doctor basically says it's all from the neck. The pain is deep, and intensifies when I bend forward.

Most of the time feels like there is a "bone" sticking out or hitting something. I also have pain in my middle back, scapula, and over to the rib by my right arm pit. I swear my shoulder is out of placement and the scapula is hitting a rib. All I hear is "it's complicated".

Is there not a surgery that can help with the bursa around the scapula and why won't the doctors try it. I am in so much pain for over a year now.

Hello Karla,
You've had a tough time but what I'm asking is that after all these surgeries, you're still asking if there isn't another operation...

This letter is the first positive step. You're starting to look outside the medical drug and surgery approach to musculo skeletal disease.

Look upon this as a journey. And from me, I'm afraid you're going to hear the same refrain. It IS complicated.

From now on, start to apply your own inner wisdom. Stop accepting that every doctor who says to you, all you need is this pill, this operation, that manipulation, is speaking the truth.

You've been a pawn in the game of medical ping pong, batted from this doctor, to that operation, to this whatever. Start now to take control by applying your own mind to your problem. Don't accept everything that doctors tell you; there are a lot of quacks out there, including chiropractors, all after your money.

There is no way that I can offer a solution; you have to go out and find the solution; a doctor who really cares, isn't just interested in your money, who will listen and examine you thoroughly. And fix whatever is wrong with you. Do you homework, and find him or her; they are waiting for you. If you haven't seen a chiropractor, perhaps that's the place to start.

Don't expect a miracle; whoever is going to fix this is going to have to work damn hard, be utterly conscientious and thorough. Such people do exist; find him.

That pain could be coming from your neck; the dorsal scapular nerve supplies the rhomboids between your shoulder blades. That would be complex and difficult; it comes from your neck.

But it might equally just be a costo-transverse subluxation; that would be relatively simple. But it takes a thorough examination to make the diagnosis and fix your problem.

Good luck and God bless; let us know in a month or two how you are getting on.

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.

Do you have a problem that is not getting better?

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Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.

You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

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