Deep upper back pain but no tingling or loss of ROM

I am a massage therapist and while performing a massage across the patients' body( reach position), felt a quick sharp pain under the clavicle /pec region that subsided. Later that day, another reach position stroke elicited sharp and painful stabs to the deep upper back, my estimate was at t2/t3 origin and muscular. This deep ache then extended to the infraspinatus/teres and tricep region, with referral pain to elbow and 4th and 5th fingers.

The sensation along this entire route is pain, not numbness or tingling. There appears to be no loss of ROM and no worsening at painful arc ( in fact, for the first time in my life, things are better if have my arm above my shoulder! - rib indication??) or at hyper extension of the neck.

The condition has continued relatively the same in pain level, which I rate as high but not extreme, for the entirety of 5 days! I write to you as the extended weekend break in my hometown means another 2 days until I can see my chiropractor. Any advice appreciated :-)

Hello,
You have the symptoms of a fairly typical nerve impingement syndrome. The pinkie and fifth finger belong classically to the C8 dermatome.

Relief by raising your arm is known as the Shoulder Abduction Relief sign; often patients would walk into our clinics with their hands on their heads..

Locate this page at Chiropractic Help; Upper Limb Tension Test using the search function. Do the test, conmparing the tightness and pain in the arms.

Does turning the head and looking up provoke nothing in the neck or arm?

Seeing you had some pain in the region of the clavicle, the unlikely possibility of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome should be considered. Adson's test is definitive.

I would recommend an xray of your neck, including obliques looking for degenerative changes in the joints of Luschka, or a cervical rib. An MRI would be better still, but expensive.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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