pain in my rotator cuff and shoulder blade area

I'm in a job that requires an excessive amount of manual labor. Some of my tasks are to dig holes for foundations 3ft by 3ft by 4 ft deep. When digging that deep, trying to scoop dirt out hole, my collar bone begin to ache. Pain feels like it's in my rotator cuff area and at times pops while digging. I've been routinely off and on digging for about 8 years. Nights become uncomfortable because I can't lay on my right shoulder. By the way I'm right handed and my right shoulder is the problem.

That's hard work; I know because I dig similar holes, just not as deep for my fruit trees.

Firstly, treat your digging like a game of football; do plenty of warm ups to prepare your body for such hard manual labour. And then cool off once you're finished and put on a track top. Perhaps take a shower if that's an option.

Does turning your head, looking up and down cause pain? Does it radiate to your midback or shoulder? Raise your arms above your head, to the side and behind your back.

Deep upper back pain can be from the upper back just where it hurts, but can also radiate from the lower neck that supplies that area. Type that term into the Site Search function.

You've probably strained your shoulder muscles, so some stretching, and ice them would be a good idea.

If it's affecting the collarbone then it may cause what is known as a thoracic outlet syndrome. Site search that term too.

Obviously what's needed is a diagnosis; there are so many possibilities. If it's not improving in a week or two, get a professional opinion; a good examination and not just some pills.

Dr B

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