Pain in rhomboid, trapezius, shoulder tip, inner and outer upper arm

Adsons test

Adsons test

I get pain in my rhomboid (as described in this article) and also feel it in the shoulder joint and in my upper arm (sometimes on the outside - more of a general ache; sometimes on the inside - sharper pinching pain). I have had stress echo done and heart is all clear. My doctor describes it as myofascial pain. My trapezius is very tight, and I can reproduce the pain in my arm by either pressing on the trigger point in my rhomboid, or by pressing a specific area near the scalene muscles.

My question is - this situation seems to flare when I walk uphill (this is why I was first worried about the heart stuff). Is it possible that the I am walking that can aggravate this area? Does walking up steps or up a hill pull on any of these muscles?

I do tend to have rounded shoulders and forward head posture (although now I'm more aware of it I try to relax my shoulders down).

Hello Karen,
That's an interesting question, and got me thinking. The fact that scalene pressure provokes the pain makes me think of the possibility of a thoracic outlet syndrome. Deep breathing would raise the first rib and increase the pain. Then, working with your hand above your head, as in hanging the washing, would make your arm very tired. The definitive examination is Adson's test, but difficult, subjective test.

Then an irritation of the dorsal scapular nerve which supplies the rhomboid and levator scapular muscles, often causing deep upper back pain is a possibility.

Does turning your head to the right, and looking up provoke anything? Does the Upper Limb Tension Test give you a much tighter feeling in the lower arm? Use the Search function at Chiropractic Help to find it.

Have you had any old neck injuries? Xrays been taken?

This could be myofascial, or it could be more; only a careful and thorough examination would tell? If you have xrays ask them to look for a cervical rib too. Any joint of Luschka degeneration?

Time to see an experienced chiropractor, methinks!

Dr B

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