right sided neck and upper back pain

by Deirdre


I recently noticed that I had upper back pain, nagging not too severe and booked myself in for a massage in a sports clinic; it was a deep tissue massage and since then the pain has been a lot worse, in particular around the rhomboid and scapular area.

I then went for dry needling which also seemed to temporarily worsen the pain.

I swim a lot and am quite tall so perhaps posture and front crawl stroke may have caused rhomboid strain (from my understanding). Currently 5 days on it continues to pain the right side of my neck when I extend my head, and move my neck, and the centre of my upper back hurts particularly on sitting up from lying position or when driving and car stops or starts suddenly.

The reason I am concerned is that I have a mammoth hike in 8 days over a few days that requires peak fitness, I am hoping to be reassured that rest will help this, if not is there anything else that I should be doing?

Any advise greatly appreciated!

Hello Deirdre,
Alas you're clearly not in peak condition and if it means carrying a pack then I certainly wouldn't go.

This is clearly not a muscular condition, hence the failure of the massage and dry needling; the correct diagnosis hasn't been made and so of course the treatment wasn't successful. This is not a rhomboid strain.

The fact that neck extension hurts points either to a facet syndrome, or possibly foraminal encroachment by the joints of Luschka. There are other possibilities too, of course.

Sorry, but my advice is to stay home, and find someone who will examine you properly.

Dr B

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