Sharp stabbing intermittent occasional pain inside shoulder
Locate the wrist pulse; turn your head left, look up and take in a deep breath. Does it affect the pulse?
Sharp stabbing intermittent occasional pain inside shoulder is near the insertion of the subscapularis muscle.
I have been researching my problem on Google and Webmd and have attempted to use the wonderful videos on youtube.com to self-diagnose my problem: simply put, a sharp stabbing near-crippling pain similar to an electric shock, that is fortunately occasional (a couple times a day) but completely unexpected INSIDE the left shoulder (left side only, trap-clavicle-deltoid region but INSIDE if that makes sense. The pain does not radiate anywhere else.
From the hours spent googling similar conditions I have narrowed it down to either a suprascapular nerve entrapment (intermittent) on the notch (most likely) or thoracic outlet syndrome (less obvious).
The pain is near-crippling but has a duration around a second or so, not more and is UNexpected. I can somewhat pre-empt these "attacks" but either tilting my head/neck to the left side and placing it plum along the left trap muscle for a few seconds or by pulling my scapulae and shoulders back AND "packing" my neck and head in the so-called double-chin position for a few seconds and contracting forcefully.
I have been working out with weights for several years at this point, but I used to suffer from said "electric shock" back when I was a kid way before I began lifting, albeit very less frequently, say once a year.
My GP said its a nerve issue not tendinal and recommended I learn to "live with the pain". I visited a good osteopath in France who told me to focus aggressively on horizontal rowing movements, focusing on the COMPLETE movement with retraction of scapulae and reduce bench pressing a bit. He said my shoulders were too far forward and that I should focus on perfect posture. He did not recommend much else, but after he "cracked" my upper back the pain vanished completely for a few weeks, and then returned.
So here I am, I know that if I keep my scapulae pulled back with an externally rotated humerus and head in the "packed" position and contract forcefully for 15 seconds the pain strikes much less frequently, but it can and does if I slip up and try to reach for something on the other side across my body. ONLY ON THE LEFT SIDE, that is.
Any insight would help. I'll be following your site and comments. I am guessing arthroscopic surgery (to remove any possible cysts in the scapular notch) would be the logical solution.
Good morning Atlas,
You have focused on what prevents the pain, but much more significant is what provokes the pain; it's interesting that if you reach across your body to the right then you'll get a stab; that's very significant.
So is the fact that the manipulation of your upper back completely relieved the pain for a few weeks; why didn't you continue for a course of treatment? Rome wasn't built in a day, nor a shoulder fixed that goes back to your childhood.
Do any movements of your neck provoke the pain? Probably not, I suspect.
With your left elbow at your side and the lower arm jutting forwards at right angles, grasp your left wrist with your right hand. Press inwards against the right hand using your shoulder muscles, then pull outwards. What happens?
With your left arm straight out in front of you, palm up, followed by thumb down, lift your left arm against the resistance of your right hand, using the left shoulder muscles. Again, what happens?
Other tests are more complicated. Obviously I can't examine you, and so all of this is very speculative, but my suspicion despite your GP's opinion, I suspect this is a tendinitis; biceps and subscapularis are big contenders for the prize.
An ultrasound scan would be a great help in making the diagnosis, but only in the hands of a free experienced radiologist; difficult to interpret the results.
I hope this contributes.
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