SLAP Tear in Shoulder with upper back pain

by Kris

Hello, I have had back pain, under and next to left scapula. The pain is constant, deep and nagging and lasted for 18 months.

I keep telling people I have back pain because I feel like it's in my spine. It travels down the inside side of scapula and then down left side of of my back.

If I press really hard into my upper back area right where the pain is, I can deaden it. I recently had a shoulder (left) MRI. It came back for a SLAP Tear with a cyst. I also had an MRI of my spine a year ago. It said I had a very small bulging disk at C5. Do you think that a shoulder injury could cause back pain like that? Dorsal Scapula Nerve? Thanks!

Hello Kris,
Deep upper back pain like you have is difficult because there are so many different possible causes, several of which you have mentioned.

Do movements of your shoulder hurt in the upper arm; a significant SLAP tear would certainly restrict movement and probably have pain when lifting your arm, palm up, in front of you.

Do movements of your neck hurt; particularly looking up, and then turning to the side?

More likely it's local thoracic spine pain, or a rib fixation; there are three small joints between each rib and the spine allowing for breathing; was a deep breath ever painful?

And then of course lung and other organ pathology often refers to the back.

Start looking for a thorough and conscientious chiropractor who will consider all these options and examine you carefully. Ask for a name from friends and your doctor.

I hope this helps.

Dr B

» SLAP Tear in Shoulder with upper back pain

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