Sudden sharp upper back pain after stretching

by Angelina
(Driggs, ID)

During a long bike ride, I felt a sharp pain in my left rib, I actually thought for a moment it was a heart issue.

However, two days after the event, I made a small arm movement, and suddenly felt a strong, sharp, and acute pain in my upper thoracic region, I'm guessing close to my t1-4 or maybe even in the neck area.

After reading various posts I now suspect the rib/heart pain was actually a back issue caused by long hours on the bike. When the pain hit, it was centralized, restricted my movement in my upper back and my neck. The pain did not seem to radiate much aside from some pain in the left shoulder blade. It went away after about 3-4 weeks. On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being the worst) it started at about a 7.

This was two months ago. Earlier this morning, I stretched my arms above my head, and boom, the pain hit and was stronger than the time before. I'm young, in my 30s, female and in good shape. I do spend too much time on a computer and my posture needs some work. Any ideas on what I've done to myself?

Hello Angelina,
A few questions.
1. Does it hurt if you take in a deep breath?

2. Does rotating your torso, and then tilting it to the side cause pain?

3. Do movements of your head and neck cause pain?

4. Any chest conditions we should be concerned about? Asthma, hayfever, smoker? Persistent cough?

5. Old injuries to the neck or upper spine?

Let me have some answers. From your computer please.

Dr B

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Nov 12, 2020
by: Anonymous

I have the same too, but the question no.1 that I have..Thank You Doctor

Apr 08, 2018
Shoulder blade pain for months, much worse since terrible bouts of coughing
by: Wait

Wait, I have been trying to diagnose my back pains for a while now, and as I read the questions listed I can say yes to all of them. What does that mean? I've had back pain for months now, centered in my right shoulder blade. Recently I've been dealing with a cold and terrible bouts of coughing ensued for a week. Now, my entire upper back hurts and something feels off or tightened near my left shoulder blade. My neck hurts, my shoulders ache, and it hurts to stretch or breathe deeply. What's going on guys?

Hello Wait,
It would be simplest if you were to go to Chiropractic Help and start your own thread; I can't easily access those questions to which you are saying yes.

I don't believe in rushing off to doctors for every snivel or pain, but you've waited too long for this. Remember, once you have had neck pain for six months, you've got it for life, regardless of the treatment.

The good news is that at least part, and perhaps all of this is related to a rib head subluxation; hence pain on deep breathing. It generally responds well to the chiropractic adjustment.

More difficult is that neck pain; you don't give me enough information to comment.

Dr B

Jun 21, 2017
I have this pain too
by: Anonymous

To answer your other questions, NO for all. I'm only getting this sharp pain after a stretching.

Give it a week or too, staying away from that stretching and gym work and, with luck it may settle down. A massage, and alternating cold and warm would help.

If not, it needs an examination.

Dr B

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