Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

chronic scapula muscle pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Chronic Pain
Ten years ago my wife who athe time was an X-ray Tech at a hospiutal was working when 4 large shelves fell, pinning her underneath.She was virtually trapped for more than 3 hours before anyone came to see why she had disappered.
She recovered (or so we thought at the time...)and returned to work days later.
A few years agoin our new home she fell down a flight of stairs, only sustaining minor hurt.
Over the last few years she began to notice that she was experiencing pain in the muscle tissue of her upper back. It was minute at first but now has become full blown and severely chronic to the point that she feels almost worthless.
In May of this year, again she fell this time in our living room, and she shattered both of her humerous bones. Just 2 weeks prior to that incident we had been going to a Chiropractor to try to stem the tide of the pain she was already feeling, and now after surgery to repair the most damaged arm, she cannot any relief in her back whatsoever.
She went to a pain mangement clinic, but the doctor there just blew her off,and we can't seem to find any info anywhere for to use to try and explain logically to a qualified doctor who will hear out our whole story.
My wife is Vickie and she has worked hard all of her life raising our children, being of service to our community, being there for me as I buried my mother and my sister, most of all being my biggest cheerleader.
She is getting deesperate, as she feels that she is the most worhtless person on the planet. She can't do much at home so she sits and reads most day, she can't sleep at night,barely etching out 3-4 hours a night at best.She feels defeated, and no amount of my telling her how beautiful, and worthwhile that I know she is is helping.
I love this woman with my whole heart,and would trade places with this very moment if I could.
Is there anyone anywhere that can help find a solution to our problem. I DON"T WANT TO LOSE HER!!!!
Thank everyone in advance.
lovingly,Charlie Tee
I can e-mailed at: tuitt-charles@usa.net


  • The location of the pain that Vickie is feeling is below the scapula muscle.
    This is a near an explanation that I can give:
    From a side view:
    1. muscle tissue (closest to the outside of her back)
    2. scapula bone
    3.msucle tissue (closest to her heart area)
    Thanks again everybody
  • Charlie,

    Has Vickie had an MRI of her upper back or neck yet? Any xray or other testing?

    If she hasn't I suggest she has one.

    I have around the clock scapular pain (very commone with people who lave lower neck or upper back problems). My C6-7 disc is bad as well as the one above it, not to forget the arthisis (bone spurs) surrounding these also cause pain.

    What are her other symptoms?

    If you are not satisfied with the Pain manager take her to see a fellowship trained NeuroSurgeon or OthroSurgeon. Physical Therapy may help as well.

  • Julie, first of all thanks for the response. We hadn't actually done an MRI, but I'll suggest this to Vickie in the morning.
    We live in West Virginia, and while the medical services are great here, our circustances are unique.
    I like the idea of the fellowship doctor though, Vickie has an appointment withour family doctor in the morning, so I'll have her talk to her about that angle.
    I really feel that one of our biggest problems is that this situation is long and drawn out, and many doctors simply won't make the time to hear the entire story, you start explaining and they start looking for the door.
  • Vickie's other symptoms are sleepless nights, no energy, and she's lost her enthusiasm for everything as a result of this.
    She lays down for a short period then she has to change positions.Is's been absolute hell for her.
    My son and I massage her back constantly, which gives her very temporary relief, but after a short point your fingers get tired.
    Today for example, I massaged her every 20 minutes starting at 1pm, up until 8 this evening.
  • I've had fusions done on my neck at C4/5/6 since August. I'm still left with the same scapula/shoulder pain that never gets any better. I am fatigued, can't sleep or if I do, it's up and down, nothing is comfortable. I stretch, but have spasms all the time. I also have a hot tub, which is great if I could just live in it! My C6/7 (the area where your neck attaches to your shoulders) is severely degenerated and bone on bone. My surgeon, for some reason, doesn't want to fuse it with the others just yet, he thinks it will self fuse....but I'm not convinced and he isn't having to live with this pain.

    Neck/disc herniations can cause tight, spasming muscles in the upper back, I even hurt when breathing sometimes. If she's had several falls in the past, it's possible that she has neck problems. I can't believe the pain mgmt. doc blew her off and didn't order an MRI or xray of her neck.

    She also needs to be on an antidepressant. I take neurotin for nerve pain and Cymbalta, but I have to be careful to not let my GP raise my dosage, cause too much is worse as not having any in my system, in my case. He raised my dosages of both and I was feeling like I wanted to die, anxiety, etc... so be aware of that too.

    Chronic pain will suck you dry of everything. You are consumed with your body's problems and how bad you feel. It's so great that you guys are trying to comfort her by massaging. A tens unit helps alot if you have a doc to prescribe one for you. I wear mine sometimes all day long and turn it off and on every hour for 30 mins at a time. That way I can do laundry or cook a meal.

    Is she able to do some things around the house? I take it that she's not working right now due to the pain? Can you get her online her to the board?
    She might find some peace yacking with all of us too. There's an awesome group of folks here, that will listen and respond, you can cry, vent, ask things, etc. I thank God that I found this board.

    Get her to a new doctor, either an ortho spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon and request tests to find out what's wrong. Even a chiropractor can request MRIs and xrays, but they love to keep you in their care coming 3 times a week, but it's a start to get the tests if she can't find a surgeon to help until she gets the tests. Good luck and hugs for you and your family.

  • Vickie isn't working because she retired with disability 8 years ago...
    So far I've come to realize the potential in this forum. I'm not new to computing, just slightly new to chatting.
    I work in a library here in our area for 17 years now, but since these things have befallen us I'm making a concerted effort to help her.
    Vickie has taken all of those meds to find relief, but none seem to work or the dosages have to consistently be raised, and we can get into trouble there, so we don't do it.
    She has suffered from depression as you said,but she is trying doggedly to work through it.
    the reason that I joined this forum, is that we're trying to see if someone can point us in a direction...to healing.
    Yeah, I was just surprised as you were about how the doc blew her off.
    We decided to contact some other docs in our area, and I told Vickie to "not be afraid to tell anyone that slights you that you have a husband that you'd better not tangle with,if you'd just be cordial so will we."
    anyway, I'm off to work, thanks again for everyone's input.
    Have a great today.
  • I got to say the line about telling the docs to "not be afraid to tell anyone that slights you that you have a husband that you'd better not tangle with,if you'd just be cordial so will we." Will only cause trouble and could be construed as a threat.

    PM docs are a whole other breed of docs for the most part. I have no idea where you live in WV, but you won't likely find many PMs to choose from. I had to travel to Pittsburgh, Pa to get a second opinion. Out of network coverage, preapproval, took two months to get approved, what a PIA.

    I have some scapular pain, I fractured C7,T3,T4,T5 three years agod. Currently have a SCS, does OK for shoulder pain, not much help with the back and scapular pain.

    Hope your wife finds a doc who is the right one for her.
  • Thanks Wrambler, I apreciate your thoughts...

    What I mean by this line for my wife is that, sometime in our experience we've found that not only did the doctors blow her off, that treated her as though she were an idiot.
    My wife was X-ray Technologist for 36 years, she understands about how hospitals and doctors work, it's highly stressful for all involved, but that certainly doesn't mean that she is an idiot. You feel the pain that you feel, you try to exist in it, but sometimes you just can't. So rather than be mistreated, I felt that if she were to let the doctor know in a non-threating manner that her husband feels that we not only have the right to fair treatment, but we deserve to be treated humanely.
    I certainly would never harm anyone, people work too hard to try and help, it just gets frustrating at times...
  • I get some pretty intense spasms from an old C7-T1 herniation. I have found a tennis ball in an old crew neck sock over the shoulder, with my pressing hard in the same spot to break up the "knot" while doing very deep breathing helps alot. Causes worse pain while you do it, but definitely feels better the neck day.
  • I had severely debilitating pain in my scapula that eventually ran down my left arm, fingers, etc. It was almost a year before anyone decided to do an mri and what they found was alarming. My C6 - C7 was severely degenerated with a herniated disc and other problems. They didn't do the MRI until I showed them how bad my muscles had deteriorated in my peck, tricep, forearm, and lat. Once they saw this, they had me in surgery in 2 days. This helped a lot. I almost didn't get the use of these muscles back again because they had atrophe so bad. Get it checked out and demand an MRI.

  • Hi Charlie, it looks like you have hit on the cause, when you found that massaging gives relief.
    Sounds like soft tissue damage.
    After suffering the various incidents, the body has tried to compensate and cope by using the muscles in ways that they weren't meant to be used for, so they may now be way out of balance with each other and creating all sorts of tightness, spasms, spinal stress and so on.
    As you have found, massage gives relief but doesn't last.
    I'd suggest a few proper remedial massages to try to get some real progress made. You might then be able to cope with the massaging yourself.
    Ask for some guidance on what to do, or get some training.
    I have similar problems and massage is vital to me, but I am also trying to work out how to cope without it so often.
    It's a long and slow process to improve these muscles as they have been in trouble for many years.
    But persevere for at least 6 months and you should see a marked improvement.
    There are other things that she can do to improve her mental outlook, but that is a different topic.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.