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Intersting combination of problems

homedawgghhomedawgg Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Lower Back Pain

I'm new here, and I've been looking for a place to read and discuss back problems.

I'm a 19 year old male. I play alot of tennis, and lift weights rather intensely several times a week. I have several issues that are currently affecting my back health. I have a 6th lumbar vertebrae, as well as slight scoliosis in my upper back, and what one doctor described as "signs of possible early degeneration in some discs".

I've had lower back pain constantly for probably 6 years, and I went through a slue of things to try to fix it (chiropractor, physical therapy, etc.) and nothing seemed to help. I finally went to an orthopedic and fracture clinic and got xrays and an MRI. This is where I learned about the extra vertebrae, as well as the scoliosis and state of my discs.

I went through an extensive, pretty high tech year of physical therapy, and my lower back pain improved some. It didn't hurt as often, etc.

A new problem arose a few years back, which is that I have alot of pain under my right shoulder blade. I never could figure it out, until recently when I looked at how my back was curved, and it looks like the scoliosis curve is right near my shoulder blade, which I believe may be causing the pain. Is this at all accurate?

Also, When lifting, doing heavy squats and deadlifts also seem to make my lower back hurt a bit, despite my form being correct. I'm not sure what causes this.

In addition, over the winter I dislocated my shoulder skiing, and probably tore it anteriorly. I went to a great shoulder physical therapist (works on the Minnesota Twins), and he has been helping me get work that problem back to health. I also found out from him that both of my shoulder blades are raised and pushed outwards to the side (I dont recall what this is called). He said this is probably caused by doing a lot of overhead activities (tennis, swimming, weight lifting, etc.) I have some exercises to reverse this, and hopefully it will happen.

Has any one heard of a combination of things like this creating lower back pain and pain behind the shoulder blade? I'm not exactly sure what causes all of the problems, if it's the extra vertebrae, scoliosis, shoulders, or what have you.

Any input on how these could be affecting different areas would be great! Thanks.


  • I have degenerative discs and mild scoliosis but don't have an extra disc. I think a Rehab Dr. like a Physiatrist would be good to see as he would know about certain exercises and warm-ups you could do before your sports activities. You may need a back belt to wear or ease up on heavy weights right now and do more walking instead just until you see the Specialist. Ice before and after your sports and warm up is important. Good luck and hope you get better. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I have had pain under my shoulder blade and I also have mild scoliosis, so I do believe they can be related.

    I developed pain under my right shoulder blade. I had a great manual physical therapist and he felt that the pain under my scapula was coming from my rib underneath the scapula. Basically, the curve of my spine from the scoliosis was causing the rib to be at an unnatural angle under the scapula so it was aggravating the scapula. The PT did some manual work mobilizing that rib and it instantly cleared up the pain under my scapula. No doctor ever confirmed that the scoliosis was related to my shoulder pain, but the physical therapist's description made sense and his mobilization of the rib really helped so I tend to believe that scoliosis can cause scapular pain.

    My shoulder issues were complicated by a brachial plexus injury that occurred during my back surgery, so our situations are a bit different, but what you are describing with the interaction between scoliosis and pain under the shoulder blade was also my experience. It might be worthwhile to see if your physical therapist can do manual work on some of the thoracic vertebrae and ribs to see if freeing that stuff up helps with the shoulder pain.

    Second, I think what you are describing is perhaps winging scapulas? I also have this, and PT has helped. I'm back to swimming and doing overhead activities without much shoulder pain, where before I did the PT I was having shoulder trouble when I swam. It's pretty common, and I believe pretty responsive to physical therapy.
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