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Persistent shoulder/back pain

edited 07/06/2015 - 1:54 AM in Chronic Pain

For about a year, I have had upper back/shoulder pain on my right side. It is most likely from poor posture and using a mouse at the computer all day. Tight pecs, week upper trapezius, etc. My problem is, I can't seem to make it go away! I have been to the doctor, physical therapy, learned all the exercises, spent lots of money, stretched every hour, etc. It's constantly on my mind and I have focused on sitting up straighter. I feel like I've done it all and it persists. It did get a bit better after beginning PT, but after a few weeks it seemed to plateau and has not improved since.

My husband took a video of my back. See the screenshots at these two links. Note the difference in the angles of my shoulders and shoulder blades:




My question is, could this be something more than just upper cross syndrome/poor posture? I can't relieve it with just some stretching and exercises. What could be going on?

Also, since I have been to PT with little luck, what should my next steps be? Any advice would be great.



Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that need members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
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  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
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  • . Physical Therapy
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  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
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  • . Name of Medication
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Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 07/06/15 07:57 est


  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 07/06/2015 - 6:36 AM
    Hi. I'm sorry. Living with constant pain sucks! What diagnostics have you had? I've found that everything, even PT is a lot more effective once they know exactly what's causing your pain. If you've only had a verbal & physical exam from your GP it's time to get an MRI & see a specialist. This seems way too long to be just muscles from poor posture.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Even though there is no definitive line, I can distinguish between the muscle "soreness" I experience from my horrible posture versus the "pain" I experience from the annular tear between my shoulder blades. Most days, the pain generated by levels of my crumbling spine causes muscle tightness (from sitting in all kinds of weird ways) that leads to soreness. If your body is telling you that you have an acute/chronic injury somewhere, you should definitely convey this to your doctor and tell him/her that it's not a kind of muscle pain that goes away with just heat, rest, or IcyHot.

    Does the pain radiate? Are there any positions that alleviate the pain (such as rounding your back or sitting with a lumbar or thoracic back support)? All this info can be helpful in determining where the pain/pressure is coming from.
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