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Chronic pain under left shoulder blade near spine

MelocotonesMMelocotones Posts: 1
edited 11/12/2015 - 8:50 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Hello everyone,

I'm coming here basically at my wit's end in regard to this pain. To briefly summarize my story - I am a 25 year old active male and in January of this year I noticed some pressure in my mid-left upper back. Nothing I would even call pain for the most part - just a strange pressure. This continued for months and as I am a personal trainer and frequent weight-lifter I went to get it checked out by an ortho doctor just to be safe. I had an MRI of the shoulder which showed nothing at the time (in March) and a few weeks of physical therapy but since there was not much "pain" to begin with I stopped and felt fine for a while.

In August the feeling went away entirely and I was absolutely overjoyed thinking this was behind me. Then in September following vacation I did some heavy lifting following a week away from any physical activity and the feeling came back - this time as actual mild pain. Early in October I went on a trip and felt myself constantly "cracking" my upper back due to discomfort which led to sharper pain - however at this point pain was still intermittent and not terribly bad, I would have good days and bad days.

For the past 2-3 weeks I now have dull to sharp pain constantly in my upper back from the minute I wake up until the minute I go to bed. It is always to the left of my spine just under where the shoulder blade ends. I can press on the spot and feel sharp pain there which seems to radiate out and up into my shoulder. I've noticed it hurts the worst if I adduct my shoulder blades down and together, or if I pull my left arm across my body and stretch my back in that area. I was hoping it was just a muscle knot, but a foam roller, massage, and chiropractor were all unable to even touch it long-term (though the latter two provided relief for a day or two). I would say it is a constant dull 2-3 with spikes of 4-5 on the pain scale. I'm trying to avoid continuing any of these treatments until I see a doctor as I'm afraid of doing further damage.

I'm also at the point where I used to be able to rely on ibuprofen and a hot bath to take this pain away for a few days but now neither does anything for it. It's seriously affecting me as I am a very physically active person (and part of my career relies on this) and I cannot even lift at this point. The gym is also my biggest way to de-stress so not being able to actively work out has made me extremely depressed and anxious about this pain fearing it will become chronic.

I have an appointment next week with a doctor who specializes in back pain. I've also had a CT scan with contrast earlier in the year which showed normal results of my internal organs including my pancreas (which I feared might be the problem). I just wanted to pick everyone here's brain and see if anyone has any clue what this might be or what I can do to alleviate my symptoms - like I said I'm driving myself crazy fearing this will become a permanent problem which is a very depressing thought to me!


  • Did you ever find a solution? Your story and mine are very similar. I am 10 years older, but also a personal trainer, also love to lift weights, but I'm hung up by this dang tension and/or knot under my left shoulder blade. Being a trainer I've tried the foam rolling, massage, etc. Anyway, just wondering if you found something that worked for you?
  • jenafrancojjenafranco CaliforniaPosts: 1
    I was wondering the same thing. I experience the same exact pain you both are feeling, but I'm actually a waitress. It's beginning to concern me, not to mention the constant pain.
  • MantoanMMantoan CaliforniaPosts: 1
    Also wondering the same, I'm a 36 year old dad, I get relief from the chiro, but it's temporary. I'm going into day 4 of constant pain and naproxen or ibuprofen have done nothing. 
  • Mantoan, I'm also a 36 yr old dad with the same issues as described here.  Mine has been going on for over 2 yrs.  I've been to multiple chiropractors (still seeing one), physical therapy, electronic massagers, pain killers, the Theracane...I've even had Laser Spine surgery.  I feel as if the medical community can't tell me what the problem is...let alone how to solve it.

    So, obviously I'm extremely interested if anyone has found a solution.

    Thanks for the discussion.

  • mgoebelmmgoebel NebraskaPosts: 1
    Any word on what it was? I'm dealing with the same thing, Ito been off and on for 2 years, and I've had 3 shoulder surgeries in the meantime on my labrum. Now I have this and it's been even preventing me from running. Hurts like a muscle ache but doesn't ever go away. I've tried everything. Please let me know what/how you fixed it. Thanks
  • That pain is how my Frozen Shoulder started. I couldn’t figure out where the pain was coming from, then started becoming more focused under my left shoulder blade. Nasty condition. Hopefully none of you have this, but wanted to post the name of the issue, just in case it is what someone might have. Diabetics are more prone to having the issue. 
    My body went through a lot of weird and VERY painful stages (mostly in upper back), but now my shoulder is “frozen” and will not move. Anyway, check out the condition, you never know. 
    PS. If you have Frozen Shoulder, there isn’t anything they can really do to help. Takes a few years to heal.
  • It's probably from your smart phone for a lot of you. I have the same problem and realized it corresponds to looking at my screen. Less phone less pain. 
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,422
    Hello na235 !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I had the same problem after an accident. After 2 years and a dislocated rib it was discovered that I had originally dislocated another rib. Chiropractor seems to have fixed both although I have times of feeling like its slipping.
  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 319
    And more motion = less pain! Totally agree on the smartphone syndrome. Toss the phone on the counter and get out and move. I would have to respectfully disagree that Frozen Shoulder is not fixable though.    
  • I have constant unrelenting deep burning pain on the upper point of the shoulder blade hear spine, on the bone (superior angle?) It is due to an AC separation. I have found that acupuncture is helpful, but it has to be more of the needling kind to find the really tense parts. Its cost prohibitive for me because it has to be done weekly at minimum. I use the "back knobber" to press on the point  and put a salonpas patch on it or massage it with arnica gel and put an ice pack. I've gotten steroid and lidocaine injections from my doctor but it isn't permanent and the injection itself puts me out of commission for the day.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,422
    Hello violetblue !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Run, don't walk to a neurosurgeon. You could have a herniated disc or possible nerve impingement. I went thru this and waited too long to be seen. Now I have permanent nerve damage as the nerve was being pinched by a disc to the point the nerve did not recover when surgically released. I don't want to scare you but permanent nerve pain is horrible!!! I live on narcotics to deal with constant pain.
    Hope you find a good doctor.
  • Anyone have cervical spine issues? 
    I do and I have the very same problems! 
    Especially when there's anxiety or a tense day it's really bad!
    I've tried everything known to man to ease this up but it's not working! 
    Anyone find any solution? 
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