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Arm Numbness with pain in shoulder blade\under shoulder blade

mkr0728mmkr0728 Posts: 1
edited 01/28/2016 - 8:15 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I have had a shooting pain underneath my left shoulder blade for two years. It literally feels like someone is stabbing a knife in my back. Other symptoms include arm numbness and weakness. I was "diagnosed" with thoracic outlet syndrome and have been seeking alternative treatments for a very long time now. I see a neurologist on a regular basis. They have conducted MRI and nerve conduction studies, tried Trigger Point Injections, one was ultrasound guided. All those did was make me feel like I have the flu and they didnt help with the pain at all. I see a chiropractor very regularly and have been in Physical Therapy for months. My symptoms are worse then they have ever been and my entire left arm will be completely numb with quite a bit of pain. MRI from two years ago shows nothing compressed in my C-Spine or Thoracic area. Nerve conduction study from about a year and a half ago was also "normal" but, I am obviously NOT NORMAL. Ive got another MRI scheduled for Monday morning, so I am waiting to see if anything has changed. The surgeon said I could have a slipped disc in my neck, but that he doesnt suspect that since my last MRI was so clean. So, he said that I more than likely have pinched nerves causing this numbness\pain. He stated that they would more than likely recommend injections in my neck to try to get rid of the numbness.

Has anyone ever had these injections and if so did they help?

Im getting to the point where I am so desperate to get some relief. One Dr put me on Gabapentin and it made me Psycho (capital P). I dont want to just MASK this pain anymore, I want to get to the bottom of it. I feel like Im just getting shooed from one dr to the other and it is so frustrating.

Does anyone out there have any other suggestions? I feel like I have tried every single alternative method and I still have no answers as to what is even causing this pain if my MRI is so "clean".



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,177

    I know exactly what you are describing. I lived it for 2 1/2 years and am finally getting better.

    Trigger point injections only made that stabbing pain worse for me. A Sports Medicine Dr tried it once, then decided that it was not at all a solution for me.

    It took two fusion surgeries for me to get it. The first C5/C6 and C6/C7 made my arm better, but that pain under my shoulder blade stuck around. After I thought the surgery was healed, I started trying to solve the should blade pain. That lead to fusion of C4/C5 which wasn't causing radicular pain, like down an arm, but was causing pain all over my body - something that I hadn't yet tied to my neck. The disk was squeezing in on my spinal cord...

    That shoulder pain is better, but not gone. But, the nerve was being damaged for 2 1/2 years for me, so I don't think it will heal so quickly. It is getting better and a week of muscle relaxer helped a lot. If nothing else, I can live with how it is now, it is so much better.

    Spine-health Moderator

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • I don't know what it's like to have the injections or anything than the medication/alternative methods. I was diagnosed with a pinched nerve, but my PT thinks it's TOS. I also get numbness/weakness in my arm/neck with pain in my shoulder/upper back/arm. What alternative treatments have you tried? I'm not sure if you'd be able to, but I'd look into getting a neuromuscular therapy massage (by a place with good reviews and masseurs trained in that specific massage). Right after I went, I was in pain but the following days I found some temporary relief. So hopefully, that's something you can look into for slight relief. I hope you find out the cause of your pain/numbness. 
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