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Neck/Shoulder Blade Pain - Can Anyone Help??

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Old 04-23-2007, 11:24 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2007
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whartke HB User
Neck/Shoulder Blade Pain - Can Anyone Help??


I have constant pain in my left shoulder blade area that has been a 9-10 on the pain scale since 2002. I can pinpoint exactly where most of the pain comes from (right above the shoulderblade, I can push down hard and make it go crazy), yet no doctor can diagnose anything. I have muscle spasms in my left arm, and my shoulder now pops (didn't begin until 2005) uncontrollably, with a grinding of the bone sound each time. I have reduced neck rotation, and turning to the right hurts significantly more than turning to the right. Each doctor I've seen (there's been over 20) can identify right away that the area of this pain is very tight and swollen, yet no diagnosis. EMG's have shown there's a muscle not responding correctly, but yet again no diagnosis. No injury occurred that I know of, I just woke up with the pain one day, and it's only gotten worse since. It feels to me like there has to be something nerve-related, because I can push down on the nerve area by the top of the shoulder blade and it causes extreme pain.

I've had the following:

MRI's (many, even thorasic, as well as one with the higher magnet strength)
CT Scans
Physical Therapy
Trigger Point Injections
Cortisone Injections

Nothing has worked. I'm currently on 80mg Oxycodone per day (1-2 10mg every 4 hours or so). Tried Opana and Oxycontin (20mg) but neither seemed to work (not sure if it was because they're ER or not), so I'm back to the oxycodone, although it's not working all that well. Also on 4mg Tizanidine at night, along with 50mg Trazodone, to help me sleep (which is nearly impossible due to the constant pain.) I just tried the 7 day trial of Lyrica, which didn't work at all.

Has anyone else had anything like this?


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Old 04-23-2007, 04:58 PM   #2
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Re: Neck/Shoulder Blade Pain - Can Anyone Help??

Hi Whartke I don't know if this is it for sure but I suffer from cervical dystonia which is severe muscle spasms in my left neck. At first I was diagnosed with tortocolis which is also muscle spasms in the same area. I believe the difference in the two are cervical dystonia is a nerve/muscles combination and the other deals with just the muscle. At first I would get the same popping sounds and it was very hard to raise my left arm over my head. The next thing that occurred was all of a sudden one day my shoulder drew all the way up to my ear and it was real sore all around my left shoulder blade in the muscles around the top of my shoulder and around my neck. I also had trouble turning my neck especially when a few days before it snowed or we had a cold rain. I had numerous shots, prednisone pacts and PT which hurt more after than before I went. I had numerous X-rays and MRI's that should nothing went to a orthopedtic and rhuemotologist because tortocolis is their speciality and nothing helped. It just keep getting worse and I also lost my strength in my left arm and at times my shoulder would draw all the way up to my ear and my neck would turn to side and my arm would wrap all the way around my neck and touch the back of the right side of my neck. Finally, I was diagnosed with cervical dystonia, I take muscle relexants everyday to keep down the muscle spasms. But if we have severe weather or strong cold fronts come through or if I use my right arm to much or lift my arms over my head to much, it brings them on. I also tried Botox but it didn't work for me. So I don't know if either one of these fit your case or not but it is a suggestion on what it could be.

Old 04-23-2007, 08:06 PM   #3
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julyg HB Userjulyg HB User
Re: Neck/Shoulder Blade Pain - Can Anyone Help??

Lots of us who have cervical spine issues also are dealing with hellacious muscle spasms. Surgery has helped somewhat but in my case created more hell (paralyzed vocal cord).

Here is what helped me thru those pain scale 9--10 spasms.

1) Moist heat with electric heating pad. Bought at local pharmacy
I cannot emphasize enough how much this helps! Get the big rectangular one with the sponge like insert that you slide in wet so it delivers moist heat.

2) Cervical ice packs purchased online

3) Jacuzzi JAcuzzi Jacuzzi

4) Valium on occasion

5) the two tennis balls in a knotted sock trick, place yourself and the balls at pain site leaning on a wall and really lean into the balls and roll up and down to fatigue muscle.

6) Ther-a- cane worked occassionally for me though others swear by it, I bought mine from a PT for $50 and saw it on line for $30

Ck out earlier post "stupid therapies I tried" and blew a ton of money and time on things that did not work.

Limit your overhead movements and pulling and pushing with upper body. Your body is injured and it deserves consideration. Limited sde motion is "guarding" due to injury. May want to stay away from physical therapy that wants to push you.

You are in the riht place...we know your pain.


Old 04-24-2007, 08:23 AM   #4
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Re: Neck/Shoulder Blade Pain - Can Anyone Help??

Like I mentioned in another post:
Physical therapy that OVER-pushes you can be bad. I went last Wed. to my PT and they killed me on the upper body machines. I seriously dont know what came over my PT. I go back tomorrow and I am only going to do the IMS needling once a week (and some elec. stim.) from now on. I am going to nicely tell them tomorrow that they crippled me for 3 days. Thankfully it didnt do lasting damage. I feel like an idiot that I didnt speak up!

Last edited by SKZ; 04-24-2007 at 08:24 AM.

Old 04-25-2007, 01:09 PM   #5
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Re: Neck/Shoulder Blade Pain - Can Anyone Help??

I would say rest.

Maybe you have tried that. But I hurt my neck last april somehow? And physio wasn't helping, MRI showed nothing... EMG showed something going on in my arm.. but.. the point: I had neck pain for a year straight. No one could tell me what it was. Just that it would heal in 'a few weeks'. Big lie. Anyhow, the only thing that helped was myofascial release. I got massages before and they helped for like an hour.
But really, I got this last week and my neck hasn't hurt since. EXcept for today. I went to physio, and they made it worse. So I'm thinking.. maybe just rest.

And get that release technique. From someone good. lol Because that helps.

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