shoulder blade pain

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Applyn59, May 31, 2003.

  1. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member


    Lot of people here mention their shoulder's when talking about painful spots. I was just wondering
    whether anyone has really sharp almost constant
    pain in the back in the right shoulderblade area,
    or other I suppose! I did have pain like this
    prior to gall bladder surgery. I have had it again
    on and off since and lately it is really constant
    and really sharp. It hurts to move my arm above
    my head so I imagine in it muscular in nature.
    I mentioned this to a dr. and he basically made
    fun of me.

    Sometimes I worry that I have a gallstone stuck
    in a bile duct or something that could be causing
    the pain.

    Anyone else have this?
  2. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member

    Yes I have it a lot.

    I use Solanpas pain patches and it does take the edge off the pain.
    The weird thing is if I poke on the front of my right shoulder I find a very sore spot. If I put the patch on that spot it helps the back area. The patches are cheap. Can't be used if you are allergic to aspirin.
    Some people make the mistake of taking them out of their package and putting a couple in their purse. They lose their effectiveness. They must stay in the package. Also I cut them in half to stretch them.

    Also try accupressure on those spots. Push with 2 fingers for 7 seconds off and on. (it hurts I know) Ice helps me, heat helps others.
    Good Luck
    My gallbladder has been gone for years. Don't believe it is connected.[This Message was Edited on 05/31/2003]
  3. vinetti23

    vinetti23 New Member

    Yes, I have this the worst... This and pain above the knee are my worst 2 spots I think. Here are some sugestions that worked for me. Im not totally sure of your situation but if any of these might work for you - that would be great:

    I would try your best to maintain straight posture (I know... easier said than done...). You may want to try some light weight lifting with the shoulders and back to align your posture. Make sure you do it exactly right as to keep the best possible posture... (no hunching...stand up straight, stomach in, shoulders back, look in a mirror or have someone spot you). Basically, lift dumbells straight out to the left and right, and then in front of you - it is a great (but challenging) excersise. Also, rowing is good as long as you pull your shoulders back before you do the actual row. And when you sit in an ordinary chair, sit all the way back, keep your spine straight, and make sure your shoulders aren't rounded.

    Another exercise that is easier goes like this... Inhale and lift your shoulders to your ears. Push them back all the way. Drop them like dead weight and exhale. repeat this several times. This will help your posture, and ultimately your pain. You may want to check in with your neck & see where your head sits. If you tend to jut your head foward, this causes extra strain on the shoulder area.

    Also there is a technique called Reiki which i had done a few times which is amazing. My pain was partially caused by tension....and what Reiki allowed me to do was "breathe" to my shoulders while the Reiki therapist put her hands on the area. Since it wasnt a massage, I had to do the work... I had to focus very hard on my shoulders and think about oxygenating them and relaxing them with every deep breath I took. By the end of the session, I was like butter...and my shoulders were a good INCH lower than they were when i started (all the tension was gone!) It was amazing. I know there is a difference between muscle tension and FM, but sometimes they can overlap.

    After reiki, it definitely returned - nothing is magic, but it was fantastic while it lasted. The nice thing is that you control the release & learn how to dissipate the pain yourself. with massage, you don't do your own work.

    Good luck. Let me know if any of this was helpful.
  4. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    Thanks for your reply. Knowing me and my super
    sensitive skin, I am probably allergic to that patch material itself!

    I have very tender shoulder areas (like where
    bursitis is) when I press them. Sometimes they
    hurt on their own but mostly just by touch. I have had two bad cases of bursitis at least on the other side!

    The one in my back is in a place that I cannot
    reach. I was reading on Devin's site about
    tennis ball acupressure so may try that if I
    get a chance. I know it will hurt a lot but it does

    Feels like someone is stabbing me in the back!

  5. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    Thanks for your suggestions. Due to severe back
    problems, I would have to try the 2nd exercise you gave.
    I can barely lift a 1/2 gallon of milk so weights are out.
    Actually, when I was undergoing PT after back
    surgery, the PT had me doing losts of excercises
    OVER MY HEAD with weights. He had me doing other
    stuff as well and I always told him that my shoulder
    was killing me (other shoulder and not in the blade).
    He didn't care. I was later told my another pT
    that you (unless it was just me) should never lift
    weights above head.

    As far as the neck position, funny you should mention this. I actually have a very funny looking neck and the
    2nd pt was so fascinated by it. I was not amused!
    My head tends to be too forward. he gave me a lot
    of exercises way back when and it did improve.
    He was so proud he had to show the other PT's.
    I have since been so overwhelmed by other
    health problems that I stopped his exercises.

    Also, because I have serious back issues, my neck
    is bad as well. I have read than many with back
    problems end up with neck problems as well due
    to posture changes to help with back pain.
    I do have bulging discs in back and neck and
    bone spurs as well.

    Thanks for your helpfulness.
    I will try the exercise you mentioned and see
    how it it goes. I also have a tennis ball
    acupressure info sheet I might try.
  6. vinetti23

    vinetti23 New Member

    I didn't realize how many different things you had going on. I can see why you are in pain over there. I can't even pretend to understand all that you mentioned w/ the discs and bone spurs... but I just wanted to add - be careful with the excersie! (I'm sure you will, but I'd hate to cause more problems!) Hopefully that 2nd exercise will be of some benefit. I do it occasionally before i need to stand up in front of a group so I can look confident...hehehe.

    I actually got that excercise from the same person that did Reiki on me. She was great. I really had a flat back w/o rounded shoulders after each session. I just wish it lasted. I reverted to my quazi-moto hunchback state after each session... I am lazy sometimes...
    [This Message was Edited on 05/31/2003]
  7. Sissy123

    Sissy123 New Member

    If your head leans forward too much it could be because of straightening of the spine, because of muscle spasms. I have a rib on the right side, the second one, that goes in and out of place alot. It is from trauma, but it causes the rib attached at the vertabra to be out of place also. It now has arthritis in it because it has moved so many times. Anyway, I have great pain in my right shoulder blade and that it why. All of the tenden...are being pulled the wrong way. I get trigger point injections there every few months and it takes care of it. Try it at your local pain clinic. I was in severe pain there and of course no x-ray would show anything, and those shots help me sooooooooo much. Good Luck, Sis
  8. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    Wow. Talk about similar. I know that one PT
    that I really thought knew a lot, always said my
    rib was out of place. He was always putting
    it back in place. I believe it was on the left side though,
    although not sure. I don't know why it was llike
    that though and that PT is now gone. I went to
    my chiro and he didn't seem to be able to do
    it the way the PT did. Of course, this chiro was
    good for my back, but I was upset that the PT
    left and no longer practices.

    So I guess I am not the only one and it must not
    be gallbladder related.
  9. bubblegum

    bubblegum New Member

    I have severe pain in both shoulders that affects my neck and shoulder blades. I don't usually have pain on both sides at the same time. It switches back and forth. I had cervical x-rays taken not to long ago and my doc said I have a cervical rib that is causing thoracic outlet syndrome.

    Do a web search on Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. See if the symptoms sound familiar. Since you did mention a rib in one of your replys. Having an extra rib is not the only cause of TOS. I am too tired to try to explain it to you but there is a lot of info. on the web.

    I can't lift a 5lb bag of sugar off the shelf at the grocery store, and taking laundry out of the washing machine is extremely painful. I am beginning to have trouble driving because I don't have power steering and my car is a 4 speed.

    With the TOS I now have constant pain in all 4 quadrants of my body. Thank God they don't all hurt at the same time. i couldn't handle that.
    Hope this helps
  10. MemoryLane

    MemoryLane Member

    The brachial plexus nerve runs through a tunnel just like the carpal nerves in the hand. When the tissues around the nerve become inflamed and swollen, they put pressure on the nerve. The pain radiates down the entire arm to the hand, causing physical weakness and severe pain. If it is not relieved, it will radiate through to the front chest wall, behind the breast and up into the neck and side of head causing neck pain and migraine-like headache, then over to the opposite shoulder, neck and side of head.

    This condition was originally seen in children who are constantly picked up by one arm.

    It is also a common problem, particularly with overweight gyn patients who are repositioned after anesthetic is in effect on surgical procedure or tilt tables. It is a result of using the patients arm to repostion the patient's body, in a "pulling & shoving" motion of the arm and shoulder, inadvertantly causing injury.

    Based on personal experience.

  11. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    Right now it is better because my PT worked on that area yesterday. He said there is a trigger point there. Actually my entire back is covered with trigger points! I get one feeling better and another pops up!

    Right now it's my left shoulder that is really hurting, not the blade though. Go figure.

  12. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    Thanks for everyone's input on this. I remember thinking I had brachial or thorac outlet a few years
    ago. Devin's book also has a trigger point in that
    area. Been too tired to look them up yet.

    I do not have an extra rib.

    Vin, I tried the exercise you gave and it helped!
    I can't believe it unless it was just a coincidence! LOL
    I only did one and I didn't even do the breating,
    just the shoulder lift! I didn't notice until a couple hours later when I was trying to sleep that I didn't feel
    like I had a burning knife in me!!!

    I forgot, I have a really good stretching rope thing
    with good stretches for shoulders and legs
    and back, etc. I have been so exhausted that I
    have stopped doing them. I really should try - in
    the two hours that I am out of my bed!

    Thanks everyone.
  13. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member


    I am so glad you brought that up about the physical
    therapists. I was thinking of starting a thread about it and was happy to see you bring it up.

    When I had PT after my back surgery it was horrendous. The first PT I had was an idiot. She
    insisted that I flex my back backwards and I told
    her that was the opposite of what I was supposed to do. She insisted. I ended up with a numb back for

    On to the next PT. Very young. Just basically asked
    a few questions and threw me in a corner to do exercises. Didn't listen to anything I said about pain, etc. Basically just stood around chatting with the other
    young PT's.

    A few years later, when I woke up with numb arms and
    hands to match my numb legs and feet, I wanted to just
    kill myself. There is only so much you can take. Anyway, the PT I had there was for my neck and shoulders. One excercise really made me worse and I didn't do it. This was prior to FMS diagnosis. I refused
    to do it again. Anyway, at this place, you didn't have just
    one PT. It was luck of the draw. Didn't get same person each time. The one I got the most was terrible.
    There was one guy there who was really good. He is the one who commented on my curved neck. Actually,
    believe it or not, for me, an exercise is just to lie down
    on the floor (I use bed) and have no pillow under my
    head. That stretches my neck all in itself.

    What I am getting at is I would try PT if I thought it would help but I really think if you don't get someone good,
    it just makes you worse. My rheumy and I were discussing this a couple of years ago and he, too, thought it might be worse.

    I want a hands on PT. My brother gets PT in Fla.
    and they actually do the work!!! I am so jealous.
    At one point I was going to go to Fla and live with
    my brother and go to Mayo clinic and my brother's
    PT. I then got gallbladder troubles and everything went
    downhill to even go to Mayo. My brother told them all
    my problems and it would take about two weeks for
    all the drs and tests. I actually had two Mayo appts that
    I had to cancel.

    Anyway, I wonder how many people are seeing hands on PT 's as opposed to those who have uncaring
    people throwing them into corners. Heck, I can do that at home. Same for heat packs. Geez. Easy jobs.

  14. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    My first assumption is always the bile duct stone.
    I read that the ERCP is kind of dangerous and not
    fun. One dr. I mentioned this pain to said that
    it was from anxiety. I did talk to my gallbladder surgeon and he said that he thought it was highly unlikely
    in my case because I had no stones that were
    visible with the naked eye. Just a teeny stone
    that showed up on microscopic inspection in
    pathology. However, if I ever get to the GI dr,
    I will mention it.

    Like you, this pain is much more severe than prior
    to the surgery. I had one day prior to surgery that was
    excruitiating pain. I then had lots of shoulder blade pain prior to surgery. However, it is much worse now
    and meds are not making it better.

    Did you have a lot of gallstones? Is that why they
    thought that was what it was? Where is your back
    and stomach pain?
    Thanks for your input.

    Hope we both find a solution.
  15. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    Hi Zoie,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with me.
    I haven't talked to a GI about this, but as I said,
    I need to see one anyway for IBS or whatever
    it is. It does take a while for an appt and of course,
    I have to make the appt!

    At least you have had everything ruled out.
    If I didn't have a PCP who treated me like a piece
    of furniture, I might go to her but she is really


    Keep me posted as well!
  16. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    I wasn't talking about FMS pain I was talking about
    for back surgery and also shoulder neck problems
    with no diagnosis of FMS. My brother goes for
    back and neck PT all the time and they are great.
    It's really too bad.

  17. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    I wasn't talking about FMS pain I was talking about
    for back surgery and also shoulder neck problems
    with no diagnosis of FMS. My brother goes for
    back and neck PT all the time and they are great.
    It's really too bad.