Shoulder \ Back Pain for a Month

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For the past month, I´ve been in and out of the hospital trying to figure out what´s wrong with my shoulder or back, but it hasn´t done much.

About a month ago I was surfing, and a day after a bit sore. Thinking it was a usual soreness, I ignored it for about a week. When it persisted, I went to see a doctor at the hospital. Since then, I´ve had an xray and a CAT scan which have showed nothing - apprently the bones are all great. The doctor here said that means it´s muscular. I´ve taken anti inflammatories, both by injection and oral, and they helped a little bit, but now that I´m off them the pain is back in full. 

The pain is in my upper right shoulder \ back area, what feels like right under my shoulder blade. Any ideas on what could be wrong with it? Thanks a ton for your help.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Well, trying to diagnose a condition on email is pretty impossible, but you've alluded to the next step which is it's a muscular problem. n which case you need an MRI scan.

    The liklihood of it being muscular is increased with the following:

    - pain and weakness in certain movements

    - visible/notable changes to your relaxed posture

    - bruising beneath the skin - when muscles or tendons tear, there is usually some bleeding.

    Hope that helps.

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    • Posted

      I completely agree, but thanks so much for responding! Would an MRI show very different results from an X - Ray and CAT? As well, if it´s not inflammation, then what could a different muscular issue be? 

      - There´s definitely pain in certain movements, especially when wearing something like a backpack

      - Kind of, there are some positions that are more comfortable

      - Not sure about bruising under the skin, or bleeding, but from the outside everything looks fine.

      Again, thanks a lot for responding. Last question - if it is muscular, do these things get better over time, or is surgery or whatever else usually needed?

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    • Posted

      X-Ray shows bone only. A CT scan is a 3D digital X-Ray, so again, bone only.

      MRI shows bone and soft tissue and can show infammation.

      I know what your thinking - why not just save time and give everyone an MRI scan? Trouble is, with all that tissue on display it's sometimes hard to discern the real problem, which is why bone problems are ruled out first with X-Ray and CT.


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  • Posted

    Your last question about surgery can be answered by saying you need surgrey if

    - it won't get better on it's own.

    - you don't want to live with it as is

    - you have something that is surgically repairable.

    If all of the above apply to you then yes, you're looking at surgery.

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    • Posted

      I´ll keep you posted if I end up getting an MRI, and keep you updated with the results. Hopefully won´t be needing surgery, as I´m currently in a foreign country. Thanks for the continued help!
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  • Posted

    Zev , there's lots of small muscles in your back around your shoulder blades / mid back area . You could possibly have a small tear or even a torn muscle there ..

    Can you reach the area with your other hand to feel for any lumps , site soreness etc and cast your mind back to when you were surfing..did you fall off awkwardly , anything untoward happen that you remember that could have caused the injury ( as if you felt it the day after something happened during that day )

    Was you cold in your wetsuit as a cold body tends not to notice muscle pulls as much as the muscles are contracted , when you warm back up that's when you get sore as the muscle tries to stretch back out .

    Plenty of ice and slow stretching advised , more investigation into torn muscle maybe. Back tens to be a right pain as it affects so many other functions it can't be isolated.

    Keep us up to date mate

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    • Posted

      No lumps that I can feel, but definitely a good amount of soreness. As it was one of my first times, I was falling awkwardly all over the place and getting absolutely bashed by the waves. Nothing that comes to mind to cause an injury though, atleast definitely nothing that caused major pain. 

      I´ll start icing and stretching daily - any recommendations? I´m not sure what stretches would be good, and I really don´t want to injure it more.

      Thanks for the help and the reply man.

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  • Posted

    Hi mate ,

    i suffered a few injuries to my upper back when i was weight lifting usually from not warming up correctly in my early years or coming into the gym from a cold day and going on bench press too heavy...i pulled alot of the small muscles in the top back so have a general idea what your going through.

    Obviously i cant tell if your muscle ( s ) is torn or not so if you do any exercises do them nice and slow m8 and listen to what your body's telling you...if it's damn painfull then leave it a bit and just ice.

    Good exercise - 2 dumbells ( not heavy approx 2kg each )sit on a chair with the dumbells hanging either side and your arms nice and relaxed , back nice and straight ,  and slowly shrug up with your back muscles literally only lifting the dumbells a few inches.dont use your neck just roll your back muscles inwards towards your spine , i re-strengthened those little muscles in my back a few times after getting injuries using this procedure ...

    If you find it's easing after a week of this get some amino acids as well ( 2-4 every few hours ) so you have plenty of protein in your body for repair of muscle fibres.

    Let us know how you get on..


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