Discussions By Condition: Back conditions

Pain from neck into left shoulder blade

Posted In: Back conditions 3 Replies
  • Posted By: christian231
  • May 24, 2009
  • 03:36 PM

Hey everyone,

Yesterday I was sitting on the kitchen floor wiping down the cabinets for about 10 minutes when all of a sudden I got a pinch in the upper part of my left shoulder blade. It tightened up quickly, so much that when I turn my head to the right the pain shoots down the left side of my neck into that part of my upper back.

I've had "catches" like this before, and they usually loosen up in a couple of hours, but it's going on 24 hours now and nothing is helping. Advil, heat, cold...nothing.

I'm sure it's nothing requiring major medical attention, but I just can't seem to get it to loosen for some relief.

Anyone have some good stretches or something I can try to get rid of this thing. It's just sucking the life out of me at this point. Thanks a ton.

Christian

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3 Replies:

  • If it is swollen, you do need to go see your doc to confirm a sprain or strain in the muscle. In the absence of swelling....I think you have strained your trapezius muscle. Rotate ice (with a pad so you don't freeze your skin) and moist heat on 15-min intervals each at least 3x per day. This will aid healing and make it feel a bit better. The most common treatment for a strained muscle is RICE-- rest, ice, compression and elevation. Your trapezius muscle is a large muscle, beginning at the base of your skull, stretching out to your acromium (the top of your shoulder right before your arm starts) and down your back to your T12 vertebrae. It's action(s) are to rotate, retract, elevate and depress the scapula (shoulder blades)......so any movement of your shoulder blades helps to stretch this muscle, especially while pulling your head to your chest. You don't want to over-stretch a strained muscle, but you don't want it to freeze up either. My point is, the following stretches should be done with caution-- not if they cause worsening pain. Take both hands behind your head, clasped together. Slowly pull down with your hands so that your neck is flexed. If you do this correctly and slowly, it will stretch not only the attachment site at your occiput, but all the way down to the distal attachment at T12. Take your left elbow and point it up at the ceiling, bending at the elbow with the hand pointing down your back. Now, grasp that elbow with your right hand, reaching over your head with the right. Slowly and carefully pull the elbow towards your right side. You can do this on both sides (reversing). You will feel this most at the outer edge of your scapula on the side your elbow is up. It protracts the scapula. Take your hands and clasp them behind your back. Try to lift up with the hands, while clasped, forcing your shoulder blades towards the center of your body-- retraction of scapula.Take your left elbow in front of your body, hand pointing to the right. Keep the arm as close to your body as you can comfortably. Grab the outside of your left elbow with your right hand and force it closer to your body (carefully!). You should feel this stretch on the back side of your shoulder blade. You can also do this on the other side (reverse). You will get an even greater stretch if you pull your right ear down to your right shoulder (nose forward!) while you do this one. Again, protraction, but this one also stretches the rotator muscles on top of and underneath the scapula. Simply shrug your shoulders (with weights if you can) towards your ears-- elevation of the scapula. Conversely, try to push your shoulders down as much as you can, pulling down with your elbow placed very close to your ribcage, arms bent up in front of you (depression of the shoulder). Best of luck. This is no fun, but give it rest as well as stretching and this will heal. Remember, rest is important too!
    Harmonium 322 Replies Flag this Response
  • Can this also cause weakness in the same area and down the arm? I push a pushchair up quite a big hill twice a day and think this could be the cause.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • It's a pinched nerve in your neck causing that pain. I have it right now too. It's really blows. Go see a chiropractor and then a massage therapist in accordance. Repeat until you feel better.Hey everyone, Yesterday I was sitting on the kitchen floor wiping down the cabinets for about 10 minutes when all of a sudden I got a pinch in the upper part of my left shoulder blade. It tightened up quickly, so much that when I turn my head to the right the pain shoots down the left side of my neck into that part of my upper back. I've had "catches" like this before, and they usually loosen up in a couple of hours, but it's going on 24 hours now and nothing is helping. Advil, heat, cold...nothing. I'm sure it's nothing requiring major medical attention, but I just can't seem to get it to loosen for some relief. Anyone have some good stretches or something I can try to get rid of this thing. It's just sucking the life out of me at this point. Thanks a ton.Christian
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 25, 2009
    • 04:46 PM
    • 0
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