Discussions By Condition: Shoulder conditions

Pain under left shoulder blade/stiff neck

Posted In: Shoulder conditions 131 Replies
  • Posted By: rootvetwife
  • January 23, 2007
  • 09:56 PM

Hi everyone. I woke up this morning with a really uncomfortable pain under my left shoulder blade and my neck felt as if someone had slammed my head down into my shoulders with a sledge hammer. I feel like I need to stretch my whole body, and it makes it feel better temporarily, but it hurts like heck when I try at first. My left arm doesn't want to move upward past the mid section of my body, I feel myself leaning to the left as if everything is being pulled that way and when I breath too deep or cough it aggravates the pain under my shoulder blade.
I have no idea what this may be and it concerns me as I am a smoker.

Anyone have any ideas? I am not fond of hospitals or doctors offices, so I have a tendancy to avoid them at all cost.

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  • I found you through Google. I have the exact same symptoms and wanted to know if your condition has been diagnosed. I am currently being treated by my chiropractor with no relief.Please feel free to contact me via PM.
    JayAnne 7 Replies
    • February 22, 2007
    • 05:14 AM
    • 0
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  • Still no clue what it was, but at least it's gone now. Possibly slept wrong or something. I never went to a doc about it, but within a few days of having those symptoms, our whole family came down with an intestinal virus. Not sure if maybe that had anything to do with it or not. Hope yoou find some relief. I know it's very uncomfortable. =/
    rootvetwife 1 Replies
    • February 22, 2007
    • 11:59 AM
    • 0
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  • Thanks for your reply. Happy to hear your situation corrected itself.I'm always on the Internet, because I work on it for a living. At first, I thought it was a work related injury; possibly how I'm sitting at my desk or positioning of my monitor etc. So I made some adjustments, took some breaks, but no relief.Towards the end of last week it had gotten unbearable. Just like you described; like my shoulder and neck muscles were just balling up and pulling to the left. So I went to my chiropractor, because I do have a bad disc in my neck (C6). I've had 2 adjustments and my neck does feel better; even have better rotation but my shoulder is still nagging me terribly; even when I'm sitting still or sleeping.So I started thinking perhaps bursitis, but that doesn't sound sensible to me because of what I do for a living. It's not like I'm rubbing the tendons in my shoulder to make my bursa become inflamed.Then I found your post and being a smoker I couldn't help but tune in for more info. Thanks again.
    JayAnne 7 Replies
    • February 22, 2007
    • 02:44 PM
    • 0
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  • I too am a smoker and have been having the same symptoms all week. My husband says the muscles on the left side around my neck are very tight. But the pain has been radiating down my left arm and into my wrist. I'm thinking I've pinched a nerve because it doesn't feel muscular to me. And I've had bursitis before, that is a different type of pain. I also struggle with tension headaches, so I thought this might be related. I work at a computer all day also. I have a doctor's appt in a few days for something unrelated so will ask her then. It especially hurts if I have to cough. I hope she tells me something other than to quit smoking!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 22, 2007
    • 08:26 PM
    • 0
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  • Wow, you're in the same boat then? It's not any fun. Coughing irritates mine as well, but the mere fact that I'm in agony just sitting still is driving me nuts. The only thing that makes it "somewhat" bearable is Motrin, but not for long!I've got an appt. with our family physician tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get a steroid shot. But until he narrows it down, I'll stick with the chiropractor too.
    JayAnne 7 Replies
    • February 22, 2007
    • 08:42 PM
    • 0
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  • suncoastgal, have you had any infections lately, like the flu, ear or sinus infection? I had a respiratory and sinus infection that lasted for over a month.I sure as heck hope this isn't meningitis!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 22, 2007
    • 09:00 PM
    • 0
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  • suncoastgal, have you had any infections lately, like the flu, ear or sinus infection? I had a respiratory and sinus infection that lasted for over a month.I sure as heck hope this isn't meningitis!That's my post. I guess I didn't realize I logged out and sure didn't know you could post without being registered.I just recovered from that infection in late January.At this point my mind is running away with me, I guess. I get that from my mother and her sister. They were forever in those medical books looking up side effects from their medications. But there are a ton of medical conditions out there that include shoulder pain and/or stiff necks. I hope you make out alright suncoastgal!
    JayAnne 7 Replies
    • February 22, 2007
    • 09:02 PM
    • 0
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  • I too am a smoker and have been having the same symptoms all week. My husband says the muscles on the left side around my neck are very tight. But the pain has been radiating down my left arm and into my wrist. I'm thinking I've pinched a nerve because it doesn't feel muscular to me. And I've had bursitis before, that is a different type of pain. I also struggle with tension headaches, so I thought this might be related. I work at a computer all day also. I have a doctor's appt in a few days for something unrelated so will ask her then. It especially hurts if I have to cough. I hope she tells me something other than to quit smoking!I have this same problem and my doctor has suggested to me that it's my trapezius muscle as it is very tight. My pain runs up into my neck, down the left side of my spine, through my shoulder blade and then radiates down into my left arm. At it's worst it's excruciating when I turn my head. She's sending me for physical therapy. Just a suggestion.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 23, 2007
    • 00:49 PM
    • 0
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  • I've just come from seeing my family physician. He reviewed my prior MRI again, evaluated my condition and strongly feels my trapezius muscle is constricted as a result of the bad disc in my neck. I'm to continue with my chiropractor and he prescribed steroids and muscle relaxers. If it doesn't improve soon, I'll be off for another MRI.In short, a work related injury. I'm to reduce my time at the computer, make sure my work area is set up properly and exercise more when I feel better, focusing on strengthening my neck and back muscles.Whew! I figured this was going to be the case. Definitely relieved he doesn't think it's anything more serious.
    JayAnne 7 Replies
    • February 23, 2007
    • 08:30 PM
    • 0
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  • I have been having SEVERE pain in my left shoulder blade..into my neck radiating down my arm.. and the muscle spasms!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is this the same symptons that you all had. I get only mild relief from vicodin and floricet (muscle relaxer). I have been dealing with this now for three weeks.. it just keeps getting worse.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Your symptoms sound similar to mine, except my pain doesn't really extend down into the arm, although there's definitely muscle weakness. As of 3/9 I had been dealing with this for 3 weeks.I am much improved, with full rotation back in my neck and far less pain in the shoulder area. I didn't see any improvement after the Prednisone, the muscle relaxers didn't do a thing for me AND I didn't have any pain relievers besides Advil/Aleve/Motrin. Believe me, I double dosed just to make it bearable. One particular adjustment by my chiropractor last week made major headway and I'll be continuing with her unless we get some new news. I had another MRI on 3/9 and waiting for the results.Believe me, at one point I was convinced there was some new strain of something going around - simply because there was nothing out of the ordinary to explain this coming on!Have you been to the doctor? Are you a smoker? Recent bouts with bronchitis? Do work at a desk/PC for long periods of time? Any prior neck injuries? (I have all of those variables!) Anything in common with those whom have posted?
    JayAnne 7 Replies Flag this Response
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  • this is **s, no one can find a ***n thing about this? at first i thought it might be tietze's syndrom but the pain is lasting way to long, i have the symptoms of the OP, but i cant find a ***n thing on the internet, the thing is its not consistant and it flunctuats quite freequently. its really starting to piss me off. if its of any interest im 17
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • My symptoms were the same as the OP too, but it doesn't look like anything is to blame except for the disk in my neck. Extensive hours at my desk and looking down at paperwork doesn't help my condition.My MRI results came back. > I've lost the natural curve in my neck. It is straight and forward. > I have osteo-arthritis in C5-C7> C5/C6 is the problem area with "broad based protrusion of the disk", "osteophyte complex" causing bilateral foraminal stenosis. In a nutshell, the bulge in my disk is protruding. That along with calcium build-up is causing compression against the nerves. So I'm to continue with a Pain Management Specialist and my chiropractor.There's lazer surgery for bilateral foraminal stenosis that may be an option down the road, but for now my back cracker has me feeling a whole lot better. I hope any of you who are still suffering will find the root cause of your problems.
    JayAnne 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've just come from seeing my family physician. He reviewed my prior MRI again, evaluated my condition and strongly feels my trapezius muscle is constricted as a result of the bad disc in my neck. I'm to continue with my chiropractor and he prescribed steroids and muscle relaxers. If it doesn't improve soon, I'll be off for another MRI.In short, a work related injury. I'm to reduce my time at the computer, make sure my work area is set up properly and exercise more when I feel better, focusing on strengthening my neck and back muscles.Whew! I figured this was going to be the case. Definitely relieved he doesn't think it's anything more serious.Im in agony, im typing this with 1 hand, i have the same painn under my shoulder blade as you do , i woke up this morning with it, i was really worried until i found your posts......the pain was so bad and made me fall to my knees, i thought that my lung had collapsed ( no joke ) i need a doctor i think
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • this is strange that we are all having the same pain. i am 33, do a lot of lifting at work and i am on my feet entire day. (autopsy assistant)but i have never had any pain, back or neck. then suddenly, one morning, i woke with a stiff neck pain. i can't touch chin to chest or tilt head back. AT ALL!! i get excrusiating pain that shoots down back and under left shoulder blade. it is insanely painful. i am now on day 6 with this pain, no improvement, actually it is so bad right now i am getting off here because i can no longer type. what brings this on? was it a bad pillow or injury?? anyone have any thoughts. how long does this last, i can barly carry my kid...OUCH!!! is it time for a doctor visit. this is the worst stiff neck i ever had...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • It started with just a bit of a stiff neck on Monday-no biggie-Tuesday not so good but better by end of day-Wed. pretty stiff in the morning but again by end of day wasn't bad. But then...OH MY GOSH today I am in the WORST pain ever!! A broken bone didn't feel as bad as this or giving birth!! Its almost like when you get a cramp in your toes only in my neck and shoulder. My head is turned to the side with it wanting to go back-feels like I'm being bent backwards. I can't take this! Happy Birthday to me-just what I wanted.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • 12/4/07my husband (age 73) developed a really really severe pain in his left shoulder blade, neck and down left arm. the pain kept him awake all night. we have just returned from a visit to a and e (6 hours later) they have more or less ruled out any cardiac probs.as done all the blood tests, ecg,blood pressure etc.........((he has also got non small cell lug cancer and the tumour is located behine his heart. He only saw his con yesterday and the chest x ray is carbon copy of one taken 6 weeks ago. he was diagnosed just over two years ago and at the moment his condition is kinda ''stable''....with one small secondary located in left lung that is also stable.)) Anyhow a dn e gave him morphine for the pain into vein and he is now much better albeit knackered from lack of sleep. he is now in bed trying to catch up on sleep but the pain is still there!! All the symptons you have stated he has and when he wakes i will share this with him and print off to show doc should we end up seeing any doc at hospital or our gp!! Many thanks and watch this space. Barbara x x
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • (I'm a new user) I found you folks on google looking up this same problem. I'm intrigued by the similar posts by other users.Last month I finally got over a bad cough which had lasted about five weeks. My family got it later; each went on antibiotics, but I didn't.Over many months I've had a problem with my right elbow; it finally got to the point where I saw an ortho, who diagnosed the problem and prescribed Naproxen. Also diagnosed was developing neck arthritis.At the time I saw him, I had been having this occasional discomfort through my left shoulder, but only when sitting still or going to sleep. When moving around, using my shoulder, it didn't bother me. I mentioned it to him, but the emergent issue was my elbow, so it was not addressed.I think my shoulder problem started just before my cough went away. Increasingly, over the last week, it has been bothering me more and more; I upped the Naproxen to the prescribed dose (BID) thinking it would help the shoulder too. It hasn't done anything, only gotten worse by the day.As I said, it doesn't hurt when I'm moving around, and if I change the position of my arm it usually stops for a minute. Then it creeps back to a pretty painful state, so I move it again. Sometimes in bed I can find a weird position where it stays gone, but I must sleep on my back now (I'm a side sleeper). It feels kind of like a charley horse or cramp.Today the pain has redoubled. I'm seeing the ortho tommorrow. I was suspecting it might be a side effect (it can be one) of the Naproxen or Alleve, so I think I'll skip tonight's dose. It could be from the cough/infection. We'll see. I'll follow up here after.Sorry for the epic lenghth of the post, but I want to be concise.
    BilHam 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi,I am suffering from the exact same as everyone else here. I am set to call into the chropracter today.I woke up on Tues of last week with a fever and a pain in my neck..literally! By the afternoon the pain had extended down to my left shoulder blade. Sleeping has been horrible since...it plain old hurts! I thought maybe I pulled it but can't for the life of me think of when I did it.Lee
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi all,Finding this post has provided some momentary relief, maybe because I know I'm not alone. I moved our family into an upstairs type house 3 months ago, and figured I pulled something in my upper back/shoulder. Yes, I have all the symptoms, dull ache under left shoulder, down the arm, spasming, side sleeper forced to sleep on back, advil/vicodin/aleve/anything with no relief. I went to see chiro, no effect. I went to ER thinking might be heart, did all the tests, heart is fine, but now my wallet hurts, no insurance til next month. So, I've been living with it, holding off on holding my youngest son, chopping wood, all house projects, until I get insurance, go see doc to get MRI and whatever other revealing tests that can be done. If it were a pulled muscle, I figure I would've seen relief by now. I am an ex smoker who decided to try a pack from the stress/lack of sleep, didn't help, made me cough which hurt more, so I gave it back up. Sorry I can't provide any answers in this novella, just wanted to jump in and will keep in touch with this thread. If anything, I do alot of stretching, all kinds, to maybe get whatever is upset in there to relent. I wish everyone relief very soon! Painfully, Unregistered Lou
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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