Shoulder Blade

Jan 11th, 2014

Neil asked The Guru for the following Physiotherapy Advice:

I have this sharp pain at the top of my back between my shoulder blades. The top of my right shoulder and right side of my neck is sore and my right upper arm goes numb every now and then.
Any ideas what this might be and how I can correct the problem?
Many thanks

Jan 11th, 2014

The Guru Responded:

Hi Neil

Absolutely classic description of something that is so poorly looked after….Where you feel the pain is absolutely not where the pain is coming from. Any thing that you try to do to relieve this pain (pushing, prodding, stretching it) may make it feel initially better, but it will always feel worse or the same later.

You got a problem with your neck, that is referring pain into this really classic area around your shoulder blade. It’s essentially because you poke your chin out too much, because your thoracic spine is tight. The stiffer this bit is, the more you have to poke your chin out to see where you’re going. The arm symptoms are just confirmation that this is a nerve under stress.

You need to stand tall, but not like a squaddie. You need to lift your chest and tuck your chin in a tad. Not too much and it shouldn’t make anything feel worse. If it does it may be because you’re trying too hard (then try less) or because you haven’t got the ability to move your tight thoracic spine. If so try lying on a rolled towel between your shoulder blades, head on a pillow (so it looks like a “T” shape) on the floor for 10 minutes with your knees bent up.

Then have a good, long hard look at how you work (laptop, pc etc) and how you sit and watch TV….

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