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Back pain under my left shoulder blade for 10+ years and it's getting worse. Is my doctor right when he says it's muscle strain?

Posted by ladeda

For over 10 years now I have had a dull stabbing pain under my left shoulder blade. Over the years it has become more and more bothersome and even more recently has caused me to be unable to sit in certain positions for long periods of time. Whenever I have asked my doctor, he has always said I strained it with over activity. I don't really exercise other than walking and my job doesn't involve any labor so I'm not sure how I could have hurt it or why I have continued to strain it for so long. I'm of completely normal weight. I have tried heating pads, new pillows, firm and soft mattresses, and chiropractors but nothing has relieved it. The pain in the past month has been consistently terrible with no let up. It's getting to the point were it hurts to tilt my head down. But still my doctor thinks it's a muscle strain. Thoughts?
Answers (1)
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That's unfortunate that you've been suffering from this for 10 years! It may have initially started out as a muscle strain that may have progressed as a chronic strain. There are numerous muscles in the area including the rhomboids, subscapularis, serratus, levator scapulae. There are also ligaments and the costotransverse joints (between the ribs and the vertebrae) that can cause pain in that area.

Imaging, such as x-rays, might be able to give you some more information if conservative therapy has not been successful. Being active and strengthening the back can help with the symptoms as well! 

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