Upper Back

Pain Between Shoulder Blades: Pain Patterns, Causes, Self-Care

This is a collection of posts about trigger points that refer pain between the shoulder blades. This is a subset of some other regions but it is so common that we have created its own category. Remember that people usually feel only a portion of the pattern. Also, people usually feel the portion in darkest …

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Therapy Notes – Sharp Pain Between the Shoulder Blades

There are interspinous muscles, that connect vertebrae to other vertebrae. There are two other significant groups of interspinous muscles in this area; semspinalis muscles and levator costae. Rotatores and semispinalis thoracis also attach the transverse process of one vertebra and to the spinous processes of other vertebrae in this area. They are rich in proprioceptors, indicating …

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Self Care – Sharp Pain Between the Shoulder Blades

Once you have this, it tends to be difficult to avoid the tender pain as most of the things that bother it are sudden or involuntary. That being said, this is aggravated by sudden movements like sneezing, losing your balance, or looking over your shoulder to change lanes. It is also aggravated by odd sleeping …

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Self Care – Pain at the Base of the Head and Under Shoulder Blade

Avoid sleeping in awkward positions or, especially under a draft. Chill aggravates this condition more than the awkward position. This muscle is often over-powered by short, strong muscles on the front of the neck. Specifically, the anterior scalene attaches to the front of the 3rd cervical where this trigger point lives. This is one of …

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Therapist Notes – Pain at the Base of the Head and Under Shoulder Blade

Mobilize the upper cervical vertebrae. Multifidi trigger points are strongly governed by vertebral mobility. Even though this trigger point is in the multifidi near C3, it is difficult to get a more complete release and lasting relief without first mobilizing the atlas and axis. This post has few different techniques for mobilizing the atlas. This …

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Self Care – Neck tension when wearing a heavy coat

Once the trigger point is activated, there are a number of known activities that keep it aggravated. A backpack, ill-fitted bra straps, a tight coat or shoulder bag will press into this area and are known irritants and create additional microtrauma. Using a cane that is badly fit is cited as a problem. I find …

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Self Care – Burning and itching along the shoulder blade

Move. I make sure that I get up and move periodically. Traditional therapy approaches suggest things like setting a timer across the room that you just get up to stop and reset every 20 minutes or so. I use my Fitbit to remind me. It should release with ice and stretch but sometimes, you need …

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Therapy Notes – Lower Trapezius

Mobilization of a dysfunctional atlas is key to balancing the cranium on the neck and normalizing the spinal accessory nerve. This routine has internal and external approaches to mobilizing the atlas. Start with cranial work around the jugular foramen. This includes mobilizing the atlas and releasing the suboccipital muscles. Continue with treating the lamina groove. …

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Self Care – Stiffness up the side of the neck

This usually involves tensing the shoulders while holding them unevenly. Avoid unevenly leaning the handrails while using a treadmill. Have your PT help you with changing how you use your cane. Get reading glasses with the proper focal length. Adjust your desk so that your shoulders are not hiked while you are working. Don’t hold …

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Therapy Notes – Stiffness up the side of the neck

This trigger point comes from the levator scapula muscle which twists as it lifts the scapula. That twist is increased and increases pain along the length of the muscle as the neck is turned. The exact location of the trigger point varies with the tilt of the shoulder and such but is somewhere on or just above …

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