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  1. #1
    Registered User mrkd1991's Avatar
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    Scapular burning, help!

    About twelve months ago at work my right scapular began burning and was incredibly painful, along with shoulder pain and immobility. I toughed it out for a few weeks, but the pain got to the point of being nauseating and extremely debilitating.
    Enter workers comp!

    The doctor told me that I had a repetitive strain injury, and would not prescribe me any pain medication or muscle relaxants as they only mask the pain (which was exactly what I f***ing needed since I had to keep working!), and I received physio and an injection in my shoulder. As well as this, I had to continue working but on light duties, basically just repetitive work at light weights. (Yep, treat an RSI with repetitive work!). There was minimal relief from all this, then my doctor moved me from the physio I was seeing to another who does dry needling. They told me I have a lot of knots in my back. The needling seemed to help a little bit, especially with tension head aches but not so much the scapular burning/pain.

    Twelve months on and clear from compo, the burning/pain remains. The duties weren't worth the free physio, which they cut any ways.

    I get periods where it is just the scapular, periods where it's the scapular and also my shoulder, and periods where there's no pain at all.

    I've done a lot of research but everything I find seems to have one major point that's completely opposite to mine.

    WHEN the problem is just the scapular burning/pain, the main thing that relieves it is HEAVY lifting. I've been doing a lot of stretching as well but they don't compare to the heavy lifting. The biggest problem is that work begins with a lot of light repetitive lifting before moving onto heavy stuff. This means that usually my scapular is burning, my shoulder is aching and I can barely move my arm away from my body by the time I get to the heavy lifting. This makes my employer and doctor think that I am not capable of heavy lifting and so avoids giving me the work.

    OK, I think that's about all.

    So the main points are:
    - Heavy lifting relieves the pain
    - The pain/immobility is sometimes also in my shoulder
    - The burning in my scapular is at the bottom point
    - Massaging is unbearable

    Has anyone had, or heard of an issue like this before? And what advice do you have?

    Thanks in advance
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  2. #2
    Registered User Justin93's Avatar
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    Justin93 is offline
    Do you do behind-the-neck shoulder presses/lat pulldowns? If so, that is highly likely to be the cause of the problem.
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  3. #3
    Registered User mrkd1991's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Justin93 View Post
    Do you do behind-the-neck shoulder presses/lat pulldowns? If so, that is highly likely to be the cause of the problem.
    No I do not. I was not working out at the time of injury, I have worked out afterwards though. I found that shoulder lateral raises where bad for my actual shoulder, I do dumbbell shoulder press but not behind the neck, dumbbell chest press sometimes effected my shoulder, single arm dumbbell rows appear to help the scapular a bit. No other exercise appears to have much effect, apart from push up and chin ups which I can't do.
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  4. #4
    Registered User mrkd1991's Avatar
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    Just a question, because my old doctor seems pretty useless.

    If a weak core can cause lower back pain, can my chest be the problem with my upper back? I do have a tendency to slump forward with a rounded upper back.

    Would that indicate tight pecs and front of deltoids, and weak traps, rhomboids etc? This would explain why stretching my lower traps relieves the pain temporarily (as in only while I am doing the stretch) but doesn't have any overall effect?

    If this is the case, how would one tackle this? Stretching of pecs and deltoids, strengthening traps and rhomboids? Anything else?

    Thanks in advance.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Ronzell's Avatar
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    Hey mrkd1991,
    Did you ever find out what was causing the burning? Going through the same thing now.
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