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Numbness on outer skin with excruciating burning stinging sensation below shoulder blades
kjunman44 posted:
For about 2 weeks now, I have been experiencing numbness on outer skin with excruciating burning stinging sensation below shoulder blades. It started out only on the right side, but now is on both. Before this started, I had one particular spot in the center of my back that would not stop itching. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Nothing seems to be helping to alleviate the pain.
davedsel57 responded:

It is both impossible and against the rules to provide any type of diagnosis or medical advice in a WebMD community.

You will need to see your doctor for evaluation and treatment.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


Debsbears responded:
Kjunman44, Have you seen an Neurologist? Or a dermatologist?

The reason why I ask is they are the ones who diagnosed me, I also had the same thing happen.

The one spot on my back the itches all the time is caused by a pinched nerve I have at the T7 level. Diagnosed by an EMG. And the burning I have in my shoulders blades is caused from my RSDS. (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome). Also diagnosed by my Neurologist.

My dermatologist gave me an anti-itch cream for the spot on my back which does help. It does not take away the problem only surgery would but not worth it to me. As for the RSDS or now called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome the Drs can direct you in that area.

I which I could help more but I am not a doctor or a nurse I am just giving you info from what I have experienced. You could go to for more info to see if this could be something that you can relate to. Like I said earlier please see a specialist who can give you the proper diagnosis.
kjunman44 replied to Debsbears's response:
Debsbears , thank you very much for your response. As of yet, I am unable to see a doctor due to finances. I will look into the ailments you mentioned. Praying that I will be able to see a doctor soon to get this under control so I can work and provide for my family the way I should be. My sister is on Neurontin for Neuropathy and seems to think I have the same thing as her. Once again thank you for your response. Any insight is greatly appreciated. Thank you and May God Bless.
kjunman44 replied to davedsel57's response:
Dave, I only came on here to possibly get an idea of what may be going on. Some people are severely strapped financially and can't afford to get to the doctor much less see a doctor. Nowhere in my post did I ask for a diagnosis or medical advice, just input as to what it may be so that I could go from there. There is a difference between an opinion and a diagnosis. Try to be a little more sensitive when responding to a newbie on this site. You will find that it will go a long way. May God Bless you and your family.
Chris_WebMD_Staff replied to kjunman44's response:
Hi Kjunman44 and welcome,

I'm glad you found us. I hope others will chime in and share what they can with you too.
I think we all get frustrated at times on here because we wish we could do more for each other.
But support and just realizing that others share your exprience I hope will help you.

And again, welcome!
Chrissy~ WebMD Staff

Confucius Say;
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

bj1208 responded:
hi and welcome to the support group -

you could have several items going on from a pinched nerve to a herniated disc.

I did read that you have financial problems and wonder if there is a big university hospital near you - they do have departments set up to help those that don't have insurance or that have financial problems. as an example my brother does not have insurance but does go to a university hospital where he is able to see the doctors at a small fee or no fee at all.

also, check with Medicare or Medicaid and see if you qualify - they should be able to help you.

hope this helps - please let us know what you find out - take care - Joy
biologylvr responded:
I just saw your post. I too have suffered the same problem for over 20 years now in my right shoulder blade. It is numb on the skin surface, just below that it itches, then at the layers below my skin I have several painful sensations going on at once; stinging, burning, and aching. The pain never goes away. Working (I work at a computer 8-12 hrs/day) and exercising makes it much worse.

I have been to my family doctor, pain centers to receive cortisone injections and have taken Tramadol (a mild pain reliever) for approximately 15 years. After doing a ton of research, I have found that it is most likely due to inflammation of the muscles Teres minor/major and the Serratus anterior and the surrounding nerves. The orgin/insertion point of these muscles are from your side, about 8" below your armpit to the tip and just under the tip of the scapula (shoulder blade).

Here are a few things I have found to help lessen the sting:

one is using the rubber end of a pencil, finding a sore spot on my side, and pressing and holding it in place as long as I can stand it. Then press a little harder, repeating at each tender spot you find. Even though the pain is coming from your shoulder blade, you will start to feel a tingling sensation as you hold pressure into those sore muscle points on your side.

Another technique that helps is using a tennis ball, or something similar in size, place it under your shoulder blade while laying in the floor. It will begin to tingle, and feel like heat is coming from it. Hold it there, while you are laying on the ball, with your arms by your side. As the pain subsides, slowly raise your arms, a little at a time, until you can get to the point that you can begin to reach toward the ceiling. Move the ball to all tender areas of your back, the muscle between your side and back, and the muscle beside your spine (just not on your spine) and repeat the process.

I have found stretching out my thoracic spine (middle back) also helps take some of the pain out by using a couple of towels rolled up, placing it under my middle back while laying on the floor, beginning with my arms down by my side, then slowly raising my arms while taking deep breaths in and out.

Using a heating pad on the painful areas before and after you put pressure on the painful areas also seems to be a bit helpful.

There are also some good stretches on youtube you can find by searching "Thoracic Spine stretches."

When you can afford to, I highly recommend going to a chiropractor, as they are the ones who have helped me the most. However, even with insurance, I can't afford the treatment very often. Many chiropractors have coupons online for a free consultation which includes x-rays, exam, and a report of findings, and if you don't have insurance, most have a much lower rate for "self pay" patients that they will work with you on. In my case, its cheaper for me to go as self pay, even though I have insurance. So I can completely sympathize with you on that note too.

Although I see your post was a year ago, I hope that what I have found to be useful will also help you and others. You always hear about low back pain, but this is not a topic that I have found to have much coverage. I had also contacted the Doctor's TV show for help, but have never received a response. Good Luck!
biologylvr responded:
I should also mention that I have never had an official diagnosis as to what this type of pain is called by any of the doctors I have been to. I have only been told that it is nerve damage that can be caused from accidents, over use of those muscles, scoliosis, etc and over time the pain gets worse as the inflammation intensifies. Mine began after my first child was born, after 2 more children it got worse, and over time and working and going to the gym, it often gets unbearable and depressing because it never completely goes away.

Something else you may want to consider is using ibuprofin, it is an anti-inflammatory. The bad thing for me is that I have to take 800 mgs (4 regular strength over the counter pills, unless you can get an Rx, which is much cheaper if you do) and it takes about a week for it to get in my system good to barely take off any of the sting.

Naproxen Sodium (aka Aleve) has also helped me in conjunction with the techniques I listed earlier.

The Tramadol I have been on for over 15 years now has helped me tolerate the pain so I can work, but unfortunately it has side effects and I have over time had problems with dry eye (Meibomian Gland Disorder) that my doctor thinks is caused by this medication because it can cause you to be dehydrated.

Again, these are the things I have found to be helpful. I am not a physician, and not here to give advice, only to share my information in hopes it will give some guidance to others. Also, knowing that others are having the same issues is somewhat a relief - when you feel you are the only one suffering from these symptoms, sometimes it can cause a person to think the worst.
bj1208 replied to biologylvr's response:
Hi biologylvr - welcome to the support group -

thanks for responding to the posts even though they are over a year old.

As something as severe as this is I would caution trying to do home remedies for too long before getting a full diagnosis.

As we have stated there could be numerous reasons for the sensations being felt from nerve damage, shingles or even a damaged disc.

It's imperative to be checked out by specialists in order to determine what is causing the pains as there is always a pinpoint origin of where it's coming from.

seeing a pain management specialist, such as a PHYSIATRIST would be a good starting point. they can examine and order tests (MRI, CT Scan etc) to be done to help with diagnosis. Even a test called EMG and Nerve Conduction Test may help determine if this is nerve damage and may be able to pinpoint a disc that could be the root of the problems.

If needed, the PHYSIATRIST Pain Specialist can refer you to ether a Orthopedic or Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist to review in detail the MRI/CT Scan films as they are the only ones that can accurately read the film reports thus giving proper diagnosis so that the right treatment options can be given.

as we informed the original poster when financial problems arise big university hospitals do have programs for those that do not have insurance and can treat you based on financial situations.

As the original posting is over a year old, I don't believe we have heard back from the poster but do want to thank you for your suggestions but also want to warn that having a proper diagnosis before starting course of treatments is vital.

Thanks again and welcome~~
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~
An_264503 responded:
Hi, I have the same exact problem. Right on/below my right shoulder blade has been itching for about a week now. All of sudden, this extreme amount of pain and numbness in the area came upon me. There are no marks, just a large pain and it feels like I got stung by a giant bee.

I am 12 years old (Using my parents account with permission) and I am a female. I have no idea what this means and before I go to a doctor, I would like to have somewhat of an idea of what to do.

Please Help! God bless xo
jmm1208 replied to An_264503's response:
hi and welcome

there could be several different reasons this is happening.

the only thing you can do is go see your primary doc so that he/she can examine and possibly run test to see whats going on.

please keep uss posted what you find out.

jmm1208 replied to An_264503's response:
there could be numerous different things that cause this. Its best to see your primary doc so they can examine and possibly run tests.

keep us posted.

Lexia51 replied to biologylvr's response:
Thank you! Finally I found someone that describes what it feels like and has an answer. I do the exact same things, instinctively, as you mentioned, though I had not used a rubber tipped pencil but rather other objects similar. Ive always known it was something related to muscles in that area, and we have just done a big move and I was lifting some heavy stuff. I always get relief from my chiropractor who is Japanese and so has some great techniques to help. But this was the first time that the soreness has been accompanied by sore patches on my skin, particularly on my shoulder blade area and on my back, right behind armpit. Like sunburn and a bruised feeling, New for me but somehow I knew it was tied up with the tenderness I get in that area. I just didnt realize that surface nerves could be affected until I read what you wrote. Maybe I did something that's opened up a whole new can of worms But anyway thank you!

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