Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    sharp pain from my neck into my shoulder blade
    Dell42 posted:
    I am lookn for any suggestions and see if anyone else has had these pain started about a year ago, i thought i could work thru the pain and it would just go away but it pain is on my left's a very sharp pain that goes from my neck down into my shoulderblade and it is constant, it also seems to be the worse when i lie down at night...i dont recall any accidents or injuries, it showed up and gradually got worse...i have hade x-ray,mri and both show nothing abnormal. i have been thru physical therapy and have had a series of steriod injections with no improvement. The next step is an emg...can anyone relate and is there a answer so i can stop living in pain!
    peeps49 responded:
    3 1/2 months ago I woke up with similar pain. The emergency room tried to tell me it was a pulled muscle. I went to 11 physical therapy sessions and it moved from my shoulder to down my arm and the back of my hand. It was hard to find pain meds to even make it manageable. I too got an MRI done. My MRI actually showed that C6 (lower neck) had collapsed on one side and was laying on a nerve. The specialist informed me this is a simple surgery and they go in the front. Success rate is really high with extremely rare complications. The most discomfort being the first few days feeling like food is catching in the throat. I am now awaiting the surgery date. I would have them take a second look at the MRI. If the collapse is small then it is fairly hard to see but since it is involving a nerve the pain can be unbearable at times.
    easybreezey responded:
    I just joined and spotted this post. Suspect you may have already gotten diagnosed but I have similar problem. Mine is a disc rupture in C5/6. I have your same symptoms but also have motor weakness in my arm due to denervation of deltoid and scapula muscles. I now sleep w/pillows on both sides to rest my arms on *(laying on back). I can appreciate your pain. What ended up happening with your treatment?
    Dell42 replied to peeps49's response:
    I have hade a 2nd MRI which showed a bulging disc at the C6,C7 area. But the neuroligist has told me its not bad enough for surgery and has sent me for another round of physical therapy (6weeks) which did nothing and a set of steriod injection which has brought no relief!! so upon my follow up from my injection, my neuroligist has informed my i will have to live with the pain, there is nothing he can do on his part.. sooo he has refered me on to pain management. which i have no idea what that is going to involve? I understand the neurologist does not want to do any unwanted operations, but to tell me i have to live with the pain to me is unfair
    Dell42 replied to easybreezey's response:
    I have hade a 2nd MRI which showed a bulging disc at the C6,C7 area. But the neuroligist has told me its not bad enough for surgery and has sent me for another round of physical therapy (6weeks) which did nothing and a set of steriod injection which has brought no relief!! so upon my follow up from my injection, my neuroligist has informed my i will have to live with the pain, there is nothing he can do on his part.. sooo he has refered me on to pain management. which i have no idea what that is going to involve? I understand the neurologist does not want to do any unwanted operations, but to tell me i have to live with the pain to me is unfair
    playtimeI replied to Dell42's response:
    I understand the pain you are in. I have been living with pain for 32 years now sense an auto accident. My neck was fractured - and all the disk in my neck had to be fused from c-1& -2 all the way down to c-6 at t-7. I also sustained a ruptured disk at t-5 but nothing can be done in regards to it. Even if they could I wouldn't allow them to do so. I was paralazed for quite sometime for 2 years after my neck healed and the fusions took place. The doctors removed bone from both of my hips for the fusions and in doing so removed to much from my left hip area which causes my S.I. joint to flex which causes severe pain. I spent nine months in a halo and fell 3 times. The halo vest was to long and it wouldn't allow my back to bend at the hip which cause 3 disks in my sac region to rupture along with 2 disks in my lumbar area. If there is something to try I have tried it to help with my pain. I had my surgery done at John Hopkins and felt I would have the best surgeons but not so. What was suppose to be a nice hour surgery turned into a 14 hour one. I woke up turning surgery after thinking I was dreaming from hearing the grinding and hammering in my neck. I had to go the remainer of the surgery with only a local so I felt the pain for those five hours. I went from the operating room to my room skipping recovery altogether. Ok I think you have enough of my surgery information. I now have siactica in both legs - but at least I can walk - I lost over 60 % of the strenght in both of my arms which also cause me severe pain. May I suggest unless its a life or death decision "do not have surgery on your spine period". I didn't have a choice in the matter but it has been suggested that the doctors might be able to go back in and burn the nerve endings to which I say no period. The only thing that has helped my pain is an infusion pump which I am on my 3rd one now. I have diluaded - and two other medications which my pump delievers to my spine directly by way of a cathter in my spine from the infusion pump. But I am also on narcotics to help with the pain in area's my pump can not help because the narcotics from my pump only cover a certain area of my spine. I am now 62 years old with my accident changing my life shortly after my 30th birthday. I have never asked myself Y me but Y not me. I have never and felt sorry for myself but only my family for what I put them through.One never knows the true pain someone esle is going through or has I never have compared or tried to my pain with someone else's.I over the years have buit up a strong tolerage to pain but this is not to say I never am depressed because I am most all the time. But some how I manage to get by and find what little happiness I have in the fact knowing what its like not to be able to walk.But at the same time couldn't feel the pain either but I would rather walk and put up with the pain.I have a pain management doctor that is super to say the least.If you are going to see a pain management doctor check in to a infusion pump.They are not for everyone but with the seriousness of my injuries it was determined I needed one.I know what its like to have one only to have it quit working and the pain was enough to knock me out without my pump working.Just this past year I have lost all feelings in my feet.Physical therepy is a must - I go every 2 years just to get the knots out of my muscles which hurts like heck.I feel for anyone that is any type of pain regardless what type it is.A 17 year old kid hit the rear of my truck going about 55 mph was high.I did not receive a darn dime because he didn't have any insurance on his car. I have aurtheitis so bad now in all my joints that drives me crazy but after 32 years it should. I wish all of you the best of luck and I do not concider my injuries any worse than anyone else's I have always felt lucky to be alive something the doctors told me I shouldn't be.Your fortunate to have had a doctor that didn't do surgery on you. Its a last resort.
    playtimeI responded:
    I have a similer problem. Mine turned out to be a disk in my thoraic area its right between my blades. I will not let them do surgery even if they could because of all the other surgeries that I have had on my spine. Your injury sounds to me as musle related with a pinched nerve causing the pain. Do you have titeness in your musles in between your should blades? If so a pinched nerve could be causing this. Also you didn't mention if you have been taking any anti-flamitory meds? These might help some what but I doubt it. I would highly suggest the EMG if its a pinched nerve it should show up. One thing to remember is a EMG is only as good as the doctor giving it. I am not surprised that a EMG was not suggested before the MRI only because doctors seem to take the quick way out and from my experience MRI's are not all that realiable again only as good as the doctor that reads them. I am not surprised the injections didn't work the success rate with them is not all that great I had 18 of them in my cervical region of my spine and not one worked for more than 3 hours. I will not bore you with my other problems they are posted on this forum. I wish you all the luck and hang in there I know its a hard thing to do. I was injured 32 years ago in a bad car accident if I can hang in there you can "honest you can" just try not to let it get you down emotionally. Keep thinking possitive regardless if a doctor tells you they can not find anything wrong. Sometimes it takes a few doctors and more than one EMG to find the problems. Soft tissue injures "not saying you have one" are the hardest to heal and locate if this turns out what it is. Cheers and I wish you all the best......for give the spelling and I hope that I made some sense for you.........
    playtimeI replied to playtimeI's response:
    I am replying to my first reply. I hope while the doctor does the EMG he explores the cervical region also. They do this by checking the nerves in your hands and arms along with your neck. They can be uncomforable so try to relax during the test. If you tence up you will be sore for a few days other than that they are not all that bad at least the ones I have had weren't. Cheers again
    posey2000 responded:
    I have expirenced the same problem, along with a rice krispy crakling noise when turning my head from side to side. My pain has been pretty constant for about 5 years but I just manage through it. My pain would go from side to side,between each shoulder blade as well. The root cause I'm unware, but I've narrowed it down to a few things. Bad poister, bad sleeping position, degerated musle or nerve endings. Not really certain. Good news however, I found some tempory relief about 6 months ago, I was on vacation with my girlfriend and got a massage from a spa. I got a very deep tissue massage, it was a little painful but I actually could feel the pain working its way out of the shoulder and neck area. The massage lasted for about half an hour. I will tell you it was the best money I ever spent period. It was the best I have felt in 5 years my girlfriend could not even understand. During and imediatly afterward I could feel something taking place in my body. I didn't realize how much pain I was in until I no longer felt it. What an amazing feeling. The next day I was a little sore from the massage but noticed that my usual pain was gone and only tissue soreness which lasted for just a few more days. Bad news now 6 months later, I woke up on Tuesday morning after sleeping awkardly the night before and my pain is back again and has progessively gotten worse by the week. I'm planning a return to a masseuse very soon. I hope everyone here can find some comfort. I'm looking forward to that feeling again very soon.
    KCDC00 replied to posey2000's response:
    finn2 replied to posey2000's response:
    I know this is an older thread but feel compelled to reply in case my experience with similar pain can help someone else. I also have cervical spine stenosis, no surgery yet, pain management prescribes narcotic meds that make living possible. I do have neuropathy problems showing up and if they get bad my doc says I can have surgery if I want to. He said the neuropathy problems can often be fixed by surgery but the pain may persist. My neck pain causes really bad pain in my right shoulder blade, I think because of the way I tense up and hold myself all the time, due to pain, it's like a knife in one spot. The left blade has it also, not as bad, I feel like I have a clothes hanger across my back and eventually the whole area across shoulder blades, from above waist to lower part of skull, was full of pain, nothing eased it, that one knife pain in the shoulder blade had my entire upper back and neck in a vise. I had this for years, all the time. Pain management recommended a TENS unit and I took it home, skeptical but willing to try it (I dont want to try surgery). I used it several times a day. After about 3 days that terrible knife pain in the shoulder blade began to leave, and within a week was gone completely. I had that pain for so many years, what a tremendous relief. That was about 9 months ago and it still hasn't come back. I have the TENS unit just in case, my insurance paid for it and allows me so much a year for the supplies you need to replace, pads, wires and such. Sometimes I get a feeling that it's coming back and use the unit a few times until that feeling is gone. So if you can, try the TENS unit for the shoulder blade pain, it certainly fixed mine totally.
    sandyseagull responded:
    Your post is really old, but thought I'd add my resolve to my problem, much like yours. Hopefully you have gotten relief in the past year! Years ago I also had somewhat constant pain on my left side from my neck down into my shoulder blade, and also suffered quite a bit from sciatica on my left side, from my hip clear down to numbing in my heel. At the time, I was driving a 1984 Ford Station wagon. We bought it used in 1985 from a car rental company, and drove it up until we purchased our new 1995 Ford Windstar van in mid 1994 (yes, it's 17 yrs old and I still drive it). After driving my van for a while (not sure how long it was, but could have been a couple weeks to a month), when I suddenly realized that all my pain was gone! I've come to the conclusion that my station wagon was the culprit..! The station wagon was low to the ground and when entering it, I had to throw my weight to the left, bend down and lower my head (also to the left) and slide in. Then when getting out, I did the exact moves, but in reverse. For 10 years I was putting my body through that same repetitive movement day in and day out....except when I was the passenger, but I was the primary driver with 4 kids and sometimes felt like I lived in that car! My van sits high off the ground and I don't have to lean, stoop and bend every time I get in and out. It's a simple step up and in and a left turn of my body and slide out. No pretzel bends anymore! My diagnosis is: "Low Cars Can Be A Source To Your Neck and Shoulder Pain". My remedy is: "Purchase A Vehicle That Sits High(er) Off the Ground". I know this sounds too simple and maybe just plain stupid, but it worked for me! My husband drives a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am and I hate it... Getting in it, I have to do the same "pretzel moves" and trying to get out is a feat, as it's lower than our old station wagon. I honestly don't know how my husband drives it without body aches, but everyone is different and there are loads of low sitting vehicles out there and the people that drive them. As for my sciatica pain....that was also relieved to the point that I only suffer with it periodically now. I think the seat in the station wagon was positioned where it would push up on the bottom of my thigh while I was driving, continually irritating my sciatic nerve in my left leg. My left leg had nothing to do but relax completely while my right leg did all the work, keeping it slightly bent and pressure off my right thigh...and no sciatica problems. My van's seat is shaped differently, I sit higher and the pressure points are different enough that my sciatic nerve is not involved. That is the only conclusion I can think of. The next vehicle I purchase is going to sit high off the ground, and will make doubly sure the seat doesn't irritate my legs. This was a remedy for me, and hope it can help someone else that might have the same problem(s) with low sitting cars.
    finn2 responded:
    I had pain that sounds very much like that in the same place, for several years. My pain management doc had me try a TENS unit, it works with electrical vibration, You use it for maybe 10 to 15 minutes at a time, several times a day. By the 3rd day the pain was gone, it was all tensed up muscles in my shoulder blade and ran up to my neck, just intense horrible constant pain for years in that whole area. My insurance covered the TENS unit, I took one home from my doctor's office that day, sometimes I use it if I feel it returning, I order pads and wires for it by phone, covered by insurance. Check with your doc or look it up online for more info.
    sandyseagull replied to finn2's response:
    Never heard of a TENS unit... Sounds interesting. I will keep it in mind if I ever have to deal with pain again.. Tks!
    aka_chama replied to peeps49's response:
    Hi peeps49

    Found this site after looking for perspective on similar issues. I have the collapsed disk at C6 and have been living with it for some time. Recently this shoulder pain began and realized it was likely connected to my neck.

    Found your post and wondering on your outcomes. Would appreciate perspective.

    Spotlight: Member Stories

    I need to know from someone whose spinal fusion didnot work the first time. I am not a smoker, yet my fusion after 2 1/2 years didnnot complete itself...More

    Helpful Tips

    feelin bad
    im in constant pain. L5 and 6 were fused almost a yr ago now and ive never been in so much pain in my 38 yrs old. my kids r and ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    0 of 0 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.