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Upper Back Pain

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    Posted: Jun 24 2011 at 4:08pm
Our user asked: "Hi, While on bedrest following surgery (testicular biopsy)I rolled over in my sleep and felt a painful burning along the edge of my left latissimus dorsi. I also have a very tender spot near where I think my lat connects to my shoulder blade. That was 6 days ago. I have no pain except during certain movements. In particular, when I roll my shoulders forward and flex my lats and pectoral muscles or when I hold dumbbells at arms length in front of me. Pullups and rows do not cause pain. I can feel some tightness during pushups, but not pain. I can also activate the pain by palpating the lat muscle semi-vigorously with my fingers. The pain feels like a burning finger from my shoulder blade area down to my lats. It quickly subsides when I cease doing whatever just activated it. I have no numbness or weakness, and my range of motion seems normal. I have no lumps, swelling, or visible injury. I have iced, used moist heat, used a foam roller, taken aleve, had a chiropractic adjustment, but it seems just as bad as when it first happened. I have schedule a PT appointment, but it is weeks away. Does it sound like a nerve issue? Disc? Muscle tear? Strain? I am trying to figure out some stretches but am not even certain what muscle (it seems like it has to be lat?). Thanks!"
Ask a PT Response: "Without physically examining you I would not be able to give you an accurate PT diagnosis. From what you describe I would be more inclined to suspect a soft issue injury such as a strain or a muscle imbalance vs nerve or disc. I would also want to rule out any dysfunction at the costothoracic joint which may have occured as a result of you rolling over. Your PT will conduct an evaluation and examination and should be able to give you a better idea of what may be contributing to yor condition."
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