Nerves that go through our spine come from cervical region to the lower part of our back. Coming out from lateral sides through small holes of the backbone, it has a possibility of pinching from other structures that go around the spinal nerve, which can be bones, muscles, cartilages. This type of pressure can cause a pain in a shoulder blade, which can be very uncomfortable. Depending on the extent of the damage, this pain and changes can be short or long-term, and cause some severe condition with a loss of function of certain parts of the body. This is why it is important to diagnose in the early stages and to proceed with the therapy.
Shoulder Blade Pinched Nerve Symptoms
Usually, the pain in the shoulder pain is a referred pain from a cervical part of the spine, where during the exit path, it may have been captured in between some structures, causing the pain in the field that they innervate. This type of pain can be really intense and cause a discomfort.
This type of pain is usually a sharp, stabbing knife-like pain, which unlike the pain from a muscle weakness doesn’t have a dull and it is precise and strong. The pain can radiate down the arm and up to the head causing some occipital headaches and neck pain. The compression of the nerve is causing a muscle contraction and an inflammation which leads to painful movement and constant pressure to usually one side of the shoulder.
- Tingling effect
In some, the pain can be in a form like “pins and needles” in that part of the shoulder. This can be due to loss of sensation in that area, leading to slight numbness in the arm, which is a sign of compression. It is important to react in this stage of numbness, or else, it can lead to permanent paralysis of the arm. This can be solved with some simple steps, when still in the beginning.
The weakness of the arm is also a sign of a function loss of the arm, which can be in a way that the arm can seem heavier and your muscles can feel weaker. This means that it can progress if the problem continues and can go from numbness of the hand to total weakness of the arm, leading to the stage where you can’t do everyday things and lift some objects. If this happens, it is important to go to the doctor as soon as possible before something occurs and you are left with nerve damage.
How To Diagnose A Pinched Nerve In Shoulder Blade?
Doctors may start off with physical examination, where they conclude the cause even from the pain region and can deduce in which part of the back. This is possible knowing the innervation of the skin and which nerve is responsible for that part of the sensory map. After checking the neck and the head, you will be checked for reflexes, strength and sensation in some areas and your doctor may instruct you to do some movement and demonstration of certain moves that cause the pain. You will be asked some detailed information about the pain, when did it start, how does it spread and other things about the topic. If the problem is due to injury, it is important to state that too in the details about the pain. Other types of diagnostic measures are X-ray and MRI. X-ray can show the bone structure of your backbone and show some angles of the vertebra if that part is crooked and it is pinching the nerve. An MRI can show soft tissue and explain some in detail changes in nerves and ligaments.
Depending on the damage and the issue that led to this kind of pain, a doctor may prescribe a few remedies and ways of treatment.
- Rest. Depending on the source of this kind of injury, a doctor may recommend you to rest to calm down the inflammation and to relieve the pain. He may order you to avoid any active movements say that it is best for to lay down flat on the back which can lower the pressure and help you recover.
- Physical Activity. In some other cases, a doctor may prescribe some physical therapy for you to strengthen your muscles and improve flexibility in that part of the injury. This types of exercise can be stretching, some type of movement or strength exercise. A doctor may ordinate a chin extension and shoulder shrug movement, also some bench press exercise.
- You may be in such a state that you need some medication for the inflammation to calm down. In those cases, you will require some cortisone injections or if that doesn’t help, as the last option – a surgery.
- Compresses On The Affected Area. This is a therapy that you can do by yourself at home, which is putting hot and cold compresses on the affected part of the body, which can numb the pain, leading to muscle relaxation. Alternation of the hot and cold padding on the shoulder for about 15 min can relieve the pain and can calm the inflammation of the nerve.
- Over-The-Counter Medications And Other Options. If you have some mild problems and you are feeling pain, you can try and use some medications like Ibuprofen or Naproxen for the pain relief. If the pain is severe, you should seek professional help.