Chiropractors/upper back pain

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Question
hi scott, I've been having some upper back pain for about 3 weeks now. it all started when I tried to lower myself into a bathtub with my left arm. ever since then I been having a burning pain on or near my left shoulder blade. my question to you is what should I do. should I go to a chiropractor or should I let the pain heal over time.

weight is 340 pounds
height is 6'

Answer
Christopher,

Three weeks?  Get it checked out by a chiropractor.  See if your PCP has any recommendations.   You likely either strained your shoulder girdle muscles (but that should feel better in a day or two), tore something in the shoulder joint, or pinched, protruded, or otherwise irritated a disc in your neck.   If the pain is provoked when you extend your head back and rotate it to the left, it's very likely an irritated cervical spine disc.  The chiropractor should be able to test you and determine if there is any nerve involvement, e.g. loss of your reflexes or arm/hand/finger strength, or if it's just an irritation that your body just can't get past.   No x-rays!  Good hands-on exam and medical history should be all that's needed to figure out what's what.  Treatment likely should take a few weeks in order to get improvement, otherwise that becomes the flag for obtaining imaging, namely: MRI (not x-ray).    

'Hope this helps.

Dr. G'

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Scott F. Gillman, DC, DACBSP

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21 Years in practice: I can answer any question regarding chiropractic and sports medicine treatment. Mostly, I can help the unknowing public understand what is safe, valid, reasonable and evidence-based, and what kinds of unscrupulous chiropractors and fraudulent methods to stay away from. I have an advanced specialty degree in Chiropractic Sports Medicine. I have experience treating elite and Olympic athletes.

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