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Massage/right shoulder blade pain


Hello I read one of your posts and I was able to relate to the lady who was asking a question...My problem is that my upper back muscles and chest are really really tight and I get this tingling sensation on my right shoulder blade and when I raise my hands to take off my shirt I get a pain in the right chest just above my breast and under my armpit, also when I sneeze or cough it hurts on my right side of the neck and right side of the chest ....I've been going to chiropractor and i get adjusted which have helped tremendously with my neck pain but the pain in my right side when I undress is still there I've had about 2 massages but i really don't feel they are helping me other than to relax at the moment...I need HELP can you please HELP me, thank you

Dear Tania,

If you feel the massages have not helped that's probably because they are too light or working in the wrong areas (or both.)  Perhaps they worked mostly where it hurt.  In that case, they were just rubbing symptoms rather than helping you get rid of the cause of your painful tight shoulder.

If the massage doesn't 'meet the muscle' it doesn't help the muscle to relax.  I'm guessing that your rib muscles and upper chest muscles are involved as well as the muscles on the outer side of your shoulder blade (under your armpit.)  Also, the muscle that is wedged between your shoulder blade and ribs might be 'too tight' and causing your symptoms, too.

Look for a massage therapist who practices St. John Neuromuscular Massage Therapy or Neurosomatic Therapy.  You might have good relief from a Rolfer or Hellerworker, too.  They all practice deeper forms of massage and will probably look at your posture before creating a plan of action.

When the shoulder muscles are relaxed you can start to strengthen your back.  You could actually start now but you will have more benefit after.

Here's the link to an article to help you find a skilled massage therapist:

I hope this helps you get started feeling better quickly!



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Kathryn Merrow


I can respond to questions about migraines and headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, hand-wrist-arm pain, upper back pain, and other assorted and miscellaneous pain symptoms. I can also respond to general questions about massage and how to select a massage therapist.


I have been a massage therapist since 1992 specializing primarily in pain relief techniques. I utilize the St. John Method of Neuromuscular Massage Therapy (NMT) and other bodywork modalities. I'm The Pain Relief Coach online.

Professional Member of American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCTMB)


My initial training in massage was at Health Enrichment Center in Lapeer, Michigan. I have had advanced training or workshops with Kurashova Institute for Studies in Physical Medicine, St. John Neuromuscular Institute of Pain Relief, Center for Self-Healing and many others. I now share my education and experience as a Massage Instructor and Pain Relief Coach.

Awards and Honors
The highest honor I receive is when someone tells me that they finally understand why they had pain, that they took action and that their pain is either less or is totally gone.

Past/Present Clients
I have done well over 20,000 therapeutic massage sessions, primarily with clients with various types of pain or painful syndromes.

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