Shoulder Blade Pain Symptoms
The shoulder blades are medically known as the scapulae. Theyre triangular-shaped bones in your upper back. They stick out and become more visible when you move an arm toward your back.
The shoulder blades have many functions. One is to support pivotal movements of the shoulder.
If you have shoulder blade pain that lasts more than a few days, see your healthcare provider. Get checked even if you suspect an activity caused your pain.
Re: Shoulder Blade & Breast Pain
Hi Emma – Im sorry to read that your pain is still there. You are the one who knows your body best and if you are still worried then you should talk to your GP again. The good news is that the clinic didnt find anything suspicious earlier this year and your GP doesnt seem concerned, as they tend to be ultra cautious when someone comes with breast issues – but that doesnt mean you shouldnt get it checked again if you feel like something is still not right. Why dont you arrange a phone call with your GP and explain your concerns again. You are most certainly not wasting anyones time and the NHS keep putting out messages telling people to see their GP if worried.
We are all here to chat any time. I hope you get a reassuring answer for your pain and most of all that it disappears. Do let us know how you get on. Hugs, Evie xx
Questions Your Healthcare Provider May Ask
Youll likely be asked many of these questions about your shoulder blade pain:
- Which shoulder blade hurts? Right, left, or both?
- How long has it hurt?
- Did it come on gradually or suddenly?
- Have you recently changed your exercise routine?
- Do you take part in activities that often cause scapula pain?
- Do you sleep on the same side the pain is on?
- How would you describe your pain?
- What makes the pain worse?
- What makes the pain better?
- Do you smoke, or did you in the past?
- What other symptoms have you had?
Important symptoms to mention include:
- Shortness of breath
Other tests may be ordered based on your symptoms or other findings.
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Exercise And Physical Therapy
If possible, it can be very helpful to meet with a physical therapist before breast cancer surgery or radiation. There are exercises to do in advance that may reduce the risk of future problems. If it is too late for that, it would still be useful to meet with a physical therapist who can design a personal program to reduce shoulder mobility issues or pain. At BIDMC, we have clinicians who are trained and experienced to work with breast cancer patients with mobility issues. Learn more about BIDMCs Physical Therapy Services.
Oncologic Physical Therapy
There is a new national certification for physical therapists who have completed training and have experience working with cancer patients and survivors. It is called Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Oncologic Physical Therapy. If you are seeking a good PT to help with your recovery, ask if s/he has this certification.
A Family History Of Breast Cancer
For Tamika, fear was the worst part of cancer. Her mother had breast cancer and a mastectomy. Her sister also had breast cancer but decided against chemotherapy or radiation. By the time she changed her mind and wanted treatment, there was nothing doctors could do, says Tamika.
When Tamika learned that her mother, who lives in Memphis, had cancer again, she wanted to care for her. Instead, she sent her daughter and made video calls while continuing her own treatment in Detroit.
I did the last radiation treatments by myself, but I still had the staff at Henry Ford. They made sure I didnt feel like I was alone, says Tamika. They were right there as if they were family.
Her friends also helped. They kept me normal. Everything we talked about was not cancer, she says.
My son, daughter, and daughter-in law never let me down. Weve had our moments, but we didnt let the cancer consume us. Theyd tell me to say I was going to beat cancer and keep saying it.
Between my kids and my two grandkids, I had no other choice but to get through this. They need to remember their grandmom, says Tamika.
These days, Tamika is promoting early detection of cancer. Ive been yelling, screaming, and shouting for women to get a mammogram and ultrasound if possible, she says. The earlier you detect it, the better you are.
Next on Tamikas agenda? Be with the grandkids. Enjoy life. And even do something extra shes working to help to create housing for homeless veterans.
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Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
More women die of breast cancer than any other cancer, and men, although in a distinct minority with barely one percent of the cases, are not immune. According to 2019 statistics released by Cancer.net, a doctor-approved patient website, 42,260 people will die of breast cancer by the end of the year. This ubiquitous disease is on the rise among women, despite advances in medicine and treatment measures. Among the cancers among women, breast cancer trails only skin cancer as the most diagnosed. There will be 268,250 women in this country diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, with almost 63,000 with in situ breast cancer.
As is the case with most cancers, the sooner it is detected the better the chances of vanquishing it. Breast cancer should not be allowed to linger for long, because time is on its side as it spreads through the lymph nodes from an ignominious start as a small tumor in the breast tissue.
The hard fact is that it cant be treated if it isnt diagnosed in the first place, and we bring you seven detectable signs of breast cancer that will give you a head start.
Seven Signs of Breast Cancer
That brings us to the second sign.
Unconventional Signs Of Breast Cancer That You Must Know About
Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of the disease in the world that affects both men and women. The chances of getting the disease increase as you age, but detecting it at an early stage could be life saving. In this article I am going to discuss uncommon signs and symptoms of breast cancer that many people overlook.
The majority of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in people who are aged 40 and up, but in the instances where it affects younger people it tends to be more aggressive. This makes early detection an essential part of treating the disease within its onset stages.
Its important to have a firm grasp of bodily knowledge, as the earliest stages of breast cancer usually come without pain. The most common indicator is the discovery of a lump, but cancer goes through multiple progressive stages before these lumps form. It may sometimes take years for lumps to develop, so people shouldnt rely solely on lumps to indicate breast cancer, as they usually indicate an already progressive disease.
There are several signs that the American Cancer Society claim should be analyzed closely by a specialist. It is important to remember that these signs arent definitive proof of existing breast cancer. They can sometimes indicate smaller hormonal or health factors, so visiting an expert can clear any ambiguity. Some of the more obvious signs are:
- Change in breast structure
- Changes in the skin or nipple
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Other Pancoast Tumor Symptoms
As a Pancoast tumor continues to spread, so can the pain. Patients with an advanced Pancoast tumor may feel intense, constant or radiating pain in their arms, around their chest wall, between their shoulder blades or traveling into their upper back. Patients whose tumor has spread into the scalene muscles may also feel pain in their armpit.
In addition to disruptive pain in various areas of the upper body, a Pancoast tumor may cause the following symptoms to develop:
- Swelling in the upper arm
- Chest tightness
- Weakness or loss of coordination in the hand muscles
- Numbness or tingling sensations in the hand
- Loss of muscle tissue in the arm or hand
- Unexplained weight loss
If a Pancoast tumor compresses or irritates a nerve in the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates many of the bodys involuntary actions, a patient may experience flushing and/or excessive facial sweating. Physicians occasionally refer to these complications as Pancoast syndrome. These symptoms typically only affect one side of the facethe same side where the tumor is causing the compressionand can develop long before cancerous cells invade nearby tissues.
Some patients also experience a tingling or prickly feeling in their hands. This symptom, sometimes referred to as paresthesias, is also a result of nerve compression. In advanced cases, this compression can lead to permanent sensation loss.
Breast Pain Not Linked To Periods
Its often unclear what causes non-cyclical breast pain.
It can be related to:
- a benign breast condition
- previous surgery to the breast
- injury to the breast
- having larger breasts
- a side effect from a drug treatment, such as certain antidepressant drugs and some herbal remedies such as ginseng
Stress and anxiety can also be linked to breast pain.
Non-cyclical breast pain may be continuous or it may come and go. It can affect women before and after the menopause.
The pain can be in one or both breasts and can affect the whole breast or a specific area. It may be a burning, prickling or stabbing pain, or a feeling of tightness.
Non-cyclical breast pain often goes away by itself over time. This happens in about half the women who experience it.
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One: Your First Few Exercises
Here are some exercises you can do sitting down. Theyre usually safe to do within a few days of surgery or if you have lymphedema, but be sure to check with your doctor before doing any exercises.
You can sit on the edge of a bed, on a bench, or on an armless chair. Repeat each of these once or twice per day. But dont worry if that seems like its too much. Even if you do them every other day, theyll still help. Aim for five reps per exercise, and then slowly increase to 10. Do each repetition slowly and methodically. Doing any exercise too quickly can cause pain or muscle spasms. Slowing down can make them easier and more effective.
Shoulder Dysfunction After Breast Cancer Treatment
Women treated for breast cancer often complain of shoulder pain and decreased function post-surgery 10-55% of women show restricted glenohumeral range of movement, 22-38% complains of shoulder pain, and 42-56% report difficulties with lifting the upper limb . The surgical incisions through the skin and fasciae will result in scar tissue formation in the anterior chest wall region. This scar tissue may impair normal gliding between skin related structures, fasciae, and muscles that are necessary for freeand normal motion of the shoulder girdle. That, associated with pain, protective postures and fear of complications, will promote a resting shoulder girdle mal-alignment and a decreased shoulder motion . Soft tissue fibrosis secondary to radiation therapy would likely exacerbate decreased tissue flexibility and motion restrictions . Pectoralis minor and major muscles lengths are believed to have an important effect on shoulder resting position .
Considering the kinematics of shoulder movement, shoulder tightness affects glenohumeral translation and scapulohumeral rhythm, followed by changes in scapular motion . In particular, shortened pectoralis major and minor covering the anterior part of the shoulder and chest can impose restrictions on upward rotation, external rotation, posterior tilt and elevation of the scapula with changes for the scapulohumeral rhythm.
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Is Shoulder Pain A Sign Of Lung Cancer
Sharp shoulder or scapula pain are some of the most common symptoms of a Pancoast tumor, particularly in its early stages. The pain typically develops as the tumor impacts one or more of the nearby structures, such as the:
- Ulnar nerve, which runs from the side of the arm to the wrist
- Branchial plexus, the nerve fibers that run downward from the spine and into the shoulder and arm
- Parietal pleura, the highly sensitive outer layer of the membrane that lines the chest cavity.
- Endothoracic fascia, the fibrous tissue that separates the chest wall from the diaphragm and the pleura
Shoulder pain can be a symptom of other lung cancers besides Pancoast tumors, typically if a lung tumor presses against a particular nerve or if the cancer travels to the tissues or bones near the shoulder joint.
Its important to note that shoulder pain is far more likely to be caused by an orthopedic condition, such as osteoarthritis or a rotator cuff injury, than lung cancer. Nevertheless, shoulder pain that persists for more than a few days should be evaluated by a medical professional. Shoulder discomfort that is related to lung cancer may worsen at night, be present while resting or occur without impacting range of motion. Lung cancer that is not classified as a Pancoast tumor may also cause a hacking cough, shortness of breath and wheezing, among other respiratory symptoms.
When To Hunt Medical Take Care Of Breast Most Cancers Signs
In the event youve had breast most cancers earlier than, name your physician in the event you expertise any of those signs, which may point out that breast most cancers has unfold to your bones or liver:
- lack of urge for food
If most cancers has unfold to different locations in your physique, early remedy might assist you really feel higher and reside longer.
Sure. In the event youve had chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical procedure, youll have ache round your shoulder blade due to these therapies.
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Breast Cancer Awareness: Shoulder Pain
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States . But millions of women are surviving the disease thanks in part to early detection and improvements in treatment.
Shoulder pain in breast cancer survivors is a common condition that should not be ignored. Early detection and treatment are important in preventing long-term complications.
Dr. Eric M. Wisotzsky is the Chief of Rehabilitation Medicine and Director of the Cancer Rehabilitation Program at MedStar National Rehabilitation Health Networks. He is also an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation at Georgetown University Medical Center.
Many breast cancer survivors who have had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation report shoulder pain especially when lifting their arm overhead. What might be the problem?
Shoulder problems are extremely common after breast cancer treatment. Up to 68% of breast cancer patients may experience shoulder pain and/or restricted shoulder motion. There are two common causes of these symptoms.
What if physical therapy doesnt help?
Bone And Joint Issues
There are several potential bone or joint issues that can cause shoulder blade pain.
As the shoulder blade is a bone, a person can experience a fracture. This can result from a fall, an accident, or a similar direct injury to the shoulder blade.
Moreover, as a person ages, degenerative conditions may cause shoulder blade pain. Some of these conditions include:
More specifically, a type of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis is most common among people aged 2040 years. It is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine, but it can cause pain and inflammation in surrounding areas.
It is common for an individual to experience a muscular issue that causes shoulder blade pain. Muscles and tendons in the rotator cuff, across the scapula, up into the neck, and down into the arm are common pain sites.
A person may damage these tissues due to:
- an impact injury
medication to manage their shoulder blade pain.
Depending on the cause of the pain, a doctor may recommend several over-the-counter and prescription drugs, including:
- pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen
- corticosteroid medications, injections, or ointments
- muscle relaxers
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Shoulder Pain After Radiation
In March 2019 I had a lumpectomy/sentinel node biopsy right breast and then 4 weeks of radiation. September I couldnt lift my right arm. I went to an acupuncturist, chiropractor, and massage therapist. After none of these worked I went to my pc dr and he referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who said I must have torn my rotator cuff and ordered an mri. I told every specialist and dr about the surgery and radiation and they all said this has nothing to do with that. I was scheduled to have a nerve conduction study when I just happened to have a follow up with my oncology surgeon and he was shocked that none of these drs and specialists knew this has everything to do with radiation! I am now seeing a physical therapist and feeling much better. Whewcancelled the nerve conduction study just in time!
I had breast cancer a little over a year ago. I had 20 treatments of radiation. As I progressed through it I had to have help with my left shoulder to grip the bar. It got progressively worse. About 6 weeks after I went to an orthopedic doctor. MRI showed scare tissue definitely from radiation. My left shoulder was frozen. Surgery wasnt an option. I did therapy, had massages on it & have exercises daily for it. It has finally let go a year later, not completely but much better. Yes, the doctors all agreed it was from the radiation.
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