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Sharp stabbing pain in the left side of upper back. In

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between shoulder blade and spine...
Sharp stabbing pain in the left side of upper back. In between shoulder blade and spine. Constant prickly pain that worsens to a stabbing pain when I lower my head. (as in looking down) Goes around rib cage through to front of body. Worsens when I try to take a deep breath. Started over 10 days ago. I'm 58yr. Came on all of a sudden.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
12/4/2010
Doctor: Dr. Monica, Board Certified Physician replied 6 years ago
Dr. Monica
Dr. Monica, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 816
Experience: Experienced U.S. Primary Care Physician treating children, adults, pregnant women, and the elderly.
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Hello-

I think that you have a severe muscle spasm that is impinging on a nerve which is causing your pain. This makes sense since it is worse in certain positions and with deep breaths.

However, a more worrisome cause should be excluded, thus I do recommend a visit with your doctor to check your heart and lungs and exclude something more worrisome.

Then if it does turn out to be nerve pain from a muscle spasm, you could possible try muscle relaxants, massage, trigger point injections, physical therapy, or other modalities to help it. Most of the time it will go away with time although you can speed up the relief of your symptoms with these modalities I mention above. In the meantime, you can continue over-the-counter pain medications, stretching, and warm compresses or a heating pad to see if those things start to help a little bit.

If you get any shortness of breath, severe or new chest pain, or any other concerning symptom, I suggest you be seen immediately in the ER.

Hope that helps, but please let me know if you have any questions.
Dr. Monica
Dr. Monica, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 816
Experience: Experienced U.S. Primary Care Physician treating children, adults, pregnant women, and the elderly.
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