Pain Concern
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Do I have long thoracic nerve palsy?

I have had scapular winging for over 8 months now which was apparently induced from intense overhead activity ( serving in tennis). Even after intensive physical therapy for 6 months, the winging has gotten worse and so has the pain. I have intense pain in my shoulder blade and along my neck, and a lot of stiffness in my mid back area. I also get lots of stabbing down my right arm ( the winged scapular is the right one) and numbness in my hands and sometimes get tingling in my hands. I get fatigued easily, especially doing overhead activities. I went to see a surgeon who said unless there is nerve damage there is nothing he could do. Does it sound like this could be long thoracic nerve palsy? Or paralysis of long thoracic nerve? I really would appreciate any answers or help as the pain is getting unbearable. Many thanks.

3 Replies

See another neurosurgeon. Some will operate for pain only. But are you sure this isn't an orthopaedic or a rheumatology issue?


Physical therapy clearly has not helped your condition. So I presume all you have had is do this exercise and not much else. Muscular uncoordination is often not helped by exercises and exercises tend to make it worse.

You need to look at therapies which work on muscles which do not work properly because of co-ordination problems. Massage can help remove minor muscle cramps and it sounds like that you have a lot of those. McTimony chiropractic can help release tight muscles adjacent to the spine and other others. NICE has chiropractic treatment as a recommended treatment. You need to do the research in order to present an argument for this to your GP. Alexander Technique is a very good treatment for problems with muscular coordination.


See a doc. Get a referral. Tell the dr how much pain you are in while you wait!


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