Twenty-nine year old Ashley brought to our office a history of occasional upper back pain for the past few years.
The pain would last several days and could be severe. At times it would occur because she “overdid it,” while at other time it just seemed to happen for no apparent reason. It was felt in the area of the shoulder blades either in the center of the spine or slightly off to the left. When it flared up, taking a deep breath or sneezing could produce a stabbing pain. These episodes were becoming more frequent and were increasingly interfering with her quality of life. She hoped we could help to resolve the problem.
Upon inspection, we noted that Ashley had a forward head posture and rounded shoulders. The muscles in her neck, upper shoulders and shoulder blade region were very tight and contained multiple trigger points. Joint fixation was noted in the upper neck, upper back, and shoulder blade region. Back pain was reproduced with pressure on the T4 and T5 vertebrae and left rib joints. X-rays revealed a loss of the normal curvature of her neck and upper back. No spinal degenerative changes were yet apparent. All other medical findings were normal.
We explained to this young woman that the postural alterations and spinal dysfunctional pattern that had become established were causing repetitive strain to her spine. This affected the health of her spine and the nearby spinal nerves. The only way to correct the problem was to clear these patterns and reestablish normal function.
Our team immediately went to work performing spinal adjustments, muscle release techniques, and trigger point injections. We retrained her posture through postural awareness techniques and a specific exercise prescription. We also determined that her computer set up at work and her hobby of needlework needed to be modified to put less strain on this area.
She quickly responded to our treatment and stated that she was very thankful for our “holistic approach.”