Searing Burning Pain in Right Scapula


i’m looking for some advice on a problem that’s been plaguing me for over a year now. a friend referred me to this site, and while i’m not a bodybuilder, i heard you guys have a lot of expertise to offer relating to the musculoskeletal system and injuries as well.

like i said, i’m not a bodybuilder per se, and i am very much an amateur, but from march until november of last year i did do a self-designed, intense, machine-only weightlifting regimen. it was intense, at least for me (i’m 5’11" and 125 lbs., very lanky and out of shape).

all was going well with my regimen until i started experiencing a burning pain around the right scapula…around the lower tip of the right scapula, to be more exact. the pain occurs most when i’m standing still or walking. the pain has worsened over the past year. now, it is to the point that literally, ten minutes after getting out of bed, that area of my back is stinging and burning. things like washing dishes or brushing teeth or anything involving leaning are particularly difficult. funny thing is, i’m not in pain when i’m sitting flat against something, exercising, or lying down. i also have another kind of pain that occurs a little higher and closer to the spine: i feel it every time i put my neck and shoulders back and try to stand up straight. it feels like cords being pulled taut, and it’s kinda sharp. i know the two pains are related. by the end of the day, i’m all hunched over because it hurts too much to stand up straight.

the reason i say i “did” have a regimen was because i stopped lifting last november, thinking that maybe i was lifting all wrong or my program was all wrong or i’d screwed something up somehow. well, it’s now june of the following year, and the pain isn’t any better.

physically, there are also some abnormalities worth noting:

when i look in the mirror, the left shoulder (the painless one) looks completely normal. the right shoulder, however, is all fucked up looking. the shoulder blade sticks out in the back, and the actual shoulder is all slumped forward. it’s almost like the whole system is tipped off its axis. is there a such thing as a tipped scapula? anyway, it’s annoying having good posture from the left side, and some weird shit going on on the right side.

i think the rotation on that right shoulder must be affecting the flexibility of the right arm. for instance, i can only scratch my back with the left arm…the right arm won’t reach. it’s just very limited.

it wasn’t always like this, and it may have happened so gradually that i just didn’t notice. the pain came on gradually too…now it is worse than ever.

thanks for reading all this, and thanks in advance for helping me with this worsening, debilitating problem.

oh, and i should mention that i did try all manner of things to diagnose and fix this shoulder issue…i did physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, electric stimulation, and yoga. physical therapist wasn’t that good though, i got the feeling. nobody has been able to tell me what specific muscles are messing me up here. serratus anterior? traps? i know nothing about this; those are my best guess. maybe it’s nerve pain, i don’t really know.

chronic pain sucks ass, so hopefully someone really knowledgeable will come along because this is kinda my last hope. someone tell me this can be fixed!

hate to ask the obvious but what has your sports physician or osteopath said?


that there’s probably some muscle imbalance and/or inflammation. but nobody’s been able to tell me exactly what muscles or what is causing the inflammation, nor has anybody been able to treat it.

has anyone looked at how you move? i’m kinda guessing no.

sometimes it’s more effective to pull back and look at the larger movements than zero in on the site of an issue. it mayn’t be the source

pm me if you’re interested in connecting with someone who can do a movement assessment.


It sounds like a winged scapula. There are multiple nerve injuries that could result in winged scapula. There are also other tests which may be of help, EMG/NCV vs direct imaging. I would definitely see a physician (MD or DO), not a chiropracter, who specializes in musculoskeletal medicine (i.e. physical medicine and rehabilitation).


thanks for the advice. i will definately be making an appointment with a neurologist and hopefully get an emg and/or ncv done.

i’m meeting with a new physical therapist on wednesday, so i will ask him about doing a movement assessment if you think that would be helpful.