Tingling Feeling: Upper Back, Shoulders, Neck

Hi all. I am starting to get a little worried about this weird tingling type of feeling I have had for the past 4 days. I am not sure if ‘tingling’ is the right word, but I am not sure what else describes it - it is not pain, not pins & needles, not numb.

It’s like that pleasurable sensation in the upper back muscles you get when you wake up after a deep sleep and yawn/stretch the entire back. Or, like when you get lactic acid build up a few days after a workout and massage the area…it’s that tingling, almost electric type of feeling. However, unlike that feeling, this is constantly there and is not dissipating.

On the first day I felt it in the lower back, centrally (around/close to the spine). For the past 3 days or so it has been in the upper back - along the spine, base of the neck, shoulders (on/under the scapulae). On both sides though a little more predominant on the right.

NSAIDS (ibuprofen) has not helped. Stretching hasn’t either. I am really at a loss and wondering if anyone has any insight into what it could be. I have searched the net but most resources talk about numbess, and tingling into the arms, legs, toes, fingers etc. (which I am not experiencing).

I will try make an appointment which a sports doctor this week to see if they can assist. The closest thing I could find in my searches was possibly ‘spinal disc herniation’ which could lead to the tingling without pain or numbness.

Thanks in advance for any insight and please let me know if there are any questions which could help possibly diagnose.


PS. an additional piece of info worth mentioning - the day before it started, I trained legs, including back and front squats (good form, conservative weight, but maybe it created pressure somewhere on the spine)

it sounds like you might have a muscle pinch, this happened to me a couple of times and especially in the back or shoulder-ish area. It does’nt go away with stretching, but with time, and I us Icey hot 3 times a day for two days and it usually leaves in around 5-6days. …

This happens alot due to muscle imbalance, for example if you train your chest more than you back and ur back cannot handle the same load as your chest you might get a muscle sprain or pinch or something of the sort…

my 2cents, im no medical expert so don’t take my word to the T but just what I gathered through experience.

Thanks for the reply. Interesting you should mention the muscle imbalance - I’ve had a number of issues with my shoulders over the years, and more recently with an over-active trapezius (and weak or non-firing rear delt muscles such as the infrapinatus and supraspinatus). This was made worse by tight chest muscles, leading to the trap taking over most of the work and becoming fatigued/painful during training.

In a thread I made a couple weeks ago, a number of people suggested I lay off all chest exercises and do only back/shoulders/legs/arms etc. The only thing I should do for chest is stretching to try and alleviate that inflexibility, whilst focusing training on strengthening those upper back / rear delt muscles.

Perhaps this was brought on by the +/- 2 weeks of training focusing on those areas with no chest training?

I was initially thinking it may be a pinched nerve or spinal herniation since it started out in the very lower back (L2 region). I thus thought the feeling in the upper back, neck and shoulders might simply be refered.


I have it now in my upper left mid-back, feels like an almost ‘empty space’ sensation…

guess i’ll ice it