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Thread: Sharp stining pain on one side of upper back page

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    max219's Avatar
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    Sharp stining pain on one side of upper back

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    I was lifting, doing Romanian dead lifts. I was only doing 3 sets of 10 of 115 pounds with good form (someone was watching). On the last set 8th rep I felt this sharp stinging pain in my upper right back. I still feel the stinging 10 minutes later, and I can't twist my torso without a sharp pain. Any ideas what this is?

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    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    Disclaimer: Without physical evaluation the possibilities are limitless....

    However: I've found that this sort of movement with the associated pain type and location you describe is frequently a fixated or misaligned joint at the costovertebral juncion. AKA rib head popped out (not completely! think more like a sprained joint where the rib attaches to the spine). Usually one or two chiropractic adjustments fixes it right up.

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    TheyCallMeLazarus's Avatar
    TheyCallMeLazarus is offline Senior Member
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    My guesses would be:
    1) That you strained the tendons that connect the deltoid to the trapezius muscle. This area is often strained when you are putting any kind of dead-hang weight like what you were doing. The pain in rotation is caused by the pulling of the lattisimus dorsi over the top of the strained area....

    2) Sprain of the costoverbebral joint. Very common overuse injury in most any bent over movement. It all depends on where you are hurting....

    I would ask where the pain on rotation is located. Do you mean lower down around the waistline, or further up around the shoulder blade?

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    max219's Avatar
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    It's my mid to upper part, closer to the shoulder but still further down it. If this helps, I have a weak left hamstring that I slightly strained a few months ago that I am trying to strengthen (that's why I was doing RDLs). It was just so weird since I was not pulling or jerking at all, the pain came out of no where. As of now I'm pretty uncomfortable every time I try to move my torso.

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    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    Does it hurt to take a deep breath? Do any shoulder movements themselves hurt or just rotation of the torso?

    If the breathing and the torso only I'd lean toward costovertebral sprain or intercostal strain as being most likely.

    If ROM in the shoulder exacerbate then you'll have to differentiate for which of the rotator cuff and/or larger muscles in that area might be involved. Doesn't sound as likely based on what you have said so far though.

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