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What (if any) specialist to see?

Original Post
Eric K · · Washington · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 45

So I have a slight shoulder issue on my right side. A little background, in 2010 I had a mountain bike crash where I compressed 4 vertebrae just under my neck. That took some time to heal but I now have no back pain whatsoever from it. What I have had since then is tendency to develop tightness just to the right of my spine next to shoulder blade. Also in that spot there is a very consistent and pretty loud "Pop" ever time I rotate my right arm in reverse circles. It occasionally pops while rotating in forward circles but always in reverse. There is no pain associated with the pop and there has never been. I have seen PTs and a Chiropractor about this but that has never really gotten me anywhere. Its has never been a problem in daily life and as long as I keep good posture I have no pain and the extra tightness I get is easily resolved so I had just decided these are effects from the back break I need to live with.

Fast forward till now. After I do hang board workouts and while reaching my right arm to pick up items I occasionally feel light tingling pain running down my outside of my right arm starting just under the shoulder and stopping 4" above the elbow. Under normal climbing movements and loads I don't notice any pain and this has not held back my climbing at all. This training season I devoted all my "skill development" time to climbing with "Strong and Stable" shoulder positions. Now while climbing my shoulders feel stronger than ever (my overall stability has increased as well) but still after I hang board I will feel the same light tingling pain. I am hanging with as close to perfect form as possible and have been doing ever stability exercise I can think of but the issue persists. To make things more troubling I feel now that the entire right side of my back is perpetually a little tighter than the left and and If I squeeze my shoulder blades together I get a lightly painful pinching feeling right where I get the "pop" in my back.

It seems that my problem is not climbing related but still leftover effects from my past back injury that are getting worse as my climbing level increases. I feel like I have developed some type of imbalance or compromised movement patters I cannot find. I am not asking for a diagnosis but I am wondering what type of specialist you would go to if you were seeking help from this problem. My options seem to be...

PTs; The PTs (I have seen a few) I went to in the past did not seem to have any understanding of climbing which didn't help, they also did not seem to think anything would ever get the "poping" to go away and did not see it as a problem anyway. If I found a PT with climbing knowledge that would probably be better (an recommendations in the Leavenworth/Wenatchee area)

Chiropractors; I was very unimpressed with the Chiropractor I went to last time. After about 5 visits I was out a bunch of cash and felt 0 improvement. At least the PT helped my find some good exercises. Again if you have had success with Chiropractors tell me what to look for or recommendations if you are in my area.

Massage Therpy; This I would love to try because a good deep massage sounds awesome. I have never had one done by someone other than my wife (who is barely strong enough to get at what is bothering me) and going to someone who uses one to heal stuff would be interesting but I don't know how that would help solve chronic issues.

Acupuncture; Im the most skeptical of this. Ive never done it and I know a lot of people love it, I just would not even know where to start or why this would help.

Thanks for your thoughts. I know my issue is not really a climbing injury but it is starting to effect my climbing and climbers seem to have unique injuries and know what types of non standard medicine is worth trying.


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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