Piers and his Chest and Shoulder Pain and ache
Piers was a 46 year-old Director of a computer gaming company. He consulted us with chest and left shoulder pain after being discharged from hospital. The original thought of his pain being referred from his heart was ruled out and Piers was told that a musculoskeletal cause was likely.
As we discussed his complaint Piers explained that 3 months ago he had a ‘catching’ pain in his shoulder when he reached out to put things in a cupboard. This had become more persistent and now Piers felt a constant dull ache that even disturbed his sleep. We took his Blood Pressure for our own records, which was normal for his age-group.
We examined his shoulder and found there to be an issue with his Biceps tendon. It was not gliding freely in the groove it sits in, just in front of the shoulder joint itself. As with most shoulder problems there were neighbouring joints which were struggling to compensate and were becoming problems in themselves.
We felt there to be high muscle-tone located around the rib-head as it attaches at the mid-back and at its attachment to the breastbone on the chest. We asked Piers to have a deep-breath in and this caused mild discomfort in both his chest and mid-back. He was relieved that there was nothing wrong with its structure and that there was no feel or sign of arthritic change during our examination of either joint.
It took 2 sessions to get symptomatic relief for his chest pain and 4 sessions to restore the muscular imbalance of Piers’ shoulder. We worked to improve his posture so that there was minimal tug from the muscles of his shoulder that extend onto the rib-heads. We took a ‘hands-on’ approach to stimulating the muscles of the shoulder and used manipulation to free off the ribs. Piers helped facilitate change by stretching his Biceps and chest muscles which inevitably become tight when desk-based for a living.