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Injuries and Medical Advice

Thoracic Musculature Tightness

I have an intermittent pain under my right shoulder blade that started after a long day of strenuous climbing. It improves with rest, but comes back after a strenuous climb.

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This article appeared in Rock and Ice issue 205 (October 2012).


Christian Core on Gioia 8C+/V16), Cresciano, Switzerland. Photo: Paolo.dL.

I have an intermittent pain under my right shoulder blade that started after a long day of strenuous climbing. It improves with rest, but comes back after a strenuous climb. The other night I jumped off a problem at the gym and had searing pain under the shoulder blade. Amazingly, after a little stretching the pain almost disappeared. WTF?

—ABT, rockandice.com

Simples…your thoracic musculature is tighter than a djembe drum.

Thoracic tightness usually refers to a scapular region, and often presents as a burning pain, or a pins-and-needles-type sensation. Jumping down likely
sent some compressive forces through an already tight thoracic spine, causing the sharp pain. Picture joint surfaces slapping together rather than
tearing tissue.

You need to lie on your tummy and have a suitably qualified person beat the crap out of your back until it is soft again. Make the time to do yoga once
a week


Thumbnail Image: Climber in Red Rocks, Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Robert Baker.


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