Sharp stabbing pain in upper back


Q: I have a burning, stabbing pain in my left shoulder blade. I've had it for about 9 months. I smoke, I've been smoking since I was 15. I am a 19 year old female. Cancer runs in my family on my mother's side. I do not know about my father's. Nothing makes it better. Sitting up, when I'm laying down or just sitting up in general is an unbearable stabbing pain. It keeps getting worse. I have a history of frequent bladder infections, and upper respiratory infections (bronchitis.) I have scoliosis, my curve is in my lower back. Heart disease runs on both sides of my family.

Symptoms:  Sharp stabbing pain in back

A:   Hello,
Thanks for choosing "Ask the Doctor" for posting your query.

You mentioned that you are suffering from pain in your left shoulder and back. The common causes for such conditions are rotator cuff injury/tendinitis, frozen shoulder or nerve compression. Shoulder pain and backache can also be attributed to spine problem as you have also mentioned that you are suffering from scoliosis. However, you need to be thoroughly evaluated by your doctor. A detailed investigations including X-ray, MRI and CT scan will be needed. Ruling out possibility of any cancer is also important as it runs in your family by performing the above-mentioned investigations.
Meanwhile, analgesics like diclofenac or ibuprofen might be of some help to you for alleviating your symptoms. Flexeril that you are taking now is a muscle relaxant, you can consult your doctor to combine it with analgesics (pain killers).
Consult your physician and be properly guided

Hope I am able to answer your concerns.

Wish you good health!

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