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Noticed pepper sensation scapula after massage. What is this?

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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1038 Questions
Hi Doc,

I am a makeup and hairstylist in NYC and carry 50 pound luggage up and down stairs on buses and subways. After a massage session, I noticed a XXXXXXX pepper sensation on the R scapula for the past 6 weeks. Sometimes it feels like a very hot compress. It's gone at night, then sometimes, it wears me out. What is this? Thankyou
Posted Mon, 3 Jun 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Achuo Ascensius 5 hours later
thanks for the query.

Your history appears to be relevant;
-history of shoulder fracture,
-carrying of luggage frequently and
-notion of massage prior to onset of sensation.

Given your history, possible causes could be that there is an irritation of a nerve that supply the scapular region. This pain should generally aggravate when you use the shoulder. The irritation could as well be far back to the level of the spines in which case the symptoms of pain or numbness should radiate along the fore arm and down to the hand.

Since you did mentioned of frequent carrying of luggage, another possible cause of your sensation is over use of the muscle or trauma to the rotator cuff muscle. Rotator cuff is a group of muscles that work together to support and stabilize the shoulder joint. If one or more of these muscles become damage, the pain will frequently manifests itself as scapula pain. adequate rest, ice dressing and pain killers will help greatly.

Hope this has shed some light. If you have further clarifications i will be glad to help.
Best regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Noticed pepper sensation scapula after massage. What is this? 7 minutes later
Dear Dr. A,
This is great advice. Would you suggest icing the old injured shoulder, or the scapula where there is intense heat? Kind of tricky!

Thank you very much.

P.S. Nice Picture!
Answered by Dr. Achuo Ascensius 30 minutes later
thanks once more for the query.

Definitely you have to put the ice on the scapular where the pain is felt. It is most likely that you have an over use syndrome and just need some rest, ice and pain killers if pain is unbearable.

Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to respond to further query if you do have any. If you do not have any other query, you could close the discussion and rate the answers.
Best regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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