Ask an expert

26 Oct 2008

Constant pain
Hi there doc,
firstly, thank you for making time to be available to us.

I am a 20 year old female.Doc? I have had pain in my shoulders and my shoulder blades for about two years now. It started when i went to a festival and played the baritone sax. I didn' t have a good strap and after hours of rehearsing and it hanging from my neck, i' ve had this constant pain. The pain is from the shoulder blade up to my shoulders and into my neck. When i move my shoulders like one does in a warm up, then my bones click all the time and my shoulder feels tight. Also, i have friends and family poke my back often because of the pain, and when my back is poked or even massaged professionally then it feels like they are pressing into bubble wrap. If that makes sense? I' ve been to my doctor who just keeps pumping me with pain killers saying it' s probably stress. But i know it' s not. I can' t find a single thing that brings me relief. I' ve been for massages, for pressure point technique and using the pills the doc gave, but no relief. None. I still play the sax now, but a smaller one with a better strap. And after i' ve played for a while it pains terribly. I am at a loss. Please can you advise me? Or shed some light?
Answer 371 views
Shoulder Doc
Shoulder Doc

01 Jan 0001

Dear kelly,

I have seen several young female musicians with your type of problem and it turned out to be a Thoracic outlet syndrome. Have a look at our website : and then at "shoulder problems" and "Thoracic outlet syndrome"- see if you recognise any of the symptoms described there and let me know. you will find our e-mail address on the site]


Dr Joe de Beer
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.