Any opinions/experience regarding thoracic cervical pain for 21 year old

Hiya, I’m a newbie to this site. I’m a 21 year old female who’s been experiencing approximately 2 years worth of upper back pain, particularly on my left side. My left shoulder is significantly higher than the other and I experience constant pain in the brachial plexus region but also what feels like shooting pain on the left side of my spine near my shoulder blade. Sometimes I also have sharp pain in this area when I inhale deeply. I experience numbing down my left arm, the feeling when you’ve been leaning on it for too long and it’s gone dead! 

As I said, I’m 21 and this pain has been going on for me for some time now and seems to be getting progressively worse and not at all better. It’s affecting my every day life and even my job now. With that said, I went to see a chiropractor who was very quick to diagnose me with scoliosis and talked me through it. I then wanted a second opinion (as my spine doesn’t even look curved) so went to see an orthopaedic surgeon. The surgeon barely mentioned scoliosis. Instead, he considered more of a brachial neuropathy issue or supraclavicular fossa? I have no idea what this is. However, he stated possible issues in the C5/C6 region. He also mentioned that I do have kyphosis but there seems to be a sort of ‘fullness’ on my back/shoulder on the left side as opposed to the right which is strange. In terms of history and well-being, I have had no injury or suffered any trauma and do not drink or smoke at all. However, I went through a stage of being really unwell during my teenage years whereby I had constant infections (glandular fever, strep throat infection etc) and since then whenever I’ve felt run down, my glands in my armpits are up and really really sore/painful. There was some speculation as to whether I had an autoimmune disorder, although this was never pursued.

I am due to have an MRI scan in the coming weeks but just wondered if anyone can shed some light on what might be going on? Anyone else’s experiences or advice is welcome. I’m just not sure at all what I’m dealing with here and whether it’s scoloisos, a neurological issue or something more sinister?

Thanks guys, sorry for the lengthy post!



  • Hang in there. Don’t worry or use words like “sinister.” You haven’t even had an MRI yet. The MRI results will hopefully give your doctor the answers needed to proceed with your treatment. Please keep us posted.

  • Thank you. I just felt as though when the chiropractor said scoliosis that it would be a bit more straight forward in terms of what path to take but it seems to be more complicated which concerns me I suppose! 

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