Patient Information Resources

Alpine Physical Therapy
Three Locations
In North, South, and Downtown Missoula
Missoula, MT 59804
Ph: 406-251-2323
Fax: 406-251-2999

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I went to see a physical therapist for muscle pain around my shoulder blade. He seems to be doing all the treatment on my neck. I am feeling better but what about the shoulder blade? Why isn't he treating that problem?

Doctors and therapists know that pain can be referred from somewhere else. This could be the result of nerve root irritation in the neck. Such a condition is called cervical radiculopathy.

If tender spots in the neck, shoulder blade (scapula), or arm are referred from the cervical spine, then treatment must address the problem. In this case, the spine should be the focus of treatment and not the tender spots.

Anytime muscles are tender or sore from cervical radiculopathy, other tests can be done to confirm the therapist's suspicions. Ask your therapist to explain his reasons for treating the neck. You'll likely find out the results of these tests.


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