YANMD, but am I being ridiculous?
February 11, 2013 3:09 PM Subscribe
YANMD: I have pain in my left shoulder blade, I can feel a muscle "knot", and I'm convinced I have cancer.
posted by sarahgrace to health & fitness (30 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
20 year old female, seemingly healthy other than occasional health anxiety. 5' 2", 138 pounds, eat fairly well. Social smoker for ~3 years in the process of quitting, been exposed to secondhand smoke my whole life.
About 7-8 months ago I noticed a tension/ache in my left shoulder blade that extends up to the top of my shoulder occasionally. Of course I had to Google it, and I found out that lung cancer can cause shoulder pain (could have gone my whole life without knowing that... ignorance is bliss). It's an on and off pain, but it seems to be worse when I sit in my office chair at work - I hunch over and sit with my spine curved. When I massage the area, I feel a knot of tight muscles and adding pressure makes the pain worse. It helps a lot to lay on my back and roll on a tennis ball (the localized pressure causes almost a shooting pain but it improves the overall pain) and then lay on a heating pad. Massages also help.
I do have anxiety and spend a lot of time stressing and worrying. I experience a lot of fatigue, but I work full time and am a full time college student that rarely has a day off. I have no chronic cough or any cough at all (other than from sinus drainage), no bloody sputum, no weight loss (however I've been eating a lot of fast food and not gaining weight), no bronchitis or pneumonia. I do sometimes have a hard time getting a full breath and occasionally get short of breath with activity but it doesn't hinder me (I'm not in great shape, but not in terrible shape). The only other symptoms I can think of are pain in my legs and knees (my knees are bad anyway), and occasional shooting pain in my ribs (a couple of my good friends have experienced this too). Also, when I experience heartburn, the pain is in exactly the same spot as the shoulder blade ache.
Am I crazy for being this anxious? Should I take the time to go to the doctor or is it reasonable to write this off as just a tight muscle?