Upper Middle Back Discomfort, Anyone?

Discussion in 'Health and Medical Topics' started by SubPop79, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. SubPop79

    SubPop79 Member

    Hello, fellow and retired UPSers! This is my first post! Unfortunately it doesn't have a very fun topic.

    Basically since I have started working at UPS as a package handler, moving mostly 30lb book boxes, and doing an average of 1,200 packages and 100 bags a day, I have developed some "back issue." The first was lower back pain - coming home with a stiff, sore, lower back that causes pretty good pain when bending over, moving, etc. Eventually that went away when I got used to the job and got "safer" at loading, and since that is a problem most obviously affiliated with package handling, that is not what this thread is about.

    This thread is about my upper, middle back discomforts, one being around both shoulder blades, and the other being centered right between them. This is NOT pain, just really annoying discomfort. It feels like I need to constantly crack and/or stretch my back and shoulders, but I can't. It doesn't work.

    A normal UPSer might wright this discomfort off as a job related problem, consider the lower back pain they have probably felt, but I am a 23 year old hypochondriac and a smoker of 5 years, and since UPS is very dusty, and since this discomfort is merely discomfort and not pain, my paranoid mind is thinking (perhaps irrationally) that this is lung related and not related to repetitive strain. The more down to earth part of me DOES think it is repetitive strain, but since I found this website, I was wondering if you all had of still have this discomfort and if it is in fact just strain, and not something like lung cancer.

    What do you guys say?
  2. trickpony1

    trickpony1 Well-Known Member

    I have a novel idea........quit smoking.

    1BROWNWRENCH Amateur Malthusian

    plus 10 ^^^^^ Imagine the money you will save too.
  4. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Gee, I think only 37% of the people on here are qualified to diagnose lung cancer.
  5. SubPop79

    SubPop79 Member

    Gee, I think at least 37% of the people on here have been package handlers, so maybe those people could tell me if they got upper back pain doing that job. I realize that I should quit, in fact I have a list of 30 personal reasons to quit right in front of me. This isn't about quitting. This about back pain.
  6. gman042

    gman042 Been around the block a few times

    Back in '98 I was involved in a car wreck. I got T-boned on the driver's side. I recall the door hitting me in the side. What happened as a result was a blown disc in the location that you describe. Even now, when I get fatigued that is the place that I feel it first.
    You may have a strained muscle or even a disc that is injured. BUT....try to quit smoking. At best you will give your lungs a chance to heal.
  7. trickpony1

    trickpony1 Well-Known Member

    Have you thought about going to a physical therapist to learn exercises to strengthen and condition the global muscles as well as the smaller intricate muscles in that area of your back?

    As someone else mentioned, you might assure that you don't have a disc compromised in that area.
  8. DriveInDriveOut

    DriveInDriveOut This Is The Last Stop

    Why do you bring up lung cancer and smoking when talking about back pain? Does it hurt when you breath?

    I've had pain in my back around my left shoulder blade that got worse at the top of my breath. For me it turned out to be a muscle spasm, according to my doctor and my chiropractor. You won't know what it is until you go to the doctor.
    I'm guessing you don't have health insurance yet..... I know that sucks, I chose paying the bills over going to the doctor for a long time. Get to the doctor if you can, otherwise wait it out and hope it gets better, you gotta love the American health care system huh? And stop smoking obviously, it's not a good habit for a hypochondriac, but you know that.

    1BROWNWRENCH Amateur Malthusian

    My late coworker complained of lower back pain before he died of prostate cancer.
  10. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    That sucks!
    Friend of mine too!
    ​I get my PSA levels checked annually.

    1BROWNWRENCH Amateur Malthusian

    Sure does. That was over 3 years ago and I'm still not quite over it. Tough watching somebody you spent more time with in the last decade than anybody go that way.
  12. jumpman23

    jumpman23 Oh Yeah

    Wait til you drive then youll have whole body ache that way the pain is distributed evenly lol.
  13. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    I realized that when something quit hurting that something else was hurting before and it was masked by the greater hurt.
    It's been many years since I did not hurt ... it has become part of what I am.
    Occasionally I take a pain pill and it is a bit weird to not hurt.
    Sort of like when the sound machine goes silent at night ... the silence wakes me up.
  14. jumpman23

    jumpman23 Oh Yeah

    Yup like a car with high mileage, gotta grease her up a lot more lol.
  15. PiedmontSteward

    PiedmontSteward RTW-4-Less

    I cannot stress being physically active enough. I was gifted with a BS spine (my 3rd and 4th vertebrae are fused together from a cogenital birth defect) that fatigues a lot faster than a regular person. If I wasn't physically active (lift weights 2x/week, cardio 3x/week) then I'd be in much worse shape overall having worked at UPS for 9 years. Having a strong back and core will give you a lot more mileage and help you recover from a rough day a lot easier.
  16. edd_tv

    edd_tv Cardboard picker upper

    I have developed a burning in between my shoulder blades in the last year. Have an appointment scheduled in January with an ortho specialist.
  17. cynic

    cynic New Member

    If I may, why do you have to wait until January to see an orthopaedic doc? If you've got something going bad - say a rotator cuff - you're going to compound the damage daily.

    I've been cut on from the neck down to feet and my body hurts every day. Got enough titanium in my body that I feel like the bionic man from decades ago - ask me if the weather is going to change. As Hoaxster said, it feels strange not to hurt. I am thankful to be healthy and strong enough to get up and be able to just push through the pain. One of my favorite quotes is, "Pain is weakness leaving the body." But you have to pay attention to changes in your pains and get a doctor to check it out - sometimes a shot of cortisone is all it takes, not a knife.

    1BROWNWRENCH Amateur Malthusian

    Pain is your friend. It means you're not dead yet.:funny:
  19. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    ​Sort of like my best friend is my wife?