What kind of medical specialist?

I’ve got a shoulder problem that I think is due to muscle imbalance but I’m having trouble finding a doctor who can diagnose it. It seems like the generalists don’t know enough to figure it out, and the specialists are, well, limited by their specialties. Spinal specialists say the electromyograph doesn’t show anything, so there must not be anything wrong. Orthopedics says there’s nothing broken and nothing to operate on, so they can’t do anything for me.

I don’t know what kind of professional I need to go to… I’ve got a muscle in the middle of my back that is so tight that I don’t even want to breathe sometime. Since there’s no bone breakage and (apparently) no nerve damage, I have to think it’s some sort of muscle imbalance or postural thing. Right now my main theory is what’s called “pectoralis minor syndrome”. What kind of specialist is good at diagnosing and treating such a thing?

I’m no doctor, but when I had muscular problems of that sort, I went to an osteopath who sorted me out pretty quickly.

You might try a rheumatologist.

Who told you there was no nerve damage? I ask because I looked up what an “electromygraph” was (just cuz I didn’t know) and that is a muscle testing thing. So it seems like you had your bones (orthopedic surgeon) and muscles (electromygraph) checked out but not your nerves yet?

I could be way off base…just talking out loud. But maybe you need a neurosurgeon?

Not necessarily. Fibromyalgia doesn’t cause changes in EMG.

Have you explored visiting a competent massage therapist?

Electromyelograms test for nerve conduction to the muscles. It’s not a pleasant procedure to go through; I had to have one a few years ago and it’s not something I’d care to repeat. :shudder:


They’re the non-bony jointy muscle people, they deal with fibromyalgia, arthritis and all manner of weird muscular aches and pains. Assuming you’ve tried physio and lifestyle changes, they might be able to offer some other treatment (steroid injections, pain relief etc).

If I were you I’d avoid surgeons and neurologists. The orthopods won’t operate unless there is clear bony pathology and the neurosurgery bods won’t operate unless there is a major spinal problem.

Neurologists won’t touch you with a barge pole unless you have weakness, numbness, tingling or an abnormal neurolgical examination.

Be aware that even if you do get a diagnosis, you may be looking at treatment rather than definitive cure.

If the main problem is pain, consider referral to a chronic pain clinic (usually run by anaesthetists, psychiatrists or neurolgoists).

Presumably you’ve had a chest x-ray and imaging of your spine? If not, those would be a good idea.

Physiatrist (specialist in rehabilitation medicine) is the first thing that comes to mind. Or maybe an occupational medicine specialist.