Your Upper Back & Neck Posture Is Crucial
Considering that muscle imbalances and poor posture can result from sitting at a computer/looking at smart phones, lets discuss what happens when youre in this position typically, this is what happens:
Your Head will protrude forward Your shoulders will roll forwards Increased Kyphosis
Over time, this abnormal positioning can lead to certain muscles and ligaments being overused , while other muscles and ligaments become underused This can lead to pain.
What Does Pain Between The Shoulder Blades Mean
Pain between the shoulder blades, also called interscapular pain, is very common and can limit movements or interfere with daily activities. Upper back pain can range from minor stiffness to severe spasms and causes are often linked to the anatomical structures in and around the interscapular region.
Upper back pain may start gradually and worsen over time, or it can strike suddenly. Sharp, stabbing, dull, achy, and cramping pain are all signs and symptoms of upper back pain. Muscle spasms and headaches are common side effects.
How Should I Sleep To Relieve Upper Back Pain
Side and back sleeping are often the best positions to rest in if you are dealing with upper back pain.
When side sleeping, it is important that your mattress not be too firm, otherwise pressure points can form near the joints. A soft to medium firmness typically works best for side sleepers. When opting for a softer mattress, be sure the mattress does not cause excessive sinking. If the hips and shoulders too far into the bed, the spine may bow, leading to tension in the back.
When looking for a mattress for back sleepers, choose something with a medium to medium-firm comfort level tends to work best. This firmness will keep body weight evenly distributed, so no one area of the body sinks too far into the bed. This will keep the spine natural and alleviate tension in the back.
Recommended Reading: Fluid On Knee After Injury
Do Shoulder Stretches And Other Exercises
Exercise and stretching can not only make you feel better, but they can help reduce pain in your shoulders. What exercises to do depends on the cause of your shoulder pain. We suggest a set of exercises that can be used to alleviate text neck pain. A stronger body is better equipped to deal with stressors every day and can heal injuries faster.
No matter what type of exercise you do, it is important to take it slowly at first. Stop if you feel any pain or discomfort. You have two options: you can set a time for exercising each day or perform exercises when your pain is at its lowest.
Possible Causes Of Pain Under Your Shoulder Blade
Having pain under or near your shoulder bladethe triangular bone that forms the back of your shouldermay limit arm movements and interfere with daily activities. This pain can range from being sharp or burning, such as between the spine and shoulder blade, to tender or achy across the shoulder or upper back. Some possible causes of this pain are discussed below.
You May Like: Pain In My Neck And Shoulder
Can Heart Problems Cause Pain Between Shoulder Blades
Interscapular pain or pain between shoulder blades can be a symptom of heart problems like heart attack, particularly among women. You may also feel shortness of breath, chest pain, and shoulder blades pain if you have heart problems. So, if you are experiencing chest pain along with Intrascapular pain, you must seek emergency medical treatment to avoid the possible risk of a heart attack.
Gallbladder Removal Or Disease
Shoulder pain can be a referred pain caused by gallbladder removal or gallstones.
Commonly used for weight loss, pancreatitis, and cholecystitis, laparoscopic surgery removes your gallbladder. The most common symptom post-laparoscopic surgery is shoulder pain.
Gallstones are hard particles formed in your gallbladder, commonly caused by a high concentration of cholesterol, calcium, or bilirubin in your bile. The symptoms of gallstones include an upset stomach, nausea, indigestion, and shoulder pain.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Arthritis In Knee
You Can Change The Way You Sleep
Good health is dependent on getting a good nights sleep. However, shoulder blade pain can make it difficult to sleep. Even worse, lying on the injured shoulder can cause pain.
This can be fixed by finding a comfortable sleeping position and sticking with it. Your shoulder could be further injured if you move around at night.
Shoulder Blade Pain: Your Guide To Pain Relief
Pain in the shoulder blade area is a common phenomenon. We guide you through the common causes, pain relief techniques and ways to prevent shoulder pain.
The area around or under your shoulder blade is achy. Its sore. It may even get worse when you perform certain activities, such as turning your head or reaching for an object with your arm. Pain, in general, poses an irritating problem.
Yet, shoulder blade pain doesnt have to take over your life. There are various treatments and methods that can ease your pain. However, your specific way to pain relief may depend on what is causing your discomfort or injury in the first place.
To help you find a solution that works for you, this article describes the most common causes of shoulder blade pain and how to relieve the pain.
Looking for a solution to your shoulder pain problem? Try the Injurymap exercise app now.
Recommended Reading: Pain In Knee Inner Side
Potential Signs It Could Be Something Serious
Most upper back pain typically resolves in a few weeks with treatment at home, including stretching, taking pain relievers, applying heat or ice, or moderating certain activities that may cause back strain.
Upper back pain can even get better on its own.
However, a serious injury to the upper back can damage the spinal cord and cause paralysis in the body below the injury.
Additionally, upper back pain may be a warning sign of a severe medical condition.
If you experience any of the following symptoms with upper back pain, talk to a healthcare provider:
- Pain, tingling, or numbness in the arms and legs: If back pain back pain radiates from your back to your leg, this could be a sign of sciatica. These symptoms in the arms and legs could also be a sign of a herniated disc.
- Fever without flu-like symptoms:Upper back pain associated with shortness of breath and fever could indicate a spinal infection.
- Unexplained weight loss: If youre losing weight without changes to your diet or lifestyle while experiencing upper back pain, it could be the result of a tumor or infection.
- Shortness of breath and chest pain: Experiencing these symptoms along with upper back pain could be signs of a heart attack. Shortness of breath and chest pain could also signify a rib injury or a problem in the lungs.
What Causes Pain In Between The Shoulder Blades
When your upper back and shoulders are rounded forward, your shoulder blades start to pull away from each other. This over-stretches the muscles that support the shoulder bladesthe rhomboids, lower trapezius and posterior rotator cuff muscles. Over time, this causes muscle fatigue and strain in the mid back.
When the pain strikes, your instinct is probably to stretch your upper back but this could actually be making things worse. Instead, to address the cause of the pain, you need to open up your chest and the fronts of your shoulders, activate the muscles that support your shoulder blades and increase mobility in the thoracic spine.
Read Also: Elbow Strap For Golfers Elbow
Possible Causes Of Pain Between The Shoulder Blades
Pain between the shoulder blades can develop from a problem with any body parts located between the shoulder blades, such as:
- The skin between the shoulder blades
- Muscles like the rhomboids, middle trapezius, and lower trapezius, which all help keep your shoulder blades back and down
- The thoracic spine
- The thoracic aorta, which is part of the largest blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body
- Part of the esophagus
- Part of the heart
- A portion of the lungs
You might also have referred pain. When this happens, nerves send signals that cause pain near the shoulder blades, even though the original source of the pain is somewhere else.
Nucleoplasty Coblation For Disc Herniation
A 2015 study in the journal Medicine , found coblation technology or nucleoplasty can be an effective, minimally invasive and safe procedure for chronic cervical disc herniation that is producing upper back pain. This usually requires no general anesthesia and is more like a spinal injection procedure as an outpatient procedure.
Read Also: Nausea Wrist Band For Pregnancy
What Does It Mean When You Have Pain Between Your Shoulder Blades
You might have a muscle strain if you have pain between your shoulder blades. The most common cause of muscle strain is poor body posture , involvement in sports that include twisting, recurrent lifting weights, or sudden trauma.
Moreover, you may also feel pain between your shoulder blades due to shingles, spine compression fracture, or an epidural.
Treatments For Pain Between The Shoulder Blades
There are many ways to treat the pain between the shoulder blades. There are many options available, from simple at-home treatments to more complex professional interventions. Before you start any type of treatment, it is important to consult a doctor.
These are the most common treatments for shoulder pain and upper back pain that your doctor may recommend. You may also want to mention them at your next appointment.
Remember to be patient with your body. It can take several weeks or even months to heal depending on how severe your pain is. It can be difficult to deal with pain. Dont try too hard and dont be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
You May Like: Elbow Support For Tennis Elbow
Whats The Anatomy Of Back Pain Region
The shoulder blade or scapula is a large triangular bone lying in the upper back and forming the back of the shoulder. Sometimes, there are one or more structures between the shoulders that cause shoulder pain.
The shoulder blades contain the following structures:
- The middle and lower trapezius muscles and the rhomboids. Both these muscles keep the shoulder blades back and down .
- The thoracic spine and the thoracic aorta
- Part of the heart
- A portion of the lungs
Book An Appointment With The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Today
JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.
You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.
To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call .
Don’t Miss: Elbow Restraints For Cleft Palate
Exercise Your Upper Back Muscles
Henrik Sorensen / Getty Images
When muscles become tight, weak, and/or overstretched, they lose their ability to work effectively with other muscles to support your upper back posture.
When you slump for too long, the pec muscles at the front of your chest get really tightthis is due to rounding your spine. At the same time, the upper back muscles become overstretched.
Posture training that works the rhomboid muscles in the back and stretches the pec groups in front may help you deal with this. A simple action like squeezing your shoulder blades together may be the best upper back posture exercise to help balance and strengthen your muscles.
Pain Between Shoulder Blades And Chest Other Causes
Heart attacks are the most common medical issues related to chest and back pain. There are other conditions to consider, which is a big reason to keep reading for more information.
Thinking the pain is a heart attack may cause panic when it could be something else. So let us see the other conditions that may have similar symptoms.
Don’t Miss: Pain In The Inner Elbow
Understanding The Shoulder Blades
The shoulder blades, or scapulae, are the large triangular bones located at each side of the upper shoulder.
They are connected to the collarbone and allow a range of motions such as pivoting up or down, side to side, and shoulder rotation. But the flexibility of the blades is what makes them susceptible to injury or trauma.
Pain Between Shoulder Blades: Causes Symptoms And Treatments
Experiencing some kind of pain between the shoulder blades may not seem like a very serious experience. You may have had a rough sleep that night or maybe worked out a bit too hard, so you immediately think that the pain must be a result of some kind of physical stress or activity.
Though it is possible for upper back pain between the shoulder blades to simply be related to muscles, there are instances when it can be much worse. Your facet joints could be swollen, you can have a herniated disc, or the pain in-between your shoulders could actually be something called biliary colic. If this is the case, its potentially very serious. A gallstone blocking one of your bodys bile ducts is what initiates the pain and leads to this condition.
Don’t Miss: Best Shoulder And Neck Massager
Burning Sensation And/or Tenderness
Angina is typically described as a pressure-like chest pain that may radiate to the jaw or shoulder. In men, that’s usually accurate.
But many women with angina have no actual chest discomfort at all. Instead, they report a hot or burning sensation, or even tenderness to touch, that may be located in the back, shoulders, arms, neck, upper abdomen, or jaw.
How Do I Know If It’s Serious
Most cases of interscapular pain are caused by something fairly minor, but in some cases, pain here can indicate a much more serious problem. But how can you tell?
See Urgent Medical Attention if your pain between the shoulder blades is accompanied by:
- Shortness of Breath
- Feeling dizzy, feint or light headed
- Change in bladder or bowel habits e.g. incontinence
- Unexplained weight loss
These are all what we call potential red flags and warrant immediate medical attention.
See Your Regular Doctor if you have:
- Had a recent injury e.g. fall or heavy lifting
- Restricted arm movements
- Stiffness in your back: particularly in the mornings
- Pain that persists for more than 2 weeks: without any improvement
- Associated tingling or numbness in your arms
Your doctor may refer you for further investigations such as blood tests, x-rays, MRI scan or Dexascan depending on your symptoms and medical history.
If you dont have any of the symptoms mentioned here, you should be able to self-manage your pain between shoulder blades at home.
You May Like: Best Walking Shoes For Knee Pain
Exercises For Shoulder Blade Pain
So, what exercises should you be doing? We outline the best ones to start with below. Make sure you go slow. If any pain occurs, back off and adjust. Try again and if it happens again, avoid the pain-causing exercise for now.
This browser does not support the video element.
The trapezius muscle makes up the upper back and shoulders. Its a common area for individuals to experience tightness, especially if the cause is posture-related. By stretching out this muscle, you can also relieve tension or pain under the shoulder blades.
Do You Have Shoulder Blade Pain
It is important to understand that there are many different types of shoulder pain. There is shoulder pain that occurs on the front of the shoulder, on the back of the shoulder, and between the shoulders. Experiencing the symptoms of pain between the shoulder blades, otherwise known as interscapular pain, can range from mild discomfort to debilitating and concerning. It can also lead to right shoulder pain or left shoulder pain.
Pain between the shoulder blades
To determine the severity of the condition, the source of the pain must be identified. The purpose of this article is to explore two common musculoskeletal causes of pain between shoulder blades, as well as mention other conditions that may cause pain between shoulder blades.
Recommended Reading: Mother Of The Bride Wrist Corsage
Consider Shoulder Injections And Surgery For Severe Or Chronic Pain
The prospect of both of these treatments may sound scary, but the vast majority of cases involving pain between shoulder blades can be effectively treated with less drastic options. In the unlikely event that you do end up needing these treatments, here is what you can expect.
Cortisone injections are used to reduce inflammation in an affected area, such as the shoulder joint. They therefore tend to be recommended in cases of arthritis or bursitis, since these conditions both involve inflammation of the joints. Steroids can also be taken orally.
While generally safe, cortisone can have serious side effects if administered improperly. Youll want to discuss this option thoroughly with your doctor before deciding whether or not cortisone injections are right for you.
Surgery may be necessary if your shoulder blade pain does not abate, gets worse over an extended period of time, or occurs due to a severe injury. For example, in extreme cases of bursitis, your doctor may recommend removing the bursa all together.
Again, surgery and injections are both last resorts. Your doctor will typically suggest less radical, noninvasive treatments before considering either of them. If you do undergo shoulder injections or surgery, youll likely complement the procedures with other less-invasive options like physical therapy, heat/cold therapy, and exercise. And, by using surgeries or injections, some patients can truly get their lives back after suffering in pain for years.