Friday, June 2, 2023

What Causes Upper Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Take Your Symptoms Seriously And Get To The Root Of Your Pain

INSTANTLY Relieve Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades! (3 easy options)

Pain between the shoulder blades can range from a simple ache to completely disabling pain. It is important to get the pain diagnosed and treated before it gets worse.

Do not ignore interscapular pain. Use some of the conservative treatments and if they dont work seek medical advice. Get to the root of your problem without delay.

Want to know more about the pain in your upper back between your shoulder blades? Contact us and we will help you out.


  • Briggs, A.M., Smith, A.J., Straker, L.M. et al. Thoracic spine pain in the general population: Prevalence, incidence and associated factors in children, adolescents, and adults. A systematic review. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 10, 77 .
  • . Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care 2006-. Low back pain: Why movement is so important for back pain. 2012 Feb 9 . Available from:
  • Wong CC, McGirt MJ. Vertebral compression fractures: a review of current management and multimodal therapy. J Multidiscip Healthc. 2013 6:205-214. Published 2013 Jun 17. doi:10.2147/JMDH.S31659
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    Why Do My Shoulders Hurt When I Sneeze Or Cough

    Two potential reasons your shoulders hurt upon sneezing and coughing are:

    • Pleurisy: This is a condition where your lungs and chest become inflamed, causing a sharp pain when you cough, sneeze and breathe. It typically only causes chest pain, but the pain can travel to between your shoulders as well.
    • A spinal disc irritation or injury: When your spinal discs are injured, your nerves are compressed, causing irritation and spasms. Sneezing and coughing puts pressure on your nerves and discs usually, so when theyre irritated, this causes pain in your shoulders and arms.

    Treatments For Upper Back Pain

    There are many treatments for upper back pain. However, what works for someone else may not work for you. The severity of your symptoms and how much they prevent you from your daily activities will influence the type of treatment that brings you relief. Keep trying different methods or work with your back specialist until you find what is best for you.

    In most cases, upper back pain can be treated with at-home treatments or lifestyle modifications. Some of these may include:

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    Would You Describe The Pain As Long And Moderate

    If so, this could indicate the presence of swollen facet joints or herniated discs. In this case, medical attention might be necessary. Moderate pain that stays for half an hour sometimes means that the problem has worsened. If the pain gets worse, doctors may have to use certain imaging technologies to determine the extent of the damage.

    Whats The Anatomy Of Back Pain Region

    Pain Between Shoulder Blades: Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

    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

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    Prevention Of Pain Between Shoulder Blades:

    The following are some tips to prevent common causes of pain in the upper back, neck, and between shoulder blades:

    • Adopting health habits, including exercising 4-5 times a week, sleeping for 7-8 hours, and eating a healthy diet.
    • Not sitting for long periods of time.
    • Avoid heavy lifting as it can sprain your ligaments.
    • Not lifting heavy objects .
    • Practising good posture.

    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.

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    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.

    When To See A Doctor

    Fix Rhomboid Pain (Mid-Back & Shoulder Blade Pain) 5 Self Treatments That Work

    As you can see from our list above, some causes of shoulder pain may be serious, even life-threatening in some cases. If pain is persistent and causes disruption to your mobility or daily activities, it is a good idea to discuss your symptoms with your doctor.

    If severe interscapular pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention right away.

    • Dizziness and lightheadedness
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Difficulty speaking

    Your doctor can help you determine the cause of shoulder blade pain and help you find the best treatment options. In some cases, physical therapy, surgery, or medication may be prescribed.

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    Other Common Causes For Pain In Shoulder Blade

    Another common cause of pain between the shoulder blades is a disc herniation in the cervical or thoracic spine, causing nerve root impingement and radiculopathy. When this occurs, the spinal nerve’s inflammation causes symptoms to travel to other areas, such as the hand, elbow, and shoulder region. Typically, these symptoms reside once the compression and the inflammation of the nerve are reduced. Many non-invasive and invasive procedures can facilitate the resolution of inflammation and decompression of the nerves and depend on some factors and indications.

    If you think your shoulder pain is from baseball, please read this ARTICLE.

    What Can Cause Upper Back Pain In A Woman

    Upper back pain in women is usually due to: Poor posture, like slouching or pushing the head forward while sitting or standing, causing misalignment of the spine. Muscle overuse or strain, usually due to repetitive motions or lifting items or children incorrectly. Injury to discs, muscles and/or ligaments.

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    What Bad Posture Looks Like

    This condition stems from rounded shoulders and a C-curve in the upper spine. It includes a protracted, rather than retracted scapula, which means your shoulders round forward, instead of down your back and away from your ears. The neck also flexes forward and the shoulders internally rotate, Dr. Baxi explains.

    Sitting in this posture for hours a day and weeks on end can cause muscle imbalances, Dr. Baxi says.

    For example, the muscles on the front of the body get tight or overworked, and the muscles on the back of the body become weak or overstretched. This leads to discomfort and potentially more serious injury.

    A typical seated position, especially when youre looking at your phone or laptop, also causes the head to come forward, stressing the neck and upper traps. Because of this, the upper traps must stabilize the headnot their main job. Their primary role is to elevate or shrug the shoulders, Louw explains. This can lead to aches.

    Gallbladder Removal Or Disease

    Pain Between Shoulder Blades: Pain Patterns, Causes, Self

    Shoulder pain can be a referred pain caused by gallbladder removal or gallstones.

    Laparoscopic Surgery

    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.

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    Stretches For Upper Back Pain In Between Shoulder Blades

    Home » Stretches for Upper Back Pain in Between Shoulder Blades

    Almost everyone has experienced back pain at some point in their lives so its not surprising that you too may be dealing with upper back pain regularly, specifically in between your shoulder blades. There are causes of upper body or upper back pain poor posture, cervical spine problems, and injury are the most common ones. Having pain near or under your shoulder blade may limit arm movement and interfere with your daily activities. Depending on the cause of your pain, this could be solved by doing some stretches.

    So what are the stretches for upper back pain in between shoulder blades should you do in order to ease the discomfort and get some relief? The pain can range from achy or tender across the upper back and shoulder, or burning and sharp pain between the spine and shoulder. If the left and right shoulder pain are muscular in nature, there are several ways to approach shoulder blade pain relief and there are stretching techniques that can give you both short-term and long-term pain relief for tight muscle and pain. If the pain is caused by something else and radiates to other parts such as the chest muscle, its important to identify it and let your doctor take care of it.

    Upper Right Back Pain Under Shoulder Blade

    Muscle strain, sprains, and spasms can affect the rhomboid muscles, which are located in the middle of the shoulder blades. This pain is mostly felt in the middle of the upper back, but may radiate out to one or both sides.

    Pain under or near your shoulder blade can make it hard to rotate your shoulder fully, or move your arm with full range of motion. This type of pain is often caused by muscle strain, resulting from overuse. It can also happen if you sleep in an odd position, or have poor posture.

    If pain in or under the shoulder blade does not dissipate with home treatment within a few days, it may also signal more serious conditions in the lungs or gallbladder.

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    Shoulder Blades Are Too Low

    The shoulder blades are suspended from your neck and upper back by muscles. Normally your shoulder blades hang between the second and seventh thoracic vertebrae .

    If one shoulder blade is hanging too low, it can cause compression of the joints and nerves in the lower part of the neck. This can cause referred pain into the upper back and shoulder blades.

    Additionally, when the shoulder blades hang too low, it pulls on muscles in the upper back . This can also cause upper back pain between the shoulder blades.

    Upper Right Back Pain When Breathing

    How to Relieve Upper Back Pain between the Shoulder Blades.

    Pain in the back can sometimes feel worse when you take a deep breath. This is because the vertebrae of the spine are connected to your rib cage. Usually, this is nothing to worry about. But sometimes, this type of pain can signal a pulmonary embolism .

    Medical emergency

    Back pain often resolves with at-home treatment, over the course of a few days. You may need to combine several treatments to get the best effect. These include:

    • OTC pain medication. Pain medications like NSAIDS or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
    • Heat and ice.Heat and cold therapy can help calm down back spasms and relieve tightness. Try using a hot water bottle on your back, or sit in a whirlpool bath. Ice packs can be beneficial for inflammation, swelling, and pain from injury, sprains, and muscle strain.
    • Exercise. Gentle exercise, such as stretching or shoulder rolls, can help relieve pain and stiffness.
    • Massage. Massage around the lower neck and shoulder blades can help reduce muscle knots.
    • Rest. Bed rest can help with acute back pain, but should be limited. Try resting for a few hours at a time, for one to two days only.

    Back pain is a common occurrence that can happen to anyone. There are, however, several risk factors that might cause you to experience upper right back pain, or chronic back pain, more often. These include:

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    What You Can Do

    Often you can stay home: There are many effective home remedies for upper back pain relief. A typical episode of muscle strain usually lasts only a few days, explains Dr. Chang. Staying comfortable during this time is key. He suggests resting, icing, and taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen.

    When Should I Worry About Shoulder Blade Pain

    If youve been feeling pain between your shoulder blades for a week and it is getting worse daily and disturbing your routine activities, you should be worried about it. And if you are experiencing other red flag symptoms like weakness, headache, nausea, redness, swelling, or stinging in your shoulders, you should seek medical treatment ASAP.

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    Things You Can Do To Prevent Pain Between The Shoulder Blades

    To prevent pain between the shoulder blades, here are some things you can do:

    Practice Good Posture

    Good posture is not something that you just have, it is a habit that you develop over time. Be mindful of how you stand and sit. Square your shoulders, chin up and tuck your tummy inwards. Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes to ensure you are not putting too much strain on your spine.

    Avoid Lifting Heavy Items

    Avoid lifting heavy items. If possible, get someone to help you. If you have to lift a load, heres a nifty lifting technique: bend at your hips and knees, squat down to the load, keep it close to your body and lift.

    Avoid Sitting for Too Long

    Try to avoid prolonged periods of sitting, as this can contribute to upper back pain. Be sure to take regular breaks throughout the day, and use an ergonomic chair that supports your spine.

    Switch sitting positions, do not cross your legs while sitting, take short walks during your break and stretch your muscles to relieve muscle tension.

    Adopt healthy habits

    Adopting healthy habits involves lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy weight by eating healthy meals, avoiding processed and junk food, and starting a regular exercise program.

    Smoking cessation

    When To Go To The Doctor

    Pain Between Shoulder Blades: Pain Patterns, Causes, Self

    You cant always assume the discomfort is no big deal. If pain lingers for more than a few days or requires regular pain medications, you should be evaluated by your physician, says Leda Ghannad, MD, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Rush University Medical Center. Another sign: if the pain limits your abilities in your day-to-day life, like you have to call off work to stay in bed. Following are signs you need to get medical help, pronto.

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    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.

    Overuse Muscle Strain Or Injury

    A muscle strain is a twist or tear in a muscle or tendon. Overexertion, or the repetitive movements involved with activities like shoveling snow, leaning over a computer, or playing sports can result in muscle strain.

    Sudden twisting, or heavy lifting can also cause this condition. A fall, car collision, or sudden impact of any kind can cause injury ranging from mild to severe in the back.

    Mild injuries can take the form of muscle strain, sprains, or spasms. A sprain is a stretch or tear in a ligament. A spasm is a sudden contraction in a muscle. Other symptoms include:

    • reduced range of motion in the arm or shoulder
    • increased pain with movement of the shoulder, arm, or back

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    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.

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