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Pain Near Shoulder Blade and Possible Causes 

shoulder blade pain

Having pain under or near your shoulder blade-- the triangular bone that forms the back of your shoulder-- may limit arm motions and interfere with day-to-day activities. This pain can range from being sharp or burning, such as between the back and shoulder blade, to tender or achy across the shoulder or upper back. Some possible root causes of this pain are discussed below.


shoulder blade


Moving heavy objects or participating in a sport that has excessive movements are activities that put your top back and shoulders through more work than they're used to. Overuse can result in muscle and ligament strains, which can trigger pain in the upper back, such as between your shoulder blade and back. Another example is scapulothoracic bursitis, also known as snapping scapula syndrome. The bursa between the shoulder blade (scapula) and thoracic spinal column becomes inflamed and painful from overuse or injury.


pain between shoulder blades

Poor posture

Prolonged sitting in a poor position may cause your back to undergo structural changes that eventually cause pain under the shoulder blade. sitting to the side, tilting your head down, or hunching your back -- while working behind a work desk, reading a book or on your phone, as an example-- can weaken your muscular tissues and place pressure on spinal discs, ligaments, and muscle mass. This routine imbalance can lead to upper back pain.



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Dislocated rib

A rib might become misaligned after repetitive strain or reaching for something overhead. Sharp pain near your shoulder blade can result from this activity and make it difficult to take a deep breath.


sharp pain in chest

 Compression fracture

A compression fracture is when a vertebral bone (typically in your top back) weakens and compresses, causing back pain that feels better with rest. Compression fractures are most frequently triggered by osteoporosis in older people.



right arm pain

Incorrect lifting technique

Lifting weight above your head without the correct technique can leave your upper back and shoulders prone to injury. If you raise an object that is very heavy, or if the object is held far from the body with the spinal misaligned, you can place undue pressure on your upper back. Lifting items that are very heavy can strain muscle mass or sprain tendons or potentially injure the shoulder joint or spine, which could cause pain under or near the shoulder blade.


 Cervical herniated disc

A herniated disc in the cervical spine (neck) happens when a disc's outer layer (annulus fibrosus) rips, as well as the internal layer (nucleus pulposus), starts to leak outside. A disc herniation can cause pain and might inflame a close-by nerve root that radiates pain down into the shoulder, arm, or hand. A disc herniation in the lower cervical spine is more likely to radiate pain into or near the shoulder blade area. While less common, it's also possible for a disc herniation in the thoracic spine (upper back part) to cause pain near the shoulder blade.


heart pain

Heart condition

Some heart conditions can bring pain in the shoulder blade region. For example, aortic dissection is a serious, life-threatening condition that occurs when the heart’s largest artery gets a tear and may trigger severe pain that can relocate under or near the shoulder blade. A heart attack may also present as pain felt in the upper back or shoulder, particularly in women.


This listing of possible factors for the pain below your shoulder blade is not exhaustive, but we hope that it provides you a handy starting point on your way to relief. Any back or shoulder pain that lingers a couple of weeks or hinders day-to-day tasks need to be examined by a medical professional.

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