Pain between the shoulder blades is common. Physicians refer to this discomfort as intrascapular pain.
Individuals with shoulder blade pain usually have aching, dull, sore, or shooting pain in the upper part of their back in between their shoulder blades.
Most of the time, shoulder blade pain isn't anything to worry about. But in some cases, it can be a sign of a more serious condition.
Keep reading to get more information about this typical issue and how you can prevent it.
There are a number of possible causes for discomfort in between your shoulder blades.
An injury to a muscle or tendon is a typical reason for this type of discomfort. Muscle strains can result from:
- heavy lifting
- poor posture
- working at a computer for extended periods of time
- other activities
Sometimes, you can even strain a muscle during sleep.
Injuries to other parts of your body, such as rotator cuff tears, spine fractures, or other injuries that trigger injury, can likewise lead to discomfort in between your shoulder blades.
Other causes for shoulder blade discomfort consist of:
- degenerative disc illness, or a herniated or bulging disc in the spine
- osteoarthritis in the joints around your neck, spinal column, or ribs
- back stenosis, or a constricting of your spine
- acid reflux
- myofascial pain syndrome
- certain cancers, such as lung cancer, lymphomas, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, mesothelioma, and cancers that infect bones
- nerve compression
- gallstone, which is frequently accompanied by queasiness and pain in the upper right part of your abdominal area
Shoulder blade pain is often a sign of cardiac arrest, particularly amongst women. Other indications, such as chest discomfort and shortness of breath, might likewise be present. If you experience these symptoms, you should look for emergency medical treatment.
Thoracic aorta rupture or aortic dissection takes place when you have a burst or tear in the inner layer of the large blood vessel that branches off your heart. That can cause a sharp, extreme discomfort in your upper middle back. If this occurs, you need to call your local emergency services immediately, as an aortic tear is thought about a medical emergency situation.
Pulmonary embolism is another severe condition that can cause shoulder blade pain. Some people report an abrupt, sharp pain in their shoulder blades when blood clots in their legs break off and take a trip to their lungs. Shortness of breath is likewise a symptom of lung embolism. If you believe you have a lung embolism, look for medical assistance right away.
When you should see a physician
You need to see a medical professional if your pain is severe, unusual, or doesn't go away. Discomfort is an indication that something could be incorrect. Your condition might not be serious, but if it's irritating in any way, you may wish to get it checked out.
If your shoulder blade pain is accompanied by specific symptoms, it could mean you have a life-threatening condition that requires timely medical attention. Look for assist right now if you have discomfort in between your shoulder blades together with the following:
- shortness of breath
- chest discomfort
- extreme sweating
- pain, swelling, or inflammation in your legs
- coughing up blood
- irregular or rapid heart beat
- sudden trouble speaking
- loss of vision
- paralysis on one side of your body
- loss of awareness
Treatment for your shoulder blade pain will depend upon the cause and intensity of your condition. Healing time will vary from person to person.
Some people discover relief from shoulder blade discomfort with treatments performed in your home.
Physical activity is very important for general health, but workout can also strengthen locations in your back, which may aid with pain. Pullups, pushups, and sit-ups are excellent exercises to enhance muscles in your back and abdomen.
Yoga and other extending methods can improve blood circulation to your muscles and joints, which may provide better mobility and pain relief.
This shoulder stretch often helps:
- Cross one arm over your body.
- Use your other arm to pull the elbow of your outstretched arm toward your chest.
- Hold this stretch for about 10 seconds.
Ask your doctor about other stretches that may reduce your pain.
Find out more: 4 Shoulder stretches you can do at work "
Certain foods can cause inflammation in your body that could intensify your signs. Prevent processed foods, and consume plenty of veggies and fruits. Picking foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, might also help.
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Sometimes, you just require rest to recuperate from your shoulder blade discomfort, particularly if it's the outcome of an injury.
Hot or cold therapy
Applying cold and hot compresses in between your shoulder blades may eliminate pain. Typically, it's finest to utilize them for 15 minutes at a time, every 4 hours.
Massage or physical therapy may provide relief in a lot of cases, specifically if the pain is caused by overuse of your muscles or joints, or an injury.
A massage therapist can deal with locations in between your shoulder blades to unwind muscle tissue. You can likewise acquire handheld massage devices to use in your home.
Physical or occupational treatment
If you have an injury or a compressed nerve, your doctor may suggest occupational or physical therapy. A therapist will help you carry out certain exercises that may improve symptoms.
Certain medications can help eliminate pain and discomfort in between your shoulder blades. These may consist of anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB). Often, steroids are offered as a pill or injection to aid with pain and inflammation. Muscle relaxers and even antidepressants are also recommended for certain conditions including the shoulder blades.
Although unusual, your medical professional might suggest surgery if your shoulder blade pain is severe or triggered by a treatable injury. This may include eliminating scar tissue or fixing tendons in your shoulder or upper back area. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, however, 90 percent of people with shoulder blade pain will respond to nonsurgical options, such as medication, workout, and rest.
Your outlook will depend upon what's triggering your shoulder blade discomfort and the intensity of your condition.
Most of the time, discomfort between the shoulder blades is a short-lived ailment that will go away with rest and correct treatment. However, the discomfort may be a lifelong issue for some people.
Tips for prevention
The following procedures can assist avoid shoulder blade pain:
- Practice good posture. Attempt to stand and sit high, and prevent slouching. You may wish to acquire an unique pillow or an ergonomic chair to aid with spine and neck alignment.
- Do not raise heavy products. Heavy lifting can lead to injuries, which might set off pain between your shoulder blades. Avoid bring heavy bags on one shoulder. Be sure to flex your knees and try not to put too much pressure on your back if you do have to raise something.
- Do not sit for too long. When you're working at a computer system or desk, get up and stretch regularly. This can assist keep muscles loose. You can also try using a standing desk. There are lots of options available on Amazon.
- Adopt healthy habits. Make sure to eat whole food, get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, and exercise at least three days a week. A healthy way of life can assist you feel more energetic and rested, which can help you handle pain.