Back pain in the shoulder blade area

Back pain in the shoulder blade area has been reported by older and younger people. Pain in the interscapular area does not indicate any specific disease, but is a manifestation of various anomalies in the work of organs located outside the zone of pain concentration.

back pain between the shoulder blades

If the back is sore in the shoulder area, then muscles, nerves, facet joints, ligaments, pathological changes in internal organs, as a result of blows and injuries, etc. , can be possible reasons for the pain.

The nature of pain

In medical practice, the patient’s rational description of his or her pain in the upper back is very important. Pain between the shoulder blades is a symptom of some disease or pathology, it is possible to find out the cause with an accurate description of its nature, type, frequency of appearance and disappearance. Proper diagnosis will eliminate the burning sensation in the back, pain in the shoulder blades, the reason, with the help of a doctor, will be determined and the disease in the future will be prevented.

According to the nature of back pain syndrome are:

  1. chronic - mild pain is typical, bothersome for a long time, practically does not stop;
  2. acute - specific pain, suddenly attacking and fading, much stronger than chronic.

When the back is sore in the shoulder blade area, localization of the painful sensation occurs in different places. This gives reason to classify pain in the shoulder blades into three types:

  • pain under the shoulder blades (right or left);
  • pain between shoulder blades;
  • pain in the scapula to the right or left.

Back pain under the shoulder blades

The cause of the pain may not be directly related to the spine. If a person suffers from back pain below the shoulder blades, then with some accompanying signs, without examination and analysis, one can imagine that he has the presence of a typical common ailment.

Pathology that causes pain under the left shoulder blade:

  • Stomach ulcer. Characterized by frequent pain, increased, weakened or disappeared after vomiting. The sensation of pain in the epigastrium is localized, but penetrates to the left scapula.
  • Psychological problems. They cause an almost invisible or acute sensation of heaviness, congestion in the chest, tingling in the heart area, compression in the chest. There are cases when such symptoms capture the neck area, spreading under the left shoulder blade.

What causes pain under the right shoulder blade

The way the symptoms manifest themselves determines the cause.

back pain below the scapula

The list of reasons that explain pain under the right shoulder blade is extensive. The most common examples:

  • Dull, persistent annoying, persistent pain in the right side of the back can be caused by common spasms in the muscles due to prolonged uncomfortable body posture, or associated with internal organs: kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder. In most cases, the pain appears unexpectedly, with a sharp round of the head, sneezing, coughing.
  • Acute, stabbing, sharp or enlarged pain, localized to the right in the heart area or in the interscapular space may be due to disease of internal organs and is not associated with the spine. Many body systems with deviations from the norm of functioning cause pain under the right shoulder blade - cardiovascular, excretory, digestive, etc.
  • The pain of pulling and cutting under the right scapula makes one think about the beginning of diseases of the musculoskeletal system: chondrosis, osteochondrosis, spondylosis, etc. This type of pain can be caused by neuralgia when the nerve root is pinched. The causes of such painful sensations can be oncological tumors, not always, but such phenomena are found in medical practice.
  • Patients experience pain in the back muscles below the shoulder blades, then you should think about diseases of the respiratory system. Pain below the shoulder blades can be caused either by muscle strain in this place or by the thoracic spine.
  • Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine. It often causes side pain, a dull ache that concentrates below the occipital part. Their peculiarity is that they appear in the morning, pulling the patient out of sleep. The pain syndrome is very strong with sharp flexion - extension of the neck. Exposure to heat on a painful surface (warm water bath) extinguishes the pain. Patients respond to this pathology with complaints of pain under the shoulder blades, flow of pain to the arms or head.

Causes of pain between the shoulder blades

Intercostal neuralgia is indicated by shooting pain of the girdle. With a deep breath, a sharp round of the body, with palpation of the inflamed area between the ribs, the pain increases.

the doctor examines the back for pain in the shoulder blade

Lung disease is accompanied by pain between the shoulder blades when inhaling, with deep breathing, the pain increases, there is a high temperature, cough.

In case of increased pain with shallow breathing, it is more often given under the right scapula, there may be a diaphragmatic abscess.

When the normal tilt of the head causes pain between the shoulder blades, this is associated with inflammatory processes in the muscles of the interscapular area, as well as damage to their tendons and ligaments.

Pain between the shoulder blades sometimes occurs when swallowing, originally due to esophageal disease (inflammation or ulcers); inflammatory processes in the organs located between the two lungs; damage to the diaphragm.

The burning sensation between the shoulder blades causes attacks of renal and biliary colic, osteochondrosis of the cervical or thoracic vertebrae and reflux esophagitis.

Pain in the scapula on the right and left

The reason lies in receiving a blow to the shoulder blade or falling on it. An awkward fall on the arm or elbow will result in a broken shoulder blade. Trauma causes severe pain syndrome, the intensity of pain increases with hand movements. Edema is formed.

Scapula pterygoid. It appears as a result of muscle paralysis - trapezoid, rhomboid, anterior dentate, or is the result of numerous bruises in the forearm area, damage to the long thoracic nerve.

Scapular crunch - crunch at the shoulder joint.

Methods of treatment

At the beginning of treatment, you need to determine the condition of the lungs and heart. Cardiologists and therapists will most likely prescribe an ECG or ultrasound procedure. After consulting a specialist, you can safely not consider these organs as a cause of pain between the shoulder blades.

When pain occurs when the spine moves near the scapula, the cause is usually sought in the back. The pain is sometimes so severe that it can be confused with the symptoms of a panic attack.

Ordinary X-rays in the diagnosis of the spine are often insufficient, a complete picture is given by MRI of the thoracic area. At this stage of clarifying the diagnosis, consultation with a vertebrologist is required.

It is possible to relieve pain in the right scapular area with treatment only when the causes of its occurrence are explained. When this pain is associated with diseases of internal organs, it is necessary to treat it. Which doctor will treat depends on the specific organ. The pain under the right scapula will go away on its own when the treatment of the affected internal organs is successful.

If there is an association between pain in the back on the right side and in the interdulobular area with spinal disease, then medical treatment will be focused on the inflammatory focus. To eliminate the inflammatory process, analgesics, chondroprotectors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids are used.

Dull pain that does not disappear for a long time, due to muscle spasms or neuralgia, is effectively treated with a warming ointment with analgesic effect. Also, plasters are used, which provide a warming and analgesic effect.


The back of the shoulder blade will not hurt if a person moves a lot and follows a healthy lifestyle. Movement provides a uniform load on the muscles, proper weight lifting, massage sessions and various types of physiotherapy. Sports are the best preventative measure.

massage for pain in the shoulder blades

It is recommended to be careful with drafts, hypothermia. And, most importantly, pay attention to proper nutrition.