Pain under shoulder blades, on the right and left sides or between shoulder blades can be caused by various reasons. It can be sharp, dull, localized or even pain that radiates down the arm. This can happen when swallowing, eating, sleeping or even when working out. In order to get pain relief for sore shoulders, it is important to know the cause.
What does pain under your left shoulder blade mean?
- 1 What does pain under your left shoulder blade mean?
- 2 Causes pain under your shoulder blade
- 2.1 1. Pancreatitis pain after eating or when swallowing
- 2.2 2. Cancer/breast cancer/lung cancer
- 2.3 3. Stitch shoulder pain when running
- 2.4 4. Shoulder hurts after sleeping
- 2.5 5. Injury after fall or after car accident
- 2.6 6. Bodybuilding: sore shoulders from lifting, after working out
- 2.7 7. Chest infection
- 2.8 8. Sore shoulder blades from playing golf
- 2.9 9. Kidney stones
- 2.10 10. Pulled muscle
- 2.11 11. Pinched nerve
- 2.12 12. Pneumonia
- 3 Pain under shoulder blade and back
- 4 Related Symptoms
The shoulder blades are the two flat, triangular bones that appears on each side of the top of the back. They are normally connected to the upper arm bones (also known as the humerus) as well as the collar bones (also called the clavicle) and to the muscles that are located at the upper back and also the arm.
Pain under shoulder blade can be brought about by the bad posture, psychological stress, injuries, lung diseases and also the disorders of the other chest and also the abdominal organs.
Causes pain under your shoulder blade
The source of your pain between shoulder blades or just under the blades can be anything from pancreas problems, cancer, injury, poor posture, to even physical injury. Below are the causes discussed in detail.
1. Pancreatitis pain after eating or when swallowing
Acute pancreatitis can lead to:
- Severe, persistent pain that can be found in the upper middle section of the abdomen that can be much more worse after taking of the meals and might also radiate to the middle part of the back or even the left shoulder blade
- Fever, bloating and also the diarrhea.
2. Cancer/breast cancer/lung cancer
Primary bone cancer happens when a cancer has an origin in a bone. It is a very much rare type of cancer. There are many types.
Treatments that might be considered include surgery, use of chemotherapy and also the radiotherapy. The type of treatment that is applied depend on several factors which include the type, site as well as the stage of the cancer.
A chondrosarcoma is a type of cancer that arises from the cartilage-forming cells. And also happening in the cartilage, a chondrosarcoma can also be able to develop inside a bone, or even on the surface of a bone.
Most of the cases happen in people who are between the ages of 50 and 65. It commonly have a lot of effects on the pelvis, shoulder blade, ribs, as well as the bones of the upper parts of the arms and also the legs.
3. Stitch shoulder pain when running
A stitch is not a clearly known phenomenon that happens during the exertion. Typically the pain happens just below the rib cage (on the right), but might also happen at the tip of the shoulder blade or even occurring over the shoulder.
- The cause of the problem is not well known.
- There is a theory that the ligaments that are attached to the abdominal organs tug on the diaphragm thus leading to the pain.
- This makes sense for most of the runners, but this is also a very common problem that is prevalent amongst the swimmers.
- Food ingestion before an exercise might largely lead to the condition, but the cyclists ingest a large amount of food and also the liquids during an intense exercise without going through the problem.
Research has also indicated that ingesting reconstituted fruit juices and also the beverages that are very high in carbohydrate concentration before and also during the exercise is normally associated with the development of the stitch. The diaphragm usually rises during the process of exhalation and the liver thus drops a little bit as the right foot goes to strike the ground).
- Try to change the breathing pattern at the period when a stitch is developing.
To prevent the occurrence of stitches, practice belly breathing – lie on the back and then place a heavy object like a book on the belly. As you breathe in the object should be able to rise; it should also lower as you exhale. Keep the pattern when you are also standing. Strengthen the abdominal muscles. Paying attention to the posture is also very vital.
4. Shoulder hurts after sleeping
This might be due to the way you slept. Sleeping on one side for longer periods of time or even sleeping the head at a very odd angle can cause the problem.
It appears silly, however, sleeping the wrong method is one of the reasons why most of the people complain from of experiencing shoulder pains.
Make sure that you’re very much comfortable in the bed, particularly by the neck position. A hot bath is also able to assist in curing the sore shoulder muscles in this particular situation.
5. Injury after fall or after car accident
A mild rear end car crash is able to lead to a lot of problems of the spine. As the vehicle is struck, the seat back moves with the vehicle and then compresses against the middle part of the back. This force is able to push in on the natural middle back curve and thus makes it to flatten leading to strain of the muscles as well as the ligaments of the mid back and also the rib cage.
This as well leads to the head to move upward, a phenomenon that is called telescoping, so that the neck is able to stretch up and over the head restraint leading to the neck damage. The quick reaction of the back is usually subjected to the trauma leads to the damage that might be significant enough despite the modest damage to the vehicle.
- An often misunderstood reason behind the upper back or even the shoulder blade pain usually emanates from the neck.
- The joints that holds the neck is able to be damaged in an accident; the joints of the neck is able to refer pain to move into the shoulder blade.
- An injured disc that is in the neck can be able to refer pain to move into the center of the upper part of the back.
For these particular reasons, the doctor is required to distinguish between the upper back or even the shoulder blade pain brought about by an injury that affects the thoracic spine or even find out if it’s a referred pain that is emanating from the neck.
6. Bodybuilding: sore shoulders from lifting, after working out
The shoulder body area works very hard during the period of every type of the upper-body weightlifting exercise or even assisting the upper body to remain much motionless throughout the workout. This makes the shoulder as well as the blades especially much susceptible to the injury while also weightlifting.
- Sharp pain under shoulder blades might sometimes indicate very serious injury.
- It is very vital that a person knows what is able to trigger pain in the right shoulder blade during or even after weightlifting including the process that can be used in remedy.
Pain that is found in the right shoulder blade due to weightlifting is able to run from being mild to very severe. It is able to happen suddenly when a person is weightlifting, when an individual is moving the arm from one side to another or even when a person is at rest.
Additional indications might include stiffness, radiating pain that comes from the shoulder moving to the side of the arm, lack of strength and also much increased throbbing. The pain is able to make it very difficult to move the arms or even lift objects, like the weights, over the head.
7. Chest infection
Pancoast Tumor: It may also lead to the pain under shoulder blade. This is a type of cancer which normally manifests itself in the upper parts of the lung. It is able to spread to the other neighboring tissues parts. It is able to destroy the neck and also the shoulder nerves. Other symptoms might also include the chest pain as well as the upper back pain.
The signs of pain under shoulder blade may vary according to the cause. For the heart attack, then the signs of pain under shoulder blade might be excessive amount of sweat, chest pain, vomiting as well as dizziness.
For the Pancoast Tumor the signs are the upper back pain, shoulder pain as well as the chest pain. For Subscapularis Strain the patient is able to have much pain that is in the upper right side of the shoulder blade.
8. Sore shoulder blades from playing golf
If you are engaging in any new exercises that the body is not much used to, then you could also be leading to the strain that is happening on the area that is between the shoulder blades.
Determine whether or not you are doing activities that needs any sudden spine-turning movements, like golf. Both of the activities can lead to pain in that is occurring between the shoulder blades if you are not used to moving the body in this direction.
9. Kidney stones
Pain under shoulder blade as well as the irritation that is in the upper back occurs for several reasons. For some other people it is due to the poor posture, for other people it can be the trauma because of an accident or even the sports injury.
There are also several medical conditions which includes the herniated disc, spondylitis, arthritis, spinal stenosis, kidney stones or even the bone cancer that can cause the upper back pain. In most of the cases, upper back pain is normally associated with the muscle irritation that is emanating from the poor posture or even the joint problems, which are not any reasons for panic.
10. Pulled muscle
Holding an object for a longer period of time also might also lead to the pain under shoulder blade because of the pulled muscle. So whether a person is holding a child on the hip or even any other object that is in front, always make sure that you rely on additional support if you will be holding the object for longer period of time.
11. Pinched nerve
A pinched nerve indicates a condition where a lot of pressure is used to the tissue that is surrounding the nerve, including the bone, the muscle or even the cartilage.
- A pinched nerve is at times very painful and too uncomfortable, more especially when it is affecting the shoulder blade.
- A pinched nerve that is in the shoulder blade usually develops when the tissue that is surrounding the shoulder blade is subjected to intense pressure.
- The pressure might be due to a compressed or even a trapped nerve.
A pinched nerve condition is not very permanent. It usually interferes with the transmission of the signals that is moving from the brain towards the nerve. A pinched nerve shoulder blade is a very common condition. It is not in any way life-threatening, but much affects the quality of life due to the resultant pain as well as the discomfort.
A pinched nerve might lead to a burning sensation in the shoulder, which might radiate down the arm. The nerve compression leads to very painful muscle spasms. The studies have suggested that a pinched nerve is normally associated with the occipital headaches as well as the neck pain. Pain is usually the brain’s reaction to any malfunction that is in the body.
Therefore, pain in the shoulder is an indicator that the nerve is either much inflamed or too compressed. A simple exercise such as moving the shoulder is able to realign the body and also to relieve the pain. A sustained nerve compression can cause a permanent nerve damage that leads to chronic pain.
Unexplained shoulder pain that is not able to change when an individual moves the neck, shoulder, or even the arm or that happens with the symptoms that is happening elsewhere in the body (like the abdomen or even the chest) might due to the referred shoulder pain. Referred pain implies that a problem is existing in some other part or parts of the body other than where you feel the pain.
The causes of referred shoulder pain might include:
- Abdominal problems, like the gallstones or even the pancreatitis.
- Pelvic problems, like the ruptured ovarian cyst.
- Heart or even the blood vessel problems where the pain is often felt in the left parts of the arm and also the shoulder, like the heart attack or inflammation that is occurring around the heart (also known as the pericarditis).
Pain under shoulder blade and back
There are several causes for the pain under shoulder blade which is very much confusing at first. Most of these indicates a fatal condition like the lung cancer, while in other cases it might be a temporary ghost pain.
To start with, it’s very much important to do away with any chances of a person having an issue with various joints of the shoulder blades as they are complex. If a person is not engaging in a lot of handy work such as carrying of moderately weighty loads, you might be able to feel a lot of pain after a short period of time if you don’t stretch.
Generally, pain under shoulder blade is normally brought about by an inflammation that might emanate from several body parts.
Fractures might also lead to the body part to ache, even though the bones are very thick and much durable so you should have a much severe trauma so as to expect a small fracture occurring in the area. You will understand if you have any fractured shoulder blade as the force that is very much required for the injury is too significant.
Arthritis usually affects all the bones as well as the joints throughout the body and this is one of the misconceptions that is applied when analyzing the symptoms without the doctor’s assistance. Normally arthritis is very obvious on the joints as well as the bones that are being over worked.
When you have pain under the left shoulder blade or the right blade, you may have other symptoms such as pain when breathing, or pain coming from the both sides radiating down the elbow, heartburn or even heart attacks. Here’s a deeper look at these related symptoms when you have pain between shoulder blades.
Hurts to breathe deep breath or when exhaling
Pain under shoulder blade that is related to breathing and also coughing might emanate from the spinal and rib-cage joints in several parts of the neck and also the thorax.
If the pain is found in the high upper-back when inhaling and exhaling, then it is much likely to be coming from an inflamed facet joint which is in the neck and the muscles that are protecting it. These particular problems tend to be much severe and even harder to deal with.
Pain on both sides of shoulders
There are a several things that can lead to the pain between the shoulder blades (or also known as the scapulae) or even between the shoulder blades and the neck.
- Normally these pains come and disappear, and are because of nothing more than the tired muscles or even the mild strains that can quickly get healed.
- If you understand the cause, the soreness or even the pain should not be a concern.
- There are causes of pain that also stem from the disorders that might require a very prompt attention.
These are normally referred pains, pains that emanate from a disorder or even an injury to the body part that may seem to have completely nothing to do with the back.
Shoulder pain down to elbow or radiates to arm, chest
If you are having numbness as well as the tingling that is radiating down the entire arm, normally accompanied by the pain under shoulder blade, shoulder, hand, and also the fingers, this can be related to the pinching of the nerves that are in the neck.
Some other people will find out that placing their hand above the head can take pressure off the nerve and also relieve some of the shoulder pain. Others find that tilting of the head one way leads to the pain to improve or even worsen. This might be an indication that they are having nerve irritation because of a disc herniation or even the arthritic spur that is in the neck
Most of the symptoms of the heart attack may be brought about by the digestive disturbances or any other less serious indications. But only the sophisticated medical tests are able to be carried out and determine if a person is having a heart attack.
Heart attacks might vary from an individual to another, and from heart attack to another. Women, for instance, may have atypical symptoms like the pain that is between the shoulder blades instead of chest pain. This may lead to the people delaying to seek treatment.
Although the one of the indications of an impending or even the actual heart attack amongst the males is the pain under shoulder blade, females also frequently report much pain that is between the shoulder blades instead.
If you are having pain that is between the shoulder blades, which is combined with any of the below symptoms, call your doctor urgently;
- Squeezing chest pain
- Shortness of the breath
- Sweating of the body
- Tightness experienced in chest
- Recurring chest discomfort
- Pain that is spreading to shoulders, neck or even the arms
- Dizziness, nausea or even vomiting
- Unexplained weakness
- Discomfort between shoulder blades
Pain under left shoulder blade
Frozen shoulder, also called the adhesive capsulitis, is a very painful stiffness of the shoulder joint that makes it difficult to do the full range of the normal shoulder activities.
Frozen shoulder happens when there is much thickening, swelling as well as tightening of the flexible tissue that normally surrounds the shoulder joint. This leaves much less space for the upper arm bone in the shoulder joint, and thus makes the movement to be very stiff and also painful.
Pain under right shoulder blade
Pain under shoulder blade during pregnancy is a very common complaint. It is said that about 45% of all the pregnant women suffer from this shoulder discomfort.
Most of the pregnant women also suffer enough discomfort so as to require medical attention or even the painkillers. A pregnant woman’s body is undergoing most of the posture, weight as well as the physiological changes at a high rate.
Sources and references
- 9 Common Causes of Pain Between the Shoulder Blades: http://www.shoulderaches.net/
- When Shoulder Pain Won’t Go Away: http://bottomlineinc.com/when-shoulder-pain-wont-go-away/
- Shoulder pain – Causes: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/shoulderpain/Pages/Causes.aspx
- Being Pregnant: Shoulder Pain In Pregnancy, Causes And Remedies: http://www.indiatimes.com/health/healthyliving/being-pregnant-shoulder-pain-in-pregnancy-causes-and-remedies-239887.html
- Reasons Behind Shoulder Pain: http://www.emaxhealth.com/45/155.html
- NUMBNESS IN YOUR FOREARM, RING & PINKY FINGER: http://www.spinemd.com/news-philanthropy/get-to-the-root-of-arm-numbness-or-tingling
- Acute pancreatitis: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000287.htm