Back pain between the shoulder blades - common causes

spine damage as the cause of pain between the shoulder blades

A difficult period in life comes to a person when his back often starts to ache. This is not easy to cause discomfort and brings a lot of inconvenience, but it can also disturb a person for a long time.

With the modern pace of life, the population often neglects their health, referring to lack of time. People try not to ask the question: why does the back hurt in the shoulder blade area?

They prefer not to waste precious time going to the clinic and are treated at home, not suspecting that this sign could be a symptom of the presence of serious or even dangerous diseases.

pain in shoulder blades

main reasons

Why can there be a dull ache between the shoulder blades? Symptoms of back pain in many people are associated with various mechanical injuries to the spine, pinched nerves, or muscle strain.

It should be borne in mind that the pain syndrome can be triggered by pathologies of Organs thoracic organs.

The causes of back pain between the shoulder blades can be conditionally divided into three categories:

  • Spinal diseases;
  • diseases of internal organs;
  • Other factors.

It must be clearly and clearly understood that pain is a symptom, not an independent disease. Before you start using the medicines available in your home medicine cabinet, you should find out why: why does your back hurt between your shoulder blades?

the doctor examines the back with pain in the shoulder blades

For this, you must visit a medical institution, consult a doctor and describe in detail the symptoms, the moment of their occurrence and possible triggering factors: injuries, professional activities, etc.

This information should help specialists determine the direction of the exam and make a diagnosis.

An inaccurate or untimely diagnosis can be harmful to human health. Therapy can be prescribed, which will not have a positive effect and will result in precious time being wasted in treating the root cause of the pain.

It is important that the person himself understands the causes of pain and knows the possible list of pathologies that cause it.

muscle tension

Spasm or overtension of muscle tissue does not belong to pathologies, but is a symptom of excessive physiological stress, or vice versa, its absence.

According to experts, back pain in the area of the shoulder blades is often felt by patients whose professional activities are associated with prolonged static muscle tension.

The risk group includes, first of all, people of the following specialties:

  • boxes;
  • Office workers;
  • programmers
  • drivers, etc.

However, doctors say that a person's professional activity is not always the main cause of this symptom. In many cases, when examining patients who had complaints of pain in the region of the shoulder blades, most had dysplasia.

sedentary work as a cause of shoulder blade pain

Hereditary pathology, characterized by a defect in fibrous structures due to insufficient production of collagen - a substance responsible for the strength and elasticity of connective tissue.

For this reason, muscle fibers and ligaments are simply unable to withstand prolonged physiological stress.


Perhaps the most obvious factor causing back pain in the shoulder blade area is injury. Various types of bruises, fractures, sprains that occur in the back as a result of mechanical damage are necessarily accompanied by a strong pain syndrome.

exercises for back pain in shoulder blades

Spinal injuries can pose a real threat to human health. The displacement of the vertebral discs or the violation of the spinal cord can cause complete or partial sensitivity of the limbs, limitation of motor functions and, in special situations, lead to complete paralysis.

If the spine between your shoulder blades has been hurting for a long time due to mechanical injuries as a result of emergencies, you should seek medical help immediately, even if the injury seems small.

Any hematoma or unsuccessful landing at height can cause damage to the vertebral discs, which can be diagnosed only with the help of special equipment.

Only a specialist after a visual examination and complementary X-ray, MRI or CT scans can assess the severity of the injury and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

intercostal neuralgia

The second name for this disease is chest pain. A disease that practically does not develop in children, but affects the elderly due to age-related changes, bruising and hypothermia.

It is manifested by symptoms of sharp, painful pain in the rib area. Back pain in the shoulder blade area is also a concomitant symptom, often occurring and intensifying at the time of a change in body position.

Patients may hear complaints of pain during breathing, especially at the time of a sharp inspiration or expiration.

Heads up! Back pain between the shoulder blades and other neuralgia-like symptoms can be a sign that the patient has cardiac pathologies. It is important to recognize the problem in a timely manner and take appropriate action - this will save valuable time and possibly save the patient's life.

The main factor that causes explosive upper back pain with this disease is pinching or squeezing the nerve roots.

intercostal neuralgia as a cause of shoulder blade pain

This disease develops against the background of many factors: bruises, osteochondrosis, excessive physiological stress, metabolic disorders, stress, colds.

Muscle spasms or, conversely, excessive muscle tone of the extensors of the back, shoulders and shoulder blades can also contribute to the development of the disease.

The symptomatology of neuralgia is very similar to the manifestations of some pathologies of the heart - ischemic disease, angina pectoris. Timely diagnosis and timely response can save a person's life.

First you need to learn to distinguish between neuralgia and heart disease. For a quick diagnosis, two main differences between these pathologies are used.

seeing a doctor for back pain in the shoulder blade area

Neuralgia is characterized by:

  • The pain syndrome persists for a long time;
  • Symptoms are aggravated by body movements, trying to take a deep breath or exhale and press on the ribs.

The difference, for example, in angina pectoris, is that neither body movement nor sneezing increases the pain syndrome. However, dynamic physical movements can affect heart rate and blood pressure.

Symptoms disappear partially or completely within minutes after using vasodilating drugs such as nitroglycerin. To exclude the possibility of heart disease, contact a cardiologist and have an electrocardiogram.

Osteochondritis of the spine

Back pain between the shoulder blades is considered to be one of the main symptoms of osteochondrosis. The disease is characterized by damage to the intervertebral discs.

In the course of development, the disease begins to affect other areas of the musculoskeletal system and can also affect the body's nervous system. According to the location of the development of the disease, lumbar, thoracic and cervical osteochondrosis are distinguished.

The main factor in the development of the pathology is malnutrition of the cartilage tissue of the joint. Previously, it was believed that this disease only affected the group of elderly patients, associating this with age-related body changes.

However, today experts note an increase in patients at a younger age.

Lumbar osteochondrosis as a cause of shoulder blade pain

Specialists refer to the main factors in the development of the disease: sedentary lifestyle, hereditary factor, salt deposition, unbalanced diet.

Heads up! If your back hurts in the region of the shoulder blades due to the diagnosis of osteochondrosis, remember: physical activity, organization of a comfortable workplace and a balanced diet are effective methods of treating and preventing the disease.

Therefore, severe pain rarely appears due to osteochondrosis of the thoracic region. This section of the spine is the least mobile, and degenerative tissue changes occur much more slowly than in the cervical or lumbar region.

It is often cervical osteochondrosis that is a very common cause of pain between the shoulder blades in the spine. The pain "crosses" the entire spine, running down from the upper sections of the spine to the lower back.

Spine herniated disc

Intervertebral disc hernias, according to some experts, are present in 30-40% of the population at one stage or another.

Most often, this pathology affects young people who lead an active physical lifestyle. It is injuries or heavy physical exertion that are the main cause of the development of the disease.

The mechanism of the disease is simple. The intervertebral disc is a semi-liquid gelatinous substance, which is surrounded by a rather dense shell. The main task of the disc is to smooth and absorb the movement of the vertebrae.

Due to various factors: injuries, weakness of skeletal muscles, severe physiological stress, spinal pathology, etc. There is compression or decompression of the spine and rupture of the outer shell of the disc.

At the same time, the gelatinous contents protrude into the spinal canal and compress one, two or more nerve endings, causing numbness of the extremities and pain.

Important! In the acute phase of the course of the disease, massage or warm-up sessions are categorically contraindicated.

Contrary to popular belief, in the treatment of the disease, in no case is it recommended to give up physical exercises.

It is proven that the rejection of physical activity leads to muscle atrophy and prolongs the duration of the disease.

In the early stages of development, a hernia is treated conservatively, but in the absence of positive dynamics of recovery within six months, the question of surgical intervention can be considered.

spinal hernia as a cause of shoulder blade pain

Pathologies of internal organs

Pain between the shoulder blade and the spine can cause a person to have diseases of Organs internal organs.

First of all, this applies to the organs of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. The most common respiratory problems are: tuberculosis, pneumonia.

Common pathologies of the cardiovascular system are ischemic diseases or, in ordinary people, "angina pectoris". Refers to potentially fatal pathologies.

It has similar symptoms with neuralgia and it is important to learn to distinguish between them.

medical exam for shoulder blade pain

If you have symptoms: severe back pain between your shoulder blades, shortness of breath, cold sweats, and a rapid pulse, seek medical help right away.

With some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, the back between the shoulder blades also hurts. The main reasons for this: peptic ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux, diffuse spasm of the esophagus.

These pathologies usually cause the following symptoms: burning in the esophagus, chest pain.

Patients complain that it hurts in the middle of the solar plexus and sags in the back between the shoulder blades. In addition, it should not be ruled out that back pain in the area of the shoulder blades can cause oncological causes.

prevention and treatment

To determine an effective course of treatment for a specific disease, it is first necessary to answer the question: why does the back hurt between the shoulder blades? To do this, you must pass a comprehensive examination by a specialist.

Treatment is prescribed after undergoing all the necessary procedures and based on a diagnosis made by a specialist. With the development of certain diseases, self-medication can be not only ineffective, but even dangerous.

As you know, any disease is easier to prevent than to cure. Back pain in the shoulder blades can have different causes. What to do to eliminate them?

The answer is simple - get involved in prevention. Most diseases develop in the context of an unhealthy lifestyle: give up bad habits, play sports, eat a balanced diet and this will reduce the risks of developing various diseases by at least half.