Pain between Shoulder Blades Explained

Published: 19th February 2010
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Often times, people will experience pain and discomfort between the shoulder blades without having any prior injury. This may leave them wondering as to what could be the cause of their pain. Since there are many factors which can produce pain between the shoulder blades, this article will examine the possible factors involved.

Here is a list of causes for pain between shoulder blades:

Injury or Trauma: Injuries such as auto, sports, work, lifting or even falling down can affect the spinal column and the surrounding soft tissues. This can lead to weakness and injury to the ligaments and muscles that attach to the scapula and spine. In some cases, x-rays and MRI may not be able to visualize the exact cause of spinal and soft tissue injuries.

Posture: If you work long hours in front of a computer, you may have noticed pain and tension in your neck, around the shoulders and along the upper back. Often times, the cause of this pain is from poor posture and improper positioning of your hands, arms and feet. Basically, the human body is a kinetic chain, in which one area of your body can affect another region. For instance, slouching in your chair forces the neck and shoulders to lean forward. Maintaining this position for prolonged periods can generate stress and tension on the musculature of your neck, trapezius muscles, shoulders, upper back and pain between shoulder blades. It is in your best interest to practice proper ergonomics when working on the computer for long durations.

Gallstones: In general, gallstones may not cause any signs or symptoms. However, when a gallstone becomes lodged in a duct and creates a blockage, symptoms may result which include pain between shoulder blades, right shoulder pain and abdominal pain.

Disc Degeneration: When the disc substance degenerates, the spacing between the vertebrae shrinks, which can cause inflammation to the surrounding joint structures and soft tissue. This can manifest as an achy or dull pain between shoulder blades. Factors that can cause disc degeneration include injury, trauma, aging, infection and disease.

Disc Herniation: There are 4 different stages of disc herniation, which include disc degeneration, disc prolapse, disc extrusion and sequestered disc. In any of these stages, it is possible to experience localized or radiating pain between shoulder blades. In addition, inflammation can occur to the surrounding soft tissue and joint, which can also cause pain. Disc herniation can develop from injury, trauma, infection and disease.

Overuse: It's possible that if your work involves constant use of lifting objects over your head, this type of activity can cause fatigue and spasms. Consequently, this may cause pain between shoulder blades. In addition, activities such as rowing or shoulder motions that are similar to rowing can also cause discomfort between shoulder blades.

Kyphosis: This is a spinal condition in which the region between the scapula has an abnormal curve. This disorder affects children and adults and can cause a deformity known as "hunchback" or "humpback." This condition can result in pain between shoulder blades. The causes for a kyphotic spine include: neuromuscular disorders, congenital (being born with it), Scheuermann's disease, trauma, tumor, infection and arthritis.

Pain between shoulder blades can prevent you from performing normal daily activities. Finding a treatment that is right for you is the key to healthier living. Read more about finding the right natural pain relief for you.

J Abrams writes about self-improvement, health and well-being. You can find more information at Read his blog at: magnetic therapy.

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