Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades: How To Determine its Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

back pain between shoulder bladesBack pain between your shoulder blades should not be ignored.  Back pain between shoulder blades can signify a problem that is as simple as bad posture, but it can also be a sign of spinal problems or a more serious illness.  If you find that you have been suffering from regular back pain between your shoulder blades, we are going to help you address this problem by going over some symptoms, potential causes, and effective treatments methods for this specific pain that you can try out to help alleviate and manage your discomfort.

Common Symptoms of Pain Between Shoulder Blades

  • Acute short and sharp bursts of pain.
  • Chronic pain that lasts on a day to day basis for up to a few weeks or even months.
  • Pain experienced in specific points between your shoulder blades.
  • Pain originating from between your shoulder blades that spreads out to your arms and others areas of your back.
  • Sharp stabbing pains between your shoulder blades.
  • A dull achy pain that will linger and appear throughout the day on a daily basis.

A helpful tip in determining the severity of the pain between your shoulder blades is to grade the pain on a scale of 1 to 10.  1 constitutes as a very mild pain, while 10 is a type of pain that feels very sharp, unforgiving, and severe.  A good way to track the pain is to keep a diary of the pain, where it originates, and what you are doing when you feel the pain.

Common Causes of Pain Between Shoulder Blades

  • Poor posture:  Sitting for long amounts of time, whether you are on a computer, sitting in the office, or leading a rather sedentary lifestyle can contribute to muscle imbalances in your back.  When muscle imbalances occur, this causes other muscles to work harder in effort to compensate for the muscles that are not working as hard.  Remember when your elementary school teachers told you to sit up straight?  You might want to keep their advice in mind even now.
  • New activities:  If you are engaging in new activities or exercises that your body is not used to, you could also be causing strain on the area between your shoulder blades.  Determine whether or not you are doing activities that require any twisting and sudden spine-turning movements, such as golf or tennis.  Both of these exercises can result in pain in between the shoulder blades if you are not used to moving your body in this way.
  • Heavy lifting:  Lifting overly heavy objects, even just once, is a common cause of pain in the shoulder blade area.  A lot of people are surprised at how easy it is to injure or pull a back muscle with simple lifting.  If you are moving or starting a new job that requires a lot of heavy lifting or maneuvering, these could be simple causes as to why you are experiencing pain in between your shoulder blades.
  • Whiplash or injury:  Additionally, if you have recently been in an accident or experienced some type of injury around your neck and shoulder area, this could also be a cause of the pain.  If there have been any disturbances in your spine, it could have an effect on the muscles around this area and in between your shoulder blades.  The trapezius muscles, the deeper rhomboid muscles, and the levator scapulae that support your neck can definitely feel pain if any area around them has experienced injury or impact.
  • Acid Reflux:  During acid reflux, the valve that holds down the food and the acid in your stomach becomes weak.  This causes the digestive acids to flow back up through an individual’s esophagus, resulting in burning sensations or chest pain after eating.  This can also result in a sharp pain in between a person’s shoulder blades – especially during the night when they are trying to sleep.  A common solution for this is acid neutralizers or prescription medication to control the reflux.

Treatments for Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades:Depending on how severe the pain is that you are experiencing in your back between your shoulder blades, you can look into different types of treatment that can help control, manage, and alleviate your pain.  Here are some resolutions for pain management; some of which you can easily do at home or on your own.

  1. Visit the Doctor or Chiropractor’s office:  Depending on your symptoms, your back pain could be series or not that intense.  If you need some assurance or consultation, it does not hurt to visit your doctor so that they can assess your body for any further damages.
  2. Heat:  Use a warm compress, heat bag, or a warm towel to help relieve muscle tension and relax the region in between your shoulder blades that is causing you pain.
  3. Cat Stretch:  This exercise can stretch out your upper back muscle and possibly provide you with some relief.  To perform this stretch, slowly round out your shoulders as much as possible and push your spine backwards to stretch the area in between your shoulder blade muscles.  Try this after a warm shower or bath when your muscles are most flexible.
  4. Improve your posture:  This is an easy way to help your body heal itself.  Prop yourself up with pillows to help straighten your posture while sitting.  Try to be aware of your posture at all times.
  5. Sleep well:  Sometimes even a good night’s sleep can help your body heal itself of any excess pain that you may be feeling.  The next time you feel any pain in between your shoulder blades, get a good night sleep and see how you feel the next morning.
  6. Change your mattress:  If you feel that you back pain is chronic, consider purchasing a mattress that supports people with back pain.  These types of mattresses can have a good impact on reducing back pain between shoulder blades, and back pain in general. 

Address Your Symptoms

As soon as you feel any back pain between your shoulder blades, it is helpful to address your symptoms and seek treatment.  Once you are aware of its cause, consider enrolling in this course to prevent any future back pain in five simple steps.