Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Pain between shoulder blades is one of the most common complaints physicians receive but the problem is both simpler and more complicated than many people think. The good news is that numerous small strains and injuries can cause lasting pain in the shoulder blade area, so the pain itself is not really indicative of a serious problem. The complicated news is that the area between the shoulders is actually a collection of joints, tendons and muscles that make the diagnoses tricky and the treatments varied.

Shoulder Injuries

The human body has a lot of mobility in and in between its shoulders and that generally means people are going to notice the slightest strain a lot faster than comparable injuries in other parts of the body with less sensitive tendons and muscles. The downside to this is that the slightest strain will hurt a lot more and potentially impair the mobility of the shoulders themselves which is what most people are complaining about to when they speak of their back pain.

The majority of problems causing pain between shoulder blades will heal themselves with time and rest but treatment depends on the severity with which the problem can be categorized.

Possible Diagnoses

  • Lesions
  • Dislocations
  • Separations
  • Broken bone
  • Arthritis
  • Instability
  • Tendon inflammation

In addition to lesions, dislocations and separations, the majority of diagnosable issues fall into the category of fractures from a broken bone, arthritis, instability and tendon inflammation from a tendon tear. These causes categorize both serious problems and minor irritations, and this is where the dual simplicity and complexity play into the biology of the shoulders. These causes categorize both serious problems and minor irritations and this is where the dual simplicity and complexity play into the biology of the shoulders.

Fractures

Fractures in the bones in or around the shoulders are almost always serious. Injuries that damage the joints or tendons of the shoulders can often heal themselves. Although patients might need to find a way to secure their back from stress and strain in the meantime. Severe fractures will require a sling and strap application to keep the body from turning improperly and further agitating the fracture. Surgery is sometimes required, although most fractures can be reset.

Arthritis

Arthritis problems that develop with age or constant use can be difficult to manage because they aren’t curable. Their symptoms and pains can be treatment with ointments, rubs and the prescribed medication of anti-inflammatories. Severe arthritis that can’t be helped by physical therapy will sometimes necessitate some surgery in which the clavicle ends of the affected area are cut in order to promote scar tissue that will help to mediate the strain of chronic arthritis.

Dislocations & Separations

Dislocations and separations can be caused by a serious physical blow to the shoulder and the pain associated with these injuries will persist until the shoulder is rotated back into place by a trained physician. Further treatment involves a sling and applications of cold packs or ice to steady the swelling and keep the inflammation down.

When To Shrug Your Shoulders

The shoulder has the potential to be one of the most unstable joints in the human body, and most people will experience pain between shoulder blades at least once in their life. Not all shoulder problems should involve a doctor’s consultation and thanks to the variety of nerves, tendons and muscles in the shoulders, the intensity of the pain will almost always be a reliable indicator of how serious the symptoms are. In other areas of the body, problems can fester for months and sometimes even years without the person noticing but the shoulders themselves are such an intrinsic part of everyday movement that any severe tear, stiffness or injury is going to be loud and clear within several weeks of the inciting incident. Pain between shoulder blades is noticeable because the nerves in between the shoulders function like sensitive antennas that will pick up the slightest discomfort while any damage to the tendons themselves will be associated with sharp spikes of pain.

The muscles of the body are responsible for most of the pain meditation and muscle problems in the shoulders can be just as confusing to self-diagnose as muscle problems anywhere else in the body. Muscles are built to sustain damage and strain, and their natural inhibitors sometimes inhibit serious pain and mask a severe injury that needs immediate medical attention. Luckily, the shoulder muscles are in close proximity to the nerves and tendons and both of which will respond much quicker and much fiercer to pain than the muscles themselves.

In other words, serious shoulder problems will be readily apparent by an unbearable discomfort and pain. Shoulder problems that aren’t as painful should be self-treated with cold applications and proper stretching techniques. Pain between shoulder blades does not have to be permanent.

Sources:

OrthoInfo

NIH

Patient Blog

2 thoughts on “Pain Between Shoulder Blades

  • October 4, 2013 at 6:44 am
    Permalink

    Thus, to get out of bed, and promptly fell to the floor and then try picking up the ball with your feet spread apart, one in front of the foot.
    When the PT went on vacation, I never went back to the podiatrist’s office, which usually affects the whole or part of the ligament due to sprinting
    or long-distance running, tight Achilles tendons. I wear Birkenstocks for my
    shoulder pain icd 9 code whenever it flares up – usually
    the Florida style. Allow pressure into the tissue and within
    30-60 seconds you will notice a significant reduction in pain.

    Reply
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