Pain in the spine between the shoulder blades: common causes

damage to the spine as the cause of pain between the shoulder blades

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

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

They prefer not to waste precious time going to the clinic and being cared for at home, without suspecting that this signal may be a symptom of the presence of serious or even dangerous diseases.

shoulder blade pain

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 the thoracic organs.

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

  • Spine diseases;
  • diseases of the internal organs;
  • Other factors.

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

the doctor examines the back with pain in the shoulder blades

To do this, you need to visit a medical institution, consult a doctor and describe in great detail the symptoms, the time of their appearance and possible triggers - injuries, professional activities, etc.

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

An inaccurate or untimely diagnosis can be detrimental to human health. Therapy may be prescribed, which will not bring a positive effect and will result in the loss of precious time in treating the main cause of pain.

It is important for a person to understand the causes of pain and to know the possible list of pathologies that cause it.

muscle contracture

Spasm or overexertion 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 experienced by patients whose professional activities are associated with prolonged static muscle tension.

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

  • cashiers;
  • 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 complained of pain in the region of the shoulder blades, it was found that most of them had dysplasia.

sedentary work as a cause of pain in the shoulder blades

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

For this reason, muscle fibers and ligaments simply cannot 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 the shoulder blades

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

If the spine between the shoulder blades hurts for a long time due to mechanical injury as a result of an emergency, you should immediately seek medical help, even if the injury seems minor.

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

Only a specialist after visual examination and additional X-ray, MRI or CT scan can judge the severity of the injury and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

intercostal neuralgia

The second name for this disease is thoracalgia. A disease that practically does not develop in children, but rather affects older people due to age-related changes, bruising and hypothermia.

It is manifested by symptoms of sharp, aching pain in the region of the ribs. Back pain in the area of the shoulder blades is also a concomitant symptom, which often occurs and intensifies at the time of a change in the position of the body.

Patients can hear complaints of pain during breathing, especially at the time of a sharp inhalation or exhalation.

Attention! Back pain between the shoulder blades and other symptoms similar to neuralgia can be a sign that the patient has heart 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 causing a stabbing pain in the upper back with this disease is pinching or compression of the nerve roots.

Intercostal neuralgia as a cause of pain in the shoulder blades

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 heart pathologies: ischemic disease, angina pectoris. Timely diagnosis and timely response can save a person's life.

You must first learn to distinguish between neuralgia and heart disease. Two main differences between these pathologies are used for rapid diagnosis.

see a doctor for back pain in the area of ​​the shoulder blades

Neuralgia is characterized by:

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

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

The symptoms partially or completely disappear within a few minutes of the use of vasodilator drugs, such as nitroglycerin. To exclude the possibility of heart disease, contact a cardiologist and perform an EKG.

spinal osteochondritis

Pain in the spine between the shoulder blades is considered 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 nervous system of the body. Depending on the localization of the development of the disease, lumbar, thoracic and cervical osteochondrosis are distinguished.

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

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

lumbar osteochondrosis as a cause of pain in the shoulder blades

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

Attention! If your back hurts in the area of the shoulder blades due to the diagnosis of osteochondrosis, remember: physical activity, the 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 proceed much more slowly than in the cervical or lumbar region.

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

herniated discs of the spine

Herniated intervertebral discs, 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. Injuries or intense physical exertion are the main causes 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 fairly dense shell. The main task of the disc is to smooth and absorb the movement of the vertebrae.

Due to various factors: injuries, skeletal muscle weakness, severe physiological stress, spinal pathology, etc. There is a compression or decompression of the spine and a tear of the outer covering of the disc.

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

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

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

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

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

spinal hernia as a cause of pain in the shoulder blades

Pathologies of the internal organs.

Pain between the shoulder blade and the spine can cause a person to have diseases of the 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 disease or, in ordinary people, "angina pectoris". It refers to life-threatening pathologies.

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

medical test for pain in the shoulder blades

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

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

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

Patients complain that it hurts in the middle of the solar plexus and gives in the back between the shoulder blades. Likewise, it should not be ruled out that back pain in the area of the shoulder blades may have oncological causes.

Prevention and treatment

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

Treatment is prescribed after passing all the necessary procedures and on the basis of 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 remove them?

The answer is simple: engage in prevention. Most diseases develop against the background 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.