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What Causes Pain Between The Shoulder Blades?
Pain between your shoulder blades or ‘interscapular pain’ is a common complaint. You may experience aching, dull, burning, sore or shooting pain. It can be frustrating and keep coming back. So what causes it and what can you do to get rid of it?
What can cause pain between the shoulders blades?
There are 5 main reasons for back pain between your shoulder blades.
- Muscles - the trapezius or rhomboid muscles that run from your spine to your shoulder blades can cause pain.
- Thoracic spine - soft tissue structures around the joints can cause pain and very rarely the disc.
- Your neck - Yes the joints and discs can radiate pain that far down!
- Posture - this is normally still muscular
- Stress! - this is generally still muscular but the ‘treatment’ or cure is to reduce your stress rather than exercise.
We regularly get clients looking for help who say "I have an ache between my shoulder blades" or "I have a sharp pain between my shoulder blades". They are sometimes worried it might be something serious but with most of the reasons listed, you should be able to GET RID of all of your pain.
Things to look out for
Most of the time, shoulder blade pain isn’t anything to worry about, but in some cases, it can be a sign of a more serious problem.
If you have acute chest pain or are acutely short of breath please seek urgent medical help by calling 111. If you have had cancer before and this pain has developed since it may be a good idea to speak to your GP. It is typically not a recurrence but better to be safe than sorry.
What to do to help?
There are lots of things you can do to help yourself.
- General movement exercise - if you sit a lot, just moving around more can sometimes be the cure. Nothing specific, just move more!
- Stretching - if you are very tense or rigid in the area get stretching. Flex forward, arch backwards and twist your spine.
- Strengthening - Unless you are doing pull-based movements where your shoulder blades come together you can still be relatively weak in the area despite being fit otherwise.
- Change your posture - If you sit up straight all day, slump a bit! Yes, it really is ok, maybe not all the time though! If you always slump, try sitting up more of the time.
- Change your workstation - If you sit at a computer all day, try to
- Raise your screen up higher - to eye level at least.
- Bring your chair fairly close the your desk
- Make sure that your keyboard and mouse are close to the edge of the desk. This means you are not 'reaching' constantly.
- 'Open up' your chest. This should put your shoulder blades into a more natural position.
As with all pain problems, your symptoms are individual and these are guidelines.
If you are looking for shoulder blade pain relief and treatment specific to you get in touch.
We'll help you EVEN IF you have seen a physio, osteopath, chiropractor or consultant about it before. We specialise in helping people just like you!
If you have symptoms and are struggling to get rid of them give us a call.