What Causes Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades?


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Publish date

July 23, 2021



The thing about back pain between shoulder blades is that it’s pretty normal. Doctors call it “interscapular pain.” Pain between the shoulder blades is typically accompanied by sore, dull, and sharp pain in the upper back. In most cases, upper back pain between the shoulder blade is not a severe condition for you to worry about. But sometimes, it indicates an underlying health condition that requires medical advice. For instance, you are at risk of breast cancer. This condition would need mastectomy surgery, where your breast will be removed to prevent cancer from developing. Go to Refine Clinic’s site to read what to do post-mastectomy. Meanwhile, let’s discuss the common reasons why you have upper back pain between the shoulder blades.



Causes Of Back Pain Between Shoulders

spine of humansThere are several reasons for pain between your shoulder blades. Mild or heavy injury to your tendon or muscle is the primary reason for upper back pain. Muscle strain is the result of:

Poor Posture

Poor posture is the common cause of pain between the shoulder blades. How you sit and stand can promote either back pain or strong back muscles. Bad posture is usually due to:

  • sitting for an extended period
  • using a chair without back support
  • leaning over a desktop or laptop
  • leg crossing

Your position while doing these things could result in mild to severe pain in the middle back. To manage the pain, you need to stretch the muscles in your upper back. For example, you can roll your shoulders backward and forward. You can also link your hands behind your back and gently pull your arms downward.


You can definitely feel the effects of stress on your emotional health and physical body. When a person is stressed, their body becomes tense, which results in pain on the neck, shoulders, chest, and between shoulder blades.

If stress stays for an extended period, the pain may be accompanied by headaches and physical discomfort.

The best way to fight the symptoms that comes with stress would be to address the root cause. Know your stress triggers and have a great support system; make sure to get enough sleep and exercise regularly.

Carrying or Lifting Heavy Objects

It’s essential to lift heavy objects as a tiny mistake may cause pain in muscles and the upper-middle back. Carrying heavy objects such as barbells or even bags can pressure your shoulder blades and result in serious complications. Holding heavy objects can strain your back muscle and your arms as well.

To avoid this, refrain from carrying bags on your back. Also, be sure to add equal weight to the loads that your carry. You can adjust the straps to ensure that both of your shoulder blades and muscles receive equal pressure.


Scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to have curves sideways. An individual’s shoulder may seem a bit more pop than the other, or their hips and shoulders don’t look even.

This spine condition does not always come with significant symptoms, but pain between the shoulder blades may follow if it does. The treatment for scoliosis involves muscle and spine strengthening exercises, managing strain and pain, respectively.

Muscle Injury

Injuries on your muscles are also one of the reasons why pain between your shoulders occurs. Muscle injuries happen for different reasons, such as heavy lifting or falling.

The thing that attaches the arm to the shoulders is called rotator cuff muscles. If this thing gets injured, you will have difficulty moving or rotating your arms as it may cause painful sensations in the surrounding areas.

The treatment would include applying ice packs, stretching, strengthening exercises, and getting enough rest. If symptoms persist, give your doctor a visit and seek medical advice.



Other Reasons that Cause Pain in Shoulders

Some of the other reasons to consider for back pain are:

  • degenerative disc disease
  • acid reflux
  • spinal stenosis
  • shingles
  • nerve compression
  • myofascial pain syndrome
  • lung cancer, liver cancer,
  • gallstone

Sometimes, shoulder pain is a sign of an incoming heart attack, especially among women. Other signs may also follow, including shortness of breath and chest pain. You must seek medical treatment if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Aortic dissection, also known as thoracic aorta rupture, happens when there is a rupture in the innermost layers of the blood vessels that connect to your heart. Thoracic aorta rupture can cause pain in the upper-middle back. This is considered a medical emergency that can be life-threatening, so be quick in seeking emergency services.



When Should You Visit the Doctor

If the pain is too much for you to bear, it’s probably time for you to call the doctor. The pain will usually come with inflammation and nerve pain as well. Oftentimes, this does not end in serious conditions, but if it’s causing you discomfort, you may want to have yourself examined.

Moreover, if the shoulder blade pain comes with other symptoms like persistent neck pain, body pain, and spinal pain, it could indicate that you have a health condition that needs to be checked out. Here are some of the symptoms that you might notice:

  • persistent shoulder pain
  • inflammation in the spine
  • coughing with blood
  • fever and chills
  • rapid heartbeat
  • lightheadedness
  • body paralysis
  • loss of consciousness
  • excessive sweating
  • chest pain
  • chronic headaches



Home Remedies

Seeking professional help is the best way to ensure that your back pain can be managed effectively. However, here are some of the home remedies that you can try:

  1. getting rid of back painstretching
  2. exercise
  3. physical therapy
  4. massage
  5. rest
  6. healthy diet
  7. anti-inflammatory medications

Subsequently, knowing the correct methods and techniques to alleviate pain will help you the most. If you are a health care provider, you must know what causes the pain in your patient’s body. It does not matter if they feel pain in their back, muscles, nerves, or teeth. Choosing a trusted supplier for your practice must be one of your priorities.






What Causes Shoulder Blade Pain and How to Treat It (https://www.healthline.com/health/shoulder-blade-pain)

Upper back pain between shoulder blades: Is it serious? (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/upper-back-pain-between-shoulder-blades)

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