Pain in the spine between the shoulder blades - common causes

spinal cord injury as a cause of pain between the shoulder blades

The difficult period of life comes for a person when his back often starts to hurt. This is not easy to bring discomfort and brings a lot of inconvenience, but it can also bother 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 \u200b\u200bthe shoulder blades?

They prefer not to waste precious time going to the clinic and are treated at home, not suspecting that this signal may be a symptom of the presence of serious or even dangerous diseases.

pain in the shoulder blades

The main reasons

Why can there be a dull ache between the shoulder blades? The symptoms of back pain in many people are associated with various mechanical injuries of the spine, pinched nerves or muscle strain.

It should be borne in mind that the pain syndrome can be caused by pathologies of the chest organs.

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

  • Diseases of the spine;
  • diseases of internal organs;
  • Other factors.

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

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 detail the symptoms, the time of their appearance and possible provoking factors: injuries, professional activities, etc.

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

An incorrect or premature diagnosis can be harmful to human health. Therapy may be prescribed, which will not bring a positive effect and will result in the loss of precious time in the treatment of the main cause of the pain.

It is important that a person himself understands the causes of pain and knows the possible list of pathologies that cause it.

muscle strain

Spasm or overload of muscle tissue does not belong to pathologies, but rather it is a symptom of excessive physiological stress, or vice versa, its lack.

According to experts, back pain in the shoulder area is often experienced by patients whose professional activities are accompanied by prolonged static muscle tension.

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

  • cashier;
  • 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, during the examination of patients who complained of pain in the shoulder region, most of them were found to have dysplasia.

sedentary work as a cause of pain in the shoulder blades

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

For this reason, muscle fibers and ligaments are simply unable to withstand prolonged physiological stress.


Perhaps the most obvious factor that causes back pain in the shoulder blade area is injury. Various types of hematomas, fractures, sprains that occur on the back as a result of mechanical injuries are necessarily associated with a severe pain syndrome.

exercises for back pain in the shoulders

Spinal cord injuries can pose a real threat to human health. The displacement of the vertebral discs or a violation of the spinal cord can provoke complete 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 damage as a result of emergencies, you should immediately seek medical help, even if the damage 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 a visual examination and additional X-ray, magnetic resonance or computed tomography examination 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 affects the elderly due to age-related changes, bruises and hypothermia.

It is manifested by symptoms of acute and painful pain in the region of the ribs. Back pain in the shoulder area is also an accompanying symptom, which often appears and intensifies when changing body position.

Patients may hear complaints of pain during breathing, especially during a sharp inhalation or exhalation.

Careful! Back pain between the shoulders and other symptoms similar to neuralgia can be a signal that the patient has heart pathology. It is important to recognize the problem at the right time and take appropriate measures - this will save valuable time and possibly save the patient's life.

The main factor that causes upper back pain 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, cold.

Muscle spasms or, conversely, excessive muscle tone of the back, shoulder and shoulder extensors 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.

First you need to learn to distinguish between neuralgia and heart disease. For quick diagnosis, two main differences between these pathologies are used.

consulting a doctor for back pain in the shoulder area

Neuralgia is characterized by:

  • The pain syndrome continues for a long period;
  • Symptoms are aggravated by body movements, when you try to take a sharp breath or exhale and press the ribs.

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

Symptoms disappear partially or completely within a few minutes after using vasodilator drugs, such as nitroglycerin. To exclude the possibility of heart disease, contact a cardiologist and do an electrocardiogram.

Osteochondritis of the spine

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. According to the localization of the development of the disease, lumbar, thoracic and cervical osteochondrosis are distinguished.

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

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

osteochondrosis of the back 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.

Careful! If your back hurts in the shoulder area due to the diagnosis of osteochondrosis, remember: physical activity, the organization of a comfortable workplace and a balanced diet are effective methods for the treatment and prevention of the disease.

Therefore, severe pain rarely occurs due to osteochondrosis of the chest region. This section of the spine is less mobile and degenerative tissue changes there develop much more slowly than in the cervical or lumbar region.

Often, it is cervical osteochondrosis that is a very common cause of pain between the shoulder blades in the back. The pain "passes through" the entire spine, descending from the upper parts of the spine to the lower back.

Spinal disc herniation

Herniation of intervertebral discs, according to some experts, is present in 30-40% of the population at one stage or another.

Most often, this pathology affects young people who lead a physically active lifestyle. It is injuries or heavy physical exertion that are the main cause of the development of the disease.

The mechanism of the disease is simple. The intervertebral disc is a semi-liquid jelly-like substance, which is surrounded by a rather dense shell. The main task of the disc is to soften and absorb the movement of the vertebrae.

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

At the same time, the jelly-like contents escape into the spinal canal and press on one, two or more nerve endings, causing numbness in the extremities 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 give up physical exercises.

It has been proven that the refusal 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 issue of surgical intervention can be considered.

hernia of the spine as a cause of pain in the shoulder blades

Pathologies of 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 common people, "angina pectoris". It refers to potentially life-threatening pathologies.

There are symptoms similar to neuralgia and it is important to learn to distinguish between them.

doctor's examination for shoulder pain

If you have symptoms: severe pain in the back between the shoulders, shortness of breath, cold sweats and rapid pulse, seek medical help immediately.

With some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, the back between the shoulder blades also hurts. 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, aching pain in the chest.

Patients complain that it hurts in the middle of the solar plexus and gives in the back between the shoulder blades. Also, it should not be excluded that back pain in the shoulder area can cause oncological causes.

Prevention and treatment

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 comprehensive examination by a specialist.

The treatment is prescribed after you have gone through all the necessary procedures and based on a diagnosis made by a specialist. With the development of certain diseases, self-medication can be not only ineffective, but also dangerous.

As you know, any disease is easier to prevent than to cure. Back pain in the shoulders can have different causes. What should be done to eliminate them?

The answer is simple - get involved 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.