What Causes Pain Between Your Shoulder Blades?

Medical Conditions of Pain Between Your Shoulder Blades

Many people experience pain between their shoulder blades. The pain in this area is in some cases not due to a muscular cause.

There are a myriad of medical conditions that can cause pain in-between the shoulder blades. Some common medical causes of pain between the shoulder blades include gastric reflux, cardiac disease, and diseases of the lungs.

Fortunately the majority of pain that is between the shoulder blades has a musculoskeletal origin. Your orthopedic doctor can help determine the origin of the pain, and then send you to the appropriate specialist.

Muscular Causes of Pain Between Your Shoulder Blades

As for musculoskeletal causes of pain between the shoulders, the most common is due to poor or unnatural posture.

It is common for people to now hold their hands in front of them grabbing their smart phone or typing on a laptop.

This position causes an unnatural amount of scapular protraction, or in other works places the shoulder blades in a non-neutral position. This position can cause an intense strain in the muscle on the inside of the shoulder blade.

There are 23 muscles that attach to the scapula and if even one of these muscle is in spasm it can cause pain between your shoulder blades.

Spine Conditions that Cause Pain Between Your Shoulder Blades

The thoracic region of your spine is also located between your shoulder blades.

Although lower back pain is the most common area for pain in the back, pain between the shoulder blades can also be related to your spine.

Conditions of the spine that can cause pain between the shoulder blades include; bulging thoracic discs, degenerative disk disease, arthritis of the facet joints, and muscle spasm of the erector spinae musculature.

The good news is that many musculoskeletal causes of pain between the shoulder blades are self-limiting and are treatable.

If you have persistent pain in this area, and it is accompanied by shortness of breath of chest pain it is important to seek medical advice as soon as you can.

If your pain is due to a muscular or skeletal cause seek attention from your orthopedic surgeon so they can find the best treatment plan for you.

Dr. Michael Gott is a Westchester orthopedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in sports medicine. He has also been an active member of the National Ski Patrol as well as a Member of the Windham Mountain Ski Patrol for 18 years.