Pain between shoulder blades is one of the most common types of pain people around the world suffer from. It might be incidental, occurring after certain activities, when the pain is mild and quickly goes away. However, it might also be chronic with severe pain that makes normal functioning impossible. In both cases you should learn the causes and possible solutions to your problem.
What Are the Symptoms
The symptoms of pain between the shoulder blades might seem obvious. However, the type of pain and its location differ from person to person.
You may feel the pain either at specific points between the shoulder blades or it may radiate to your arms or to other areas of your back. You can experience short bursts of pain, which are sudden and severe or you can suffer from chronic pain, which is not very strong, but you’ve been feeling it on a daily basis for weeks or even months.
The frequency of your pain and its grade may depend on the day and your activities. That’s why the first thing you should do is keep a diary of your pain with the scale from 1 to 10. This way you can reason out if any of your daily activities contribute to your pain.
The Most Common Causes of Pain Between The Shoulder Blades
There is a number of factors which can cause pain between the shoulder blades. Sometimes it’s just the result of our bad routines. However, it might also be the symptom of some more serious diseases. Therefore, no matter what’s the cause, the pain between the shoulder blades should never be ignored.
1. Bad Posture
Poor posture of our body is probably one of the most common causes of pain between the shoulder blades. For example sitting in one position or driving a car for a long time lead to muscle imbalances in our back.
Put it simply, it means that when we stay in one position for a longer time, some of our muscles don’t work and other muscles must compensate for them and work harder than they should. Those which don’t work, on the other hand, become weaker. Of course, such a situation can quickly end with pain in our back.
It might be possible that you suffer from this particular type of pain. Try not stay in one position for too long. If you sit a lot at work, stand up and walk around the room from time to time. Similarly, if you drive a car for a long time, take short but frequent breaks, during which you can straighten your spine.
If you’ve already observed that some of your daily activities deepen the problem of pain between the shoulder blades, of course try to avoid them.
2. New or Sudden Activities
Everybody says that sport is good for our health. That is of course true, but sometimes new sporting activities or exercises may lead to backache as they strain back muscles. If you’ve taken up some sport recently, especially the one which involves twisting your spine suddenly, such as tennis or golf, you must be aware that it might be the reason of your pain between the shoulder blades.
Similarly, some sudden lifting of heavy objects might be the cause of pain between the shoulder blades. Maybe you lifted something heavy at home or you started a new job, which requires a lot of lifting or heavy manual labor. In both situation the reason of your pain is probably a strained muscles.
3. Common Cold and Flu
For sure you know that feeling. Out of the blue you start to feel backache, soon afterwards a runny nose and fever appear. In this situation the pain between the shoulder blades is just a symptom of a cold or flu.
It causes great discomfort, but the good news is that it won’t stay with you for long. You can take a painkiller or use a hot compress on the aching areas to bring yourself some relief.
4. Slip Disc
Slip disc, also known as herniated disc, might also be a probable cause of pain between the shoulder blades. It happens when the pad between the spine breaks down as a result of an accident or some medical condition.
Whatever the reason, you probably won’t be able to deal with the problem on your own. The only things which you can do is take some painkillers and rest more than usual. Those actions, however, won’t cure the problem, but only the symptoms so it’s recommended to see a doctor or physiotherapist, who will tell you what kind of treatment is good for you.
5. Pinched Nerve
Pinched or compressed nerve might be the reason of a really strong pain. How does it happen? Nerves extend from our spinal cord and brain, sending messages around our body. However, if some nerve is pinched, our body will send you signals about it in the form of pain.