Why does the back hurt in the shoulder blades?

People associate back pain in the shoulder blades with the condition of the spine. But pain in the upper back sometimes occurs due to diseases of the heart, vascular and respiratory systems, epigastric. The pain is misleading, it is localized in one place, for example in the chest, and it can radiate to the back, so people think it hurts the spine. Listening to the sensations, knowing the nature of the pain, possible symptoms, you can try to distinguish between the disease of the spine and the mediastinum. To do this, you need to know what diseases give back pain.

back examination for pain in the shoulder blades


Back pain between the shoulder blades is by nature:

  • Acute form - makes itself felt on the rise, becomes strong over time, passes quite quickly;
  • Chronic - aching pain, worries for a long time, does not stop until corrective action is taken.

Pain can occur after sports or when a person is in a forced position for a long time, for example, when sleeping without a pillow. Pain of any kind: severe pain, body aches, dull pain between the shoulder blades is not a disease, but a symptom of a disease. Therefore, before starting any treatment, it is recommended to find out the causes of back pain between the shoulder blades.

No need to run immediately to take pills, you need to see a doctor first. The specialist will assess the nature of the pain, make a diagnosis and help answer the question of why the back hurts between the shoulder blades. It is not worth dwelling on injuries to the spine, because if a person falls, the cause of pain in the spine between the shoulder blades is clear. And when a patient complains of pain of unknown etiology, the doctor associates these diseases with the intervertebral column.

With a hernia

Intervertebral hernia is rarely localized in the thoracic spine. This segment of the spine does not bear a large load. But still sometimes it hurts the spine between the shoulder blades for this very reason. To exclude such a possibility, it is worth contacting a neurologist and doing research - CT, MRI.

With hernias, a pathological process occurs between the vertebrae - part of the disc protrudes, pinching the nerves.

The disc cracks, the core, which is a shock absorber, crashes into it, since the weight is now poorly distributed and the nerves are injured, there is back pain in the shoulder blades. If this pathology is detected during the examination, treatment will be carried out with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The doctor will prescribe exercise therapy, physiotherapy. If the hernia is large and cannot be healed, surgery is indicated.

A distinctive feature of pain in a hernia will be severe pain in the same place with radiation to the chest, as if the heart is pricking. If the treatment is not carried out for a long time, there is curvature, paresis of the legs, an imbalance appears in the pelvic organs. In addition, the patient is haunted by constant chronic pain between the shoulder blades in the back.

Spinal muscle hypothermia and overexertion

We often hear that the patient had "lumbago". It is a symptom or a pathological condition, not a disease. But if "lumbago" occurs, this indicates the risk of developing osteochondrosis, scoliosis, hernia. These backaches in the shoulder blade region are experienced by people who work without changing their body position for several hours every day.

The risk group consists of representatives of professions: office workers, dressmakers, dentists, drivers, surgeons. The work associated with a forced posture, which is combined with hypothermia - drafts or air conditioning, gives a reaction to the muscles and the spine, there are pains in the spine. Treatment is carried out with nonsteroidal drugs, ointments, massage. People who experience such conditions are given preventive measures:

  • Regular massage classes;
  • Yoga or exercise therapy;
  • Avoid hypothermia and drafts;
  • Walk more often.

Through preventive methods, the unpleasant symptoms associated with lumbago can be avoided.

With scoliosis

Scoliosis is a very common disease. Statistics say that 60% of a hundred people suffer from this disease. The thoracic region is more often involved in scoliosis. Causes of Scoliosis:

  • Congenital pathologies associated with the development of the skeletal system, ligament apparatus;
  • Sedentary work;
  • Injury, when the load on the back was hysterical.

With scoliosis, the back between the shoulder blades hurts a lot, the spine begins to bend. The initial stage is almost imperceptible, but if the disease progresses, spinal torsion is clearly visible. The back, with this disease, gets tired quickly, during a visual examination, the patient's shoulders are at different levels.

The pain is localized between the shoulder blades in the back and is given behind the sternum. By the nature of the pain, it is constant, like body aches, but if physical overload occurs, the pain will be strong, sharp.

The treatment of the disease is long. Scoliosis is corrected by stretching the vertebrae with a special corset that is worn on the back. The doctor prescribes massage and exercise therapy. Painkillers and anti-inflammatory therapy will help reduce back pain between the shoulder blades.

scoliosis as a cause of back pain in the shoulder blade area

With osteochondrosis

Today, osteochondrosis is found even in children who have not reached puberty. And recently it was thought to be a disease of an elderly person.

In any case, the cause of osteochondrosis is - inactivity. There is a joint change in the spine, namely dystrophy. In this process, inflammation begins and the spinal disc nerves are pinched. That is why the back hurts in the area of the shoulder blades with osteochondrosis.

Pains are felt by nature - aching, when sneezing, getting up sharply or coughing, they become very strong.

Patients are immobilized, breathing is difficult, there is weakness in the upper extremities, numbness and inability to move them. With osteochondrosis, they will prescribe intramuscularly, orally, anti-inflammatory agents, as well as distracting ointments, painkillers, special exercises to warm up the diseased area. For disease prevention - activity and sports.

Manifestations of intercostal neuralgia

The cause of intercostal neuralgia is the appearance of pressure on the roots of the nerves in the thoracic region. The culprits of this condition are injuries, infectious diseases, osteochondrosis and strain on the back. With neuralgia, the spine between the shoulder blades rarely hurts, one side of the sternum between the ribs often hurts, but in some cases it can hurt the shoulder blades and moan. The pain symptom intensifies if you press your hands on the sternum.

The treatment will be: physiotherapy, acupuncture, B vitamins, they are able to restore the nervous structures. If the disease worsens, they block novocaine, prescribe sedatives and distracting ointments.

Manifestations of muscle myositis

Myositis appears with a cold, overload of the muscles of the spine, injuries, hypothermia. The inflammatory process of the muscles occurs in the acute period and chronically. The back can hurt in different parts and in the spine between the shoulder blades, the lower back can also hurt. The pains are aching in nature, with any movement they intensify. What to do with myositis? Painkillers and warming ointments help.

Manifestations of spondylarthrosis

By manifestation, the disease resembles osteochondrosis, where the pain in the spine between the shoulder blades is chronic, with an intensified load on the back. In addition, the shoulder blades hurt more when the disease worsens. The hallmark of spondylarthrosis will be cartilaginous destruction of the vertebrae, where the cartilage is replaced by bone. During diagnosis, these changes are observed on X-rays or MRI, and if we examine the affected vertebra, bony prominences will be found there.

Treatment is prescribed complex. First, the pain is relieved - it can be painkillers, nonsteroidal drugs, novocaine blockades.

Magnetotherapy and electrophoresis, laser, currents are prescribed. There are many physiotherapy procedures for this disease, so we will leave this choice to the doctor. Traction is traction therapy. Areas where inflammation occurs are affected by current, as a result of which spasms are reduced, endorphin is produced, which serves as an analgesic. Back massage relaxes, eliminates pain.

doctor's advice for back pain in the shoulder blade area

A special massage is indicated for diseases associated with the spine, but it cannot be used during exacerbations, then any effect on the vertebrae is contraindicated. The same rule applies to acupuncture.

The main method of treatment and prevention of diseases of the spine will be physiotherapy exercises - exercise therapy, exercises on the horizontal bar, namely pulling exercises. Swimming has proven itself very well, so it would be nice to go to the pool. All these methods must be under the guidance of experienced professionals, then the benefits will be likely.

Pain in internal organs

If there are pains between the shoulder blades in the back, this does not at all mean that the cause lies in the spine. All pathologies of the organs located in the mediastinum have symptoms, where there is pain in the region of the shoulder blades. Bad processes in the heart organ, the appearance of myocardial infarction, angina pectoris cause pain under the shoulder blade. An acute attack is accompanied by a decrease in blood pressure. Be sure to call an ambulance.

The pains characteristic of these conditions are sharp, but their duration is about 5 minutes. The pain is relieved by taking nitroglycerin.

With ulcers and pancreatitis, the back also hurts in the area of the shoulder blades, but with these diseases the pain can always be localized in the stomach, epigastric region, and dyspeptic disorders occur, so you need to carefully listen to natureabout your feelings and try to differentiate all the symptoms.

If the back hurts in the area of the shoulder blades and there is a cough, it is possible that these are pathological changes in the respiratory system - pneumonia. With respiratory diseases, the temperature rises, the pain between the shoulder blades will be stronger with deep inhalation. Anyone who has had the flu or acute respiratory infections can get sick with pleurisy, pneumonia. If there is no temperature during the pains, then they are not accompanied by cardiovascular manifestations, cough and dyspeptic disorders.

How to ease the pain

Before the arrival of the doctor, you can try to alleviate your condition yourself. You can do self-massage and special exercises to relieve pain:

  1. We put our fingers on our shoulders and begin to rotate our elbows;
  2. Raise your hands, closing your palms above your head. Head down. Twisting of the body to the right and to the left;
  3. Sitting on a chair, lower your head so that your chin touches your chest, place your joined fingers on the back of your head. Slowly press your hands to the back of your head. If there is severe pain, the exercise stops;
  4. Slow rotation of the head - to the side, back, to the side, forward;
  5. After throwing back, right hand behind the head, in a seated position, make slow tilts to the left side. Switch hands and lean in the opposite direction.

It should be remembered that during the acute form of any disease, massage is contraindicated. Hands clenched into fists, thumbs extended. Starting from the lower back, circular movements of the fist on the skin go up. You can make circular movements, stroking the spine with the second and third fingers. It is important not to put pressure on the place where the pain is localized. If during the massage movements the pain only intensifies, the procedure should be stopped.

Home remedies for pain relief include applying ointments and gels. It should be remembered that all these activities are there only to reduce the pain, but not for the treatment. The real therapy must be prescribed by a doctor, so if there is a temporary improvement, it does not mean that the disease has receded. Consult a doctor immediately and stay healthy.