From muscle contractions to inflammation and injury, many things can cause shoulder blade pain. Read on to find out what causes shoulder blade pain, how it is diagnoses, and what are the best treatment strategies.
Short and sweet
Thin, flat, and triangle-like, the scapula is located in the upper back and is considered one of the most important components of the shoulder. The scapula, also called shoulder blade, makes the connection between the clavicle and the arm bone, allowing the shoulders a wide range of motion.
What causes shoulder blade pain?
Many factors can cause shoulder blade pain, which many people mistake for back pain. A common cause for scapula pain are muscle contractures or muscle “tightness,” though exposure to intense cold can also trigger it.
However, in some less common conditions, shoulder pain indicates much more serious illnesses. What’s more, sometimes the pain in the scapula comes from a different source, like a nearby bone, muscle or tissue.
Other causes include factors such as carrying heavy loads, sleeping in inappropriate positions, accidents that damage the bone, infections, and even illness or injury to nearby organs (lung, stomach, heart, etc.).
Some believe that ongoing stress can also be manifested as shoulder pain.
What does scapula pain feel like?
Scapula pain sometimes radiates to the neck and hands, and of course, to the shoulders themselves. Pain in the scapula can be generalized or focused, segmented or dull. In some cases, pain is exacerbated when performing certain movements of the hands or shoulders.
How is scapula pain diagnosed?
Your doctor will try to rule out the presence of other diseases or medical conditions (some severe), that show up as shoulder pain. To do this, they may order imaging or diagnostic depending on your symptoms.
Is scapula pain dangerous?
As mentioned above, during particularly severe pain, a medical examination must be taken to rule out other health conditions.
How is scapula pain treated? Can advanced technology help?
When severe problems have been ruled out, shoulder pain treatment will include mild stretching exercises, professional massages, immobilizing the painful area, moderate rest, pain relievers, and more. In some situations, you will be advised to do physical therapy, where you will learn to perform exercises designed for muscle relaxation and strengthening.
At-home pain management technologies can also help. One of the best of its kind is “Olynvolt™ Pocket,” a lightweight, simple and user-friendly device.
How can I avoid shoulder blade pain in the future?
Maintaining a proper posture will help you prevent shoulder blade injuries in the future.