Feeling pain in your shoulder blade can be problematic. It is a part of our body that we constantly use and rely on heavily, so it is natural to stress when something feels off. However, shoulder blade pain is relatively common and can stem from several causes. Let us look over the shoulder blade, what could be causing your pain, and some treatments you can try.
Understanding the Shoulder Blade
Your shoulder blade, or scapula, is a triangular-shaped bone that sits on the upper back. It connects to the shoulder joint’s humerus (upper arm bone) and helps create a smooth gliding surface for the arm to move. It is also involved in many muscle movements, including elevating and rotating the arm.
What Could be Causing Shoulder Blade Pain?
There are many possible causes of shoulder pain, which can vary depending on when the pain happens. Here are some of the most common reasons:
Repetitive motions, poor posture, and carrying heavy objects can lead to muscle strain, the most common cause of shoulder blade pain.
Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other forms of arthritis can affect the shoulder joint and cause pain in the shoulder blade.
A fall or other impact can cause a fracture in the shoulder blade.
Tears in the muscles or tendons around the shoulder blade can occur with overuse or sudden trauma.
Osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle, can lead to fractures in the shoulder blade.
Compression of the nerves in the shoulder can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the shoulder blade.
Also called adhesive capsulitis, a frozen shoulder is a condition in which the connective tissue around the shoulder joint becomes stiff and inflamed. It can be excruciating and may make it difficult to move the arm.
Shoulder blade pain can sometimes be a symptom of a heart attack. This is more likely if the pain is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, or chest pain. If you think you may be having a heart attack, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Shoulder blade pain can be a symptom of breast, lung, or other types of cancer, usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as fatigue, weight loss, and difficulty breathing.