Any pain that’s even remotely associated with the spine is not a good sign. Now there may be several different agents in the body that are causing the trouble, especially when you experience mild or severe pain between your shoulder blade and spine.
The thing to understand is that these agents that motivate the pain or soreness do so in a very inconsistent manner, which is why you tend to be so careless to dismiss it as nothing serious. And in some cases, it really is nothing to worry about. But sometimes there may be a cause for concern.
More often than not, the pain between your shoulder blade and spine stems from more than just an overworked muscle or mellow sprain. There are chances that an underlying disorder might be a possible cause. So it’s not that you slept wrong or worked too much, the pain is simply your body trying to tell you that something might be wrong and that it needs fixing.
So instead of coming up with your own diagnosis and treating it the way you seem fit, let’s first have a look at all the possible causes of the upper back pain. This way you’ll know what kind of professional medical treatment you need.
5 Common Causes of Pain between Your Shoulder and Spine
The causes stated below will give you a clear idea about what it is that’s generating all that pain in your upper back and whether you should take any drastic measures to fight it.
#1 Swollen Facet Joints
You know the flexibility that your spine possesses that allows you to carry out actions like turning and bending? This flexibility is the result of facet joints. Rule of thumb; the more flexible a joint is, the more susceptible it is to damage. So it’s highly likely that your facet joints might get injured due to being subjected to too harsh or too regular a use. In such a scenario, they get swollen up and that inevitably leads to pain or soreness.
Let’s get into the depth of this issue, literally. The gaps found in the vertebra are filled with cartilages paired with synovial fluid (together they’re known as intervertebral discs).These intervertebral discs keep the cartilages from getting damaged. It’s like two slices of bread between a layer of thick cheese. When you press down on one slice, the cheese prevents it from coming in contact with the other, right? Likewise, this pressure develops when your spine is subjected to various movements.
Over a long period of time or due to some potential injury or excessive pressure, there are chances that the intervertebral discs might drain out its thickness along with springiness. This causes the thick layer of cheese to shrink down to a very thin layer. And that brings both the slices of bread in contact with each other, doesn’t it?
So every time your spine moves, the pressure building up in the intervertebral discs leads to scraping and severe pain, known as bone spurs. This condition can cause huge swelling and even more pain if it’s not treated by a doctor immediately.
Cervical Facet Syndrome
#2 Herniated Discs
One of the most common disorders that develop in the lower back region is herniated discs. They are popularly referred to as slipped discs. And this can be a possible cause of pain between your shoulder blade and spine. So let’s find out what a herniated disc really is.
There are multiple discs located between the vertebrae. These discs are simply pad-like structures that are very likely to crack or break down. What’s important to note is that each disc is equipped with a gel-like texture or material that gives it the power to withstand shocks without getting easily damaged. But when a heavy blow like a massive injury or an invasive disease is formed around the area, these discs can get messed up. In fact, they eventually break down. This condition is called a herniated disc.
Out of all the discs located in the vertebrae, if the damage occurs in one of the cervical discs, then your upper back gets affected. A herniated disc can cause extreme discomfort and pain that impacts your arm movements, the scapulae, and the entire upper back region.
You treat the herniated disc and all the pain and discomfort in the upper back will be out of your system. But can a herniated disc heal on its own?
How To Treat A Herniated Disc Naturally
#3 Biliary Colic
Seeing is believing. Now we all know how popular this quote is. But does it really apply to the human body? I don’t think so. We automatically assume that the pain between your shoulder blade and spine must be a result of something wrong in that particular region. But not everything is as it appears. Now this quote can be used for the human anatomy.
So keeping this mind, there is a medical condition called biliary colic which prevents the healthy flow of the bile juice. When a gallstone blocks the access of regular flow of the bile juice from the gallbladder to the small intestine through the bile duct, severe pain in the ribs and upper back shoots up quite unexpectedly. And this usually occurs when you consume a fatty meal.
Our body is created in such a manner that it tends to inevitably (and beyond our control) try to constantly contract muscles so as to get rid of any blockage that may have developed in the system. So in this case, it consistently goes at it in order to get rid of the gallstone stuck in the bile duct. And this continuous contraction of the muscles is what causes all that pain between your shoulder blade and spine.
The sharp and acute soreness that is caused due to biliary colic originates in the abdomen and later spreads to the upper back region. The common symptoms of this condition are nausea and vomiting, apart from the heart-wrenching pain of course.
Know Better about Biliary Colic and Gall Bladder Disease
#4 Heart Attack
A heart attack can occur in a way that you’ve not seen in all those movies. The typical symptom of pain shooting up the left hand to the chest along with the inability to breathe is your body finally giving in to the heart attack. But this life-threatening heart condition does hand out a few not so severe symptoms weeks before it occurs in order to remind you to take it easy.
More like a warning sign, your heart gives rise to literal pain in the upper back region of your body. This is usually accompanied by extreme fatigue, tension in the abdomen or chest, unexpected breathlessness, giddiness, and nausea. Now, how can one not notice all these signs? Beats me!
The occurrence of such warning symptoms is more prevalent among women than men. The women species are highly likely to experience pain between your shoulder blade and spine that notifies them of an approaching heart attack some weeks before the tragedy actually presents itself. Women or men doesn’t matter. It’s always a better idea to adopt an active and fresh lifestyle in order to keep the health of your heart in check.
What Causes a Heart Attack?
#5 Spinal Stenosis
As is the case with herniated discs, if this condition of spinal stenosis materializes in the cervical region of the spinal cord, pain between your shoulder blade and spine is inevitable. Now let’s find what this condition of spinal stenosis really is.
When your spinal canal is subjected to abnormal narrowing, either in the lower region or the cervical region of your spinal cord, it’s called spinal stenosis. Some common forms of symptoms are severe pain in the muscles and bones of the legs paired with numbness and a tickling sensation. Further narrowing of the spinal canal can prove to be quite fatal as the natural size and health of the spinal cord get compromised.
But that happens very rarely, especially with spinal stenosis in the cervical region of the spinal cord. Medical treatment along with some regular exercise is what it takes to treat this condition.
Here are Spinal Stenosis Exercises
What do You Need to Know?
Pain between your shoulder blade and spine can be cured in the initial stages by incorporating only two basic measures in your lifestyle; a correct diet and regular exercise. All you need is some motivation to get yourself to do these two things, right? And pain is motivation enough, isn’t it?
Now I’m not going to tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat. You already know that I guess. It’s the quantity of food that matters when it comes to preventing pain between your shoulder blade and spine. So eat whatever you like, but in moderation.
Again, I’m not going to bore you with all the benefits you can get by exercising regularly. You already know that I guess. What you need to know about the prevention of upper back pain is that it is highly imperative to ensure that the joints and intervertebral discs located in the spinal cord are housed in a favorable environment, which is made possible only through regular exercise.
Also, if you’re going to eat whatever you want, you need to employ all that extra fat and proteins to give you the required energy to exercise regularly. This also helps in preventing the formation of osteoarthritis.
Exercise for Shoulder Blade Pain Eliminator
So now you know a little bit more about why your upper back pains and what you should be doing about it. I have discussed all the common causes that give rise to this pain, so you can treat the condition accordingly. But remember that it’s always best to consult a doctor before you even begin to diagnose the condition all by yourself.
Exercise for Neck & Back Pain
I hope I have touched all points related to the causes of upper back pain or soreness. There definitely are much more causes, so do you think there are any common causes among them that I have failed to discuss here? Please let me know what you think.