Pain in the spine in the area of ​​the shoulder blades and above the waist - why does it hurt?

Back pain in the shoulder blades

Very often people complain that their back hurts in the area of the shoulder blades. This is postponed due to overwork, prolonged sitting or moving heavy objects.

However, any pain can indicate the presence of severe diseases of the spine, threatening to develop complications.

Main reason

Spinal pain in the shoulder blade region is explained by the fact that there are a large number of receptors here that respond to pathological changes. During the inflammatory process, the production of leukocytes increases, edema develops, and nerve endings are compressed, causing pain.

When the back hurts in the lumbar region, the shoulder blades, the possibility of a disease requiring a course of therapy is not ruled out. Often, diseases affecting important organs such as the heart and lungs cause severe pain.

Exacerbation occurs due to provocative factors - violation of posture, overweight, lack of physical activity. If your back hurts under your shoulder blades, this may be a symptom of a stomach ulcer.

The most common cause is an illness, an injury, a person's psychological condition.

Do not try to eliminate the unpleasant symptom yourself with the help of various compresses and ointments. The causes of back pain in the shoulder blades need to be determined, which is why you need to see a doctor and have an examination.

Shoulder injuries

This bone is located on the side of the spine, is protected by many muscles and is very rarely damaged. Injury is often accompanied by a rib fracture, so it is not always possible to make a diagnosis in time.

Fracture of the shoulder blade is one of the causes of severe pain

In this case, the victim feels severe pain in the shoulder blades, sometimes bleeding and shoulder hemarthrosis are possible.The cause of the damage is a fall, a traffic accident, a blow.

If back pain occurs below or above the shoulder blades, redness and swelling occur, consult a doctor immediately. This can be an inflammation of the joint sac, which is often accompanied by cracking and a feeling of heaviness.

Dislocation, or rather the relative displacement of the humerus and scapula, is another reason that the back may hurt in the area of the scapulae. The injury is caused by a strong pull of the arm in the event of a collision. Displacement of the shoulder blade does not allow active movement of the upper limb.

There is strong pain to the touch. The asymmetry of the shoulder blades is clearly visible visually, with one having a noticeable protrusion at the edge of the armpit.

Intervertebral hernia

It is the name of a degenerative disease accompanied by deformation and destruction of the fibrous ring. Any part of the spine is sensitive to pathology.

If your back hurts under your shoulder blades, it could be a sign of a lumbar intervertebral hernia. Chest hernia causes a number of symptoms.

The most common of these are:

  • pain between the shoulder blades, which increases sharply with coughing or physical exertion. Its nature is different - it can be dull and acute back pain.
  • Paresthesia.
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing.
  • Muscle weakness, problems with raising the arms.

The intensity of the symptoms depends on the size of the hernia and the stage of the disease.


Aching pain between the shoulder blades may be a sign of osteomyelitis. It is the name of a purulent infection that affects the bone tissue.

This disease is usually very severe. The tissues above the bone are thin enough so that the symptoms appear immediately at the site of the lesion. The main sign of the pathology is the presence of a purulent wound, edema of the soft tissues with hyperemia. A person complains that his back hurts around his shoulder blades, sometimes a chills are added, his body temperature rises and his pulse speeds up.

There are many types of this pathology. Osteomyelitis, which occurs when bacteria enter the bone tissue through the blood, is called hematogenous. Its acute form is most common in children and adolescents.

Microorganisms invading the environment cause exogenous osteomyelitis. This is due to a wound, trauma, or open fracture. When a purulent lesion gets from the soft tissues into the bone, they talk about the contact form of the disease.


One of the most common causes of back pain in the shoulder blades is scoliosis of the thoracic segment of the spine. Given that this section is connected to the ribs, there is a deformation of the chest.

In addition to the main symptom, when the back hurts below the shoulder blades and above the waist, increased fatigue should be highlighted, with different levels of the shoulders.

Scoliosis of the thoracic spine causes pain in the shoulder blades

Diagnosis is made by X-ray examination only. When the stage is running, the back hurts almost constantly in the region of the spine.


Back pain in the shoulder blade region is a major symptom of osteochondrosis when the upper part of the spine is exposed to degenerative processes. The disease is often confused with pneumonia, tuberculosis.

An experienced neurologist determines the development of osteochondrosis based on several cumulative signals. The localization of pain syndrome depends on the part in which the nerve endings were pinched. Therefore, a distinction should be made between left and right pathologies.

If your back hurts in the area of your shoulder blades, you should definitely examine it so that you can start treatment at an early stage. This guarantees faster recovery.


It is the name of a polyethiological disease that often occurs with osteochondrosis, intervertebral hernia, and spondylosis. Spondyloarthrosis is an arthrosis of the intervertebral joints caused by injuries, congenital anomalies, and excessive overload.

Suspicion of pathology causes back pain under the shoulder blades, which occurs for no reason, especially when the weather changes while moving. The advanced state is determined by the characteristic crunch.

Subdiaphragmatic abscess

It is the name given to a rare but serious complication after inflammation that affects the abdominal cavity. The main symptoms are a back burning sensation, especially in the shoulder blades, shortness of breath, hyperthermia, cough.

In addition to localizing spinal pain below the shoulder blades, it can also pass into the right hypochondria.

Diseases of the internal organs

If there is a lot of back pain around the shoulder blades, this may cause suspicion of pre-existing diseases of the heart, bronchopulmonary system and gastrointestinal tract.

Therefore, these symptoms should not be ignored.. Tensile pain, especially chest pain, which hides coronary artery disease and other similarly severe diseases of the internal organs, should be monitored immediately. It is important to start diagnosis and treatment on time.

Intercostal neuralgia

The cause of this phenomenon is when there is a burning sensation in the area of the shoulder blades, often an intercostal neuralgia.

The unpleasant symptoms are due to the fact that abnormal changes affecting the spine cause compression of the intercostal nerves.

The pain of neuralgia occurs at the level of the shoulder blades and varies in intensity. These can get worse if you cough or take a deep breath.

Psychological problems

Back pain under the shoulder blades often occurs for psychological reasons. The patient feels compression and tingling, anxiety, and inexplicable fear. The pain may radiate to the right arm, neck.


Often, back pain under the shoulder blade is a consequence of professional activity. Mechanics, drivers, seamstresses, athletes, designers are people whose work involves daily tension in the back muscles.

When the first symptoms appear, a doctor should be consulted and an examination should be performed.A number of serious complications can be avoided by early detection of the disease and timely initiation of treatment.

If your back hurts in the area of your shoulder blades, your doctor will prescribe modern diagnostic methods, including x-rays, computed tomography, and ultrasound.

It is almost impossible to determine the exact cause of the pain on your own. Given that it can often occur in the event of a heart attack, postponing a doctor’s visit is extremely risky.


What to do if your back hurts around your shoulder blades? Keep in mind that the occurrence of such a symptom can be due to a number of pathologies. Therefore, treatment should only be prescribed by a doctor and should only be performed under his or her supervision.

Stretching exercises to treat and prevent back pain in the shoulder blades

Traumatic and joint pain requires special clinical therapy, which includes:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs. Painful feelings are effectively removed with the help of corticosteroids, not steroids. They can be applied topically with ointments recommended by your doctor to the shoulder blades or as an injection. By combining these methods, you can get the best results.
  • Chondroprotectors. They are used to treat the scapular region of the back when the pain is caused by an intervertebral hernia. Formulations containing mucopolysaccharides, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate improve the nutrition and elasticity of cartilage tissue.
  • Physiotherapy. With damage to joint tissue, physiotherapy procedures show good results.The most popular shock wave technique in which infrasound acts on the tissues of the body. It can destroy bone growth, improve blood flow, leading to increased cartilage nutrition, reduce muscle tone and eliminate shoulder pain. In addition, electrophoresis, massage, paraffin applications, and manual therapy are widely used.

If the vertebrogenic cause of the pain is determined, a warming compress with a solution of dimethyl sulfoxide, turpentine and alcohol will have an effective effect. By improving blood circulation, muscle cramps are relieved and pain is reduced.

Folk remedies for shoulder pain can also be used, but they only serve as an adjunct.


To avoid unpleasant symptoms such as back pain in the shoulder blades, following certain rules will help.

A healthy diet will protect you from back pain in your shoulder blades

To do this, you need:

  • Eat properly. The lack of micronutrients needed for cartilage tissue leads to degeneration of the intervertebral discs.
  • Maintain the correct posture. Uneven loading of the spine is one of the first causes of pain.
  • Move more. It helps prevent excessive muscle tone, normalizes blood circulation. Useful walks in the fresh air, sports games, gymnastics.

We must not forget the regular medical examinations, which allow the development of any pathology to be detected at a very early stage.