Archive for December 2014

Common Causes of Pain in Shoulder Blades

Wrestlers and other fighting professionals we see on TV are exposed to different types of injuries. Mixed martial artists in particular use submission techniques which can cause serious damage to their opponent. One fight in particular caught my eye when I watched it on TV. The martial artist used a submission move which resulted in a TKO. For the loser, he left the cage with a dislocated arm. I can only imagine the pain he was feeling.

That scene aside, it got me thinking about different causes of pain in shoulder blades. I have experienced pain in the past but mine wasn’t caused by a dislocated arm. After conducting some research, here is some of the stuff I found.


Shoulder subluxation is the term that also refers to shoulder dislocation. In this case, the dislocation is temporary and partial. This condition occurs when the arm is held at an abnormal position, if you fall on an outstretched arm or, direct trauma to the shoulder joint. Some of the symptoms of this condition include pain and weakness in the affected arm, looseness of the shoulder and, a feeling that the shoulder joint is out of place. The treatment regime involves strengthening the shoulder joint through simple exercises. To reduce pain, applying ice for a few minutes daily and anti inflammatory drugs are administered.

Pain between shoulder blades can be caused by strained and sore back muscles. The shoulder blades are supported by groups of muscles which work together to promote arm movements. Exercising, sudden muscle spasms and poor posture can cause straining of these muscles leading to pain between the shoulder blades.

Heart conditions have been documented to cause pain in the shoulders, back and arms. This is commonly known as referred pain. Such conditions include the onset of heart attack and pericarditis. This referred pain is often seen in women than men.

Lung conditions can also caused referred pain that is felt in the shoulders. One form of lung cancer known as pancoast tumors has been highly documented to cause pain in shoulders. This cancer is characterized by growth of tumors on the lungs surface. The tumor might also spread onto the scapula causing what is known as bone metastases causing further pain.

Conditions affecting the bones can also cause pain in the shoulder blades. Such conditions include arthritis, osteoporosis and fracture of the scapula bones.

Treatment methods

The treatment method for shoulder blade pain is largely determined by the cause of the pain. However, the most common methods used to keep the pain under control include the following.

Pain relievers and anti inflammatory drugs can be prescribes to relieve pain. In some instances, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics to treat infections that might have occurs on the shoulder.

Exercises and massage can help to reduce pain in the affected area. Exercises and massage trigger the release of pain relieving chemicals into the bloodstream. In addition, exercise builds muscle strength which can be essential for the prevention of back muscle strains.