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

Back pain in the area of ​​the shoulder blades

People often complain that their back hurts in the shoulder blade area. Attributing this to overwork, work associated with sitting too long or moving heavy objects, they put off visiting the doctor.

However, any pain can signal the presence of serious diseases of the spine, threatening the development of complications.

main reasons

Pain in the spine in the region of the shoulder blades is explained by the fact that it is here that a large number of receptors are located that respond to any pathological changes. With the inflammatory process, the production of leukocytes increases, edema forms, nerve endings are compressed, which causes pain.

When the back hurts in the lumbar region, shoulder blades, the possibility of a disease that requires a therapeutic course is not excluded. Often, diseases that affect organs as important as the heart and lungs become the cause of severe pain.

An exacerbation occurs under the influence of provoking factors - a violation of posture, excess weight, lack of physical activity. If your back hurts below your shoulder blades, this could be one of the symptoms of a stomach ulcer.

Most often, the root cause is an illness, injury, psychological state of a person.

Do not try to eliminate the unpleasant symptom yourself, using various poultices and ointments. It is necessary to identify the reasons why your back hurts in the area of the shoulder blades, for which you will need to consult a doctor and undergo an examination.

scapula injuries

This bone is located on the side of the spine, is protected by many muscles and is damaged in very rare cases. His injury is often combined with a broken rib, so it's not always possible to make a diagnosis in time.

Scapula fracture is one of the causes of severe pain

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

If your back hurts under the shoulder blades or above, redness and swelling appear, you should immediately consult a doctor. This can be an inflammation of the synovial bursa, which is often accompanied by a crisis, a feeling of heaviness.

Dislocation, or rather dislocation of the humerus and scapula in relation to each other, is another reason why the back can hurt in the shoulder blade area. The injury occurs with a strong pull of the arm at the moment of impact. Dislocation of the scapula does not allow active movement of the upper limb.

When palpated, intense pain is felt. Visually, the asymmetry of the scapulae is clearly visible, one of them has a noticeable protrusion of the axillary margin.

intervertebral hernia

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

If your back hurts below your shoulder blades, this could be a sign of a lumbar intervertebral hernia. A thoracic hernia causes a variety of symptoms.

The most frequent of them:

  • pain between the shoulder blades, which increases markedly with coughing or physical exertion. Its nature is different - it can be a dull, sharp pain in the back.
  • Paresthesia.
  • Shortness of breath, difficult breathing.
  • Muscle weakness, problems lifting the arms.

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


Painful pain between the shoulder blades could be a sign of osteomyelitis. This is the name of a purulent infection that affects bone tissue.

This disease is usually very difficult. The tissues located above the bone are thin enough, so symptoms at the site of the injury appear immediately. The main sign of the pathology is the presence of a purulent wound, soft tissue edema with hyperemia. A person complains that his back hurts in the region of the shoulder blades, sometimes chills are added to this, the body temperature rises, and the pulse quickens.

There are several varieties of this pathology. Osteomyelitis that occurs when bacteria enter bone tissue through the blood is called hematogenous. Its acute form is more common in children and adolescents.

Microorganisms that penetrate the environment cause exogenous osteomyelitis. The reason for this is a wound, trauma or open fracture. When a purulent lesion passes from the soft tissues to the bone, they speak of the form of contact of the disease.


One of the most common causes of back pain in the area of the shoulder blades is scoliosis of the thoracic segment of the spine. Since this section is associated with the ribs, there is a deformity of the chest.

In addition to the main symptom, when the back hurts below the shoulder blades and above the waist, it should be noted the increase in fatigue, different levels of the shoulders.

Thoracic spine scoliosis causes pain in the shoulder blades

Diagnosis is made only by X-rays. When the stage is busy, the back hurts in the spinal region almost constantly.


Back pain in the region of the shoulder blades is the main symptom of osteochondrosis, when the upper part of the spine is subject to degenerative processes. The disease is often confused with pneumonia, tuberculosis.

An experienced neurologist determines osteochondrosis by several cumulative signs. The location of the pain syndrome depends on where the nerve endings are pinched. Therefore, a distinction is made between left-sided and right-sided pathology.

If your back hurts in the shoulder blade area, you should definitely be examined to start treatment at an early stage. This ensures faster recovery.


This is the name of a polyetiological disease that often occurs together with osteochondrosis, intervertebral hernia and spondylosis. Spondyloarthrosis is an arthrosis that affects the intervertebral joints and develops due to injuries, congenital malformations, excessive overloads.

The suspicion of a pathology causes back pain below the shoulder blades that appears for no apparent reason, especially when the weather changes, when moving. The advanced stage is determined by the characteristic crunch.

subdiaphragmatic abscess

This is the name of a rare but serious complication after inflammation that captures the abdominal cavity. The main symptoms are burning in the back, especially in the area of the shoulder blades, shortness of breath, hyperthermia, cough.

In addition to the fact that the pain in the spine is located below the shoulder blades, it can also spread to the right hypochondrium.

Internal organ diseases

If the back hurts a lot in the area of the shoulder blades, this can cause suspicion of existing diseases of the heart, bronchopulmonary system and gastrointestinal tract.

Therefore, these symptoms should not be ignored.. It is necessary to immediately pay attention to pulling pains, especially chest pains that hide coronary heart disease and other equally serious diseases of Organs internal organs. It is important to diagnose and initiate treatment in a timely manner.

intercostal neuralgia

The cause of the phenomenon, when burning in the area of the shoulder blades, there is a feeling that the back is burning, often it is intercostal neuralgia.

Unpleasant symptoms are formed due to the fact that pathological changes affecting the spine cause compression of the intercostal nerves.

Pain in neuralgia occurs at the level of the shoulder blades and has different intensity. They can get worse when you cough or take a deep breath.

Psychological problems

Back pain under the shoulder blades is usually due to psychological reasons. The patient feels compression and tingling, feels a sense of unexplained anxiety and fear. The pain can radiate to the right arm, neck.


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

When the first symptoms appear, you should visit a doctor and get tested.When the disease is detected early and treatment is started in a timely manner, many serious complications can be avoided.

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

It is almost impossible to determine the exact cause of pain on your own. Given that it can often occur with a heart attack, putting off a visit to the doctor is extremely risky.


What to do if your back hurts in the shoulder blade area? Do not forget that the basis for the occurrence of such a symptom can be a variety of pathologies. Therefore, treatment should only be prescribed by a doctor and carried out under his supervision.

Stretching exercises for the treatment and prevention of back pain in the shoulder blades

The traumatic and joint origin of the pain requires specific clinical therapy, which includes:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs. Painful sensations are effectively removed with the help of corticosteroids, non-steroidal agents. They can be used externally by applying doctor-recommended ointments to the area of the shoulder blades or by injection. The combination of these methods allows to obtain the best result.
  • Chondroprotectors. They are used to treat the scapular region of the back, when the pain is caused by intervertebral hernia, protrusion. Preparations containing mucopolysaccharides, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate will help to improve the nutrition of cartilage tissue and increase its elasticity.
  • Physiotherapy. With damage to joint tissue, physiotherapeutic procedures present good results.The most popular shock wave technique, in which infrasound acts on body tissues. It is able to destroy bone growths, improve blood flow, which leads to increased cartilage nutrition, reduces muscle tone and eliminates shoulder blade pain. In addition, electrophoresis, massage, paraffin applications and manual therapy are widely used.

If a vertebrogenic cause of pain is established, warm compresses using a solution of dimethylsulfoxide, turpentine, and alcohol will have an effective effect. By improving blood circulation, muscle spasm is relieved and pain is reduced.

Folk remedies can also be used for scapular pain, but they only serve an auxiliary function.


To avoid such an unpleasant symptom as back pain in the area of the shoulder blades, following certain rules will help.

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

For that you need:

  • Eat properly. Deficiency of microelements necessary for cartilaginous tissue leads to degeneration of intervertebral discs.
  • Keep the correct posture. Uneven load on the spine is one of the first causes of pain.
  • Move more. This helps prevent excessive muscle tone, normalize blood circulation. Useful outdoor walks, sports games, gymnastics.

We must not forget about the regular passing of medical examinations, thanks to which it is possible to detect the development of any pathology at a very early stage.