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

Back pain in the shoulder blade area

Often, people complain that their back hurts in the shoulder area. Associating this with overwork, work associated with prolonged sitting or moving heavy objects, they postpone visits to the doctor.

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

Main reason

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

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

Severity occurs under the influence of provoking factors - violation of posture, overweight, lack of physical activity. If the back hurts below the shoulder blades, this may be one of the symptoms of a stomach ulcer.

Often, the main cause is illness, injury, a person's psychological state.

Do not try to eliminate the unpleasant symptoms themselves, use various poultices and ointments. It is necessary to identify the reason why the back hurts in the area of the shoulder blades, for which you need to see a doctor and undergo an examination.

Scapular injury

This bone is located on the side of the spine, is protected by many muscles and is damaged in very rare cases. His injuries are often combined with rib fractures, so it is not always possible to make a timely diagnosis.

Scapular fractures are one of the leading causes of severe pain

In this case, the victim feels severe pain in the shoulder area, sometimes bleeding and development of shoulder hemarthrosis is possible.Causes of damage are falls, road accidents, blows.

If the back hurts below the shoulder blades or above, redness and swelling appear, you should immediately see a doctor. This may be inflammation of the synovial bags, which is often accompanied by dryness, a heavy feeling.

Dislocation, or rather the displacement of the humerus and scapula relative to each other, is another reason why the back can ache in the shoulder blade area. Injuries occur with strong blows to the arm, upon impact. Scapular dislocation does not allow active movement of the upper limb.

When touched, severe pain is felt. Visually, the asymmetry of the shoulder blades is clearly visible, one of which has a significant protrusion at the axillary margin.

Intervertebral hernia

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

If the back hurts below the shoulder blades, this may be a sign of a lumbar intervertebral hernia. Chest hernias cause a variety of symptoms.

The most frequent of them:

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

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


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

The disease is usually very difficult. The tissue located above the bone is quite thin, so symptoms at the site of the lesion appear immediately. The main sign of pathology is the presence of purulent lesions, soft tissue edema with hyperemia. Someone complains that his back hurts in the shoulder blade area, sometimes chills are added to this, the body temperature rises, and the pulse is getting faster.

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

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


One of the most common causes of back pain in the scapular area is scoliosis of the thoracic segment of the spine. Since this part is associated with the ribs, there is a defect in the chest.

In addition to the main symptoms, when the back hurts below the shoulder blades and above the waist, one should highlight the increase in fatigue, different shoulder levels.

Scoliosis of the thoracic spine gives rise to the appearance of pain in the shoulder blades

Diagnosis is made only with X-rays. When the stage is running, the back hurts in the spinal area almost always.


Back pain in the shoulder blade area is the main symptom of osteochondrosis, when the upper part of the spine is subject to a degenerative process. The disease is often confused with pneumonia, tuberculosis.

An experienced neurologist diagnoses osteochondrosis with some cumulative signs. The localization of the pain syndrome depends on the part where the nerve endings are pinched. Thus, a distinction is made between left -sided and right -sided pathology.

If your back hurts in the shoulder area, you definitely need to be checked to start treatment at an early stage. This guarantees a faster recovery.


This is the name of a polyetiological disease that often occurs along with osteochondrosis, intervertebral hernia, and spondylosis. Spondyloarthrosis is an arthrosis that affects the intervertebral joints and develops as a result of injury, congenital malformations, overload.

Suspicion of pathology causes pain in the back below the shoulder blade that appears for no apparent reason, especially when the weather changes, when moving. The advanced stage is determined by the characteristic turbulence.

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 pain in the spine is localized below the shoulder blades, it can also move to the right hypochondrium.

Diseases of internal organs

If the back is very sore in the shoulder area, this can lead to suspicion of pre -existing heart disease, bronchopulmonary system, and gastrointestinal tract.

Therefore, these symptoms should not be ignored.. It is necessary to immediately pay attention to the exciting pain, especially chest pain that hides coronary heart disease and other equally serious diseases of the internal organs. It is important to diagnose and start treatment on time.

Intercostal neuralgia

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

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

Pain in neuralgia occurs at the level of the shoulder blade and has varying intensity. They can get worse when 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, feels unexplained anxiety and fear. The pain can spread to the right arm, neck.


Often, pain in the back below the shoulder blades is the result of professional activities. Machines, drivers, tailors, athletes, designers are people whose work is associated with daily tension in the back muscles.

When the first symptoms appear, you need to visit a doctor and undergo an examination.When the disease is detected early and treatment is started on time, many serious complications can be avoided.

If the back is sore in the shoulder blade area, the doctor will prescribe modern diagnostic methods, including x-rays, computed tomography, and ultrasound.

It is almost impossible to determine the true cause of your own pain. Since it can often happen with a heart attack, postponing a visit to the doctor is very risky.


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

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

Traumatic and articular pain requires specialized clinical therapy, which includes:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs. The painful sensation is effectively removed with the help of corticosteroids, non -steroidal agents. They can be applied externally by applying an ointment recommended by a doctor to the shoulder blade area, or by injection. Combining these methods allows you to achieve the best results.
  • Chondroprotectors. They are used to treat the posterior scapular area, when pain is caused by an intervertebral hernia, protrusion. Preparations containing mucopolysaccharides, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate will help improve the nutrition of cartilage tissue and increase its elasticity.
  • Physiotherapy. With damage to the articular tissue, physiotherapy procedures show good results.The most popular shock wave technique, in which infrasound acts on body tissues. It is able to destroy bone growth, increase blood flow, which leads to increased nutrition of cartilage, reduces muscle tone and relieves pain in the shoulder blades. In addition, electrophoresis, massage, paraffin application, and manual therapy are widely used.

If the cause of vertebrogenic pain is established, heating compression using a solution of dimethyl sulfoxide, turpentine, and alcohol will have an effective effect. By increasing blood circulation, muscle spasms are relieved, and pain is reduced.

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


To avoid unpleasant symptoms like back pain in the shoulder blade area, following certain rules will help.

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

For this you need:

  • Eat right. Lack of the micro -elements required for cartilaginous tissue leads to degeneration of the intervertebral disc.
  • Maintain proper posture. Uneven load on the spine is one of the first causes of pain.
  • Move more. This helps to prevent excessive muscle tone, normalizes blood circulation. Useful walks in the fresh air, sports games, gymnastics.

We must not forget about the usual route of medical examination, thanks to which it is possible to detect the development of any pathology at an early stage.