3 Most Common Causes of Shoulder Blade Pain

3 Most Common Causes of Shoulder Blade Pain

3 Most Common Causes of Shoulder Blade Pain

        Shoulder blade pain is a common condition that affects office workers, manual laborers, athletes, and weight lifters. Many times pain in the shoulder blade can be caused by a problem with the muscles in your upper back which is also called the thoracic spine. Shoulder blade pain can also occur due to problem at with the spine itself. However, a little-known fact is that pain in the shoulder blade may be referred pain from the neck. Often times people fail treatment for their shoulder blade pain because the root cause of the pain (which can be the neck) was not treated. In this article we’ll cover the different possible causes of shoulder blade pain.

  1. Upper Back/Thoracic Spine

The upper back (which can also be referred to as the thoracic spine) is the part of the spine that runs down from our neck between the shoulder blades.  The upper back plays a roll in the ability to maintain good posture, move the neck, throw a ball, and lift objects at overhead. Good mobility in the thoracic spine is necessary in order to move the arms, upper back, and neck without difficulty. When there is a loss of mobility in the thoracic spine then pain can set it. Some of the common signs of pain related to the upper back include:

  1. Pain with prolonged sitting postures
  2. Pain with overhead lifting
  3. Pain with twisting your back side to side

  If the pain is caused by the upper back region it may feel tight, sharp or a dull ache.  Normally the pain can begin as stiffens and gradually worsen into a sharp sensation if left untreated. This type of pain is usually felt on one side between the spine and the shoulder blade. It can be hard to pinpoint on yourself where the pain is coming from as it may be coming from the muscles in that region or the spine itself. If you feel pain with moving that area of your upper back in certain ways then the pain may be due to a restriction at the thoracic spine.

  1. Referred Pain from the Neck

In order to determine the root cause of the shoulder blade pain sometimes areas AWAY from the site of the actual pain need to be considered. For instance, it has been well documented that the neck can actually refer pain down into the shoulder blade region.  There have been studies conducted that have shown that certain parts of the neck when pressed upon can refer pain into the shoulder blade region.  It is important for any case of shoulder blade pain that the neck be assessed as the possible root cause. Common signs of shoulder blade pain that comes from the neck includes:

  1. Pain reproduced with moving the neck
  2. Pain with prolonged looking down
  3. Multiple sites of pain including top of the shoulder, neck, and shoulder blade

Pain in the shoulder blade pain from the neck can be described as a burning or tingling sensation. Often time people will get a massage to the area because it feels as if the muscles in that region have been “pulled”. Unfortunately, the relief from the massage usually does not last long because it does not address the underlying root cause of the pain. A simple way to decipher whether or not your shoulder blade pain is to move to turn your head side to side and look up then down. If this reproduces some of the pain that you feel in shoulder blade region then there is a possibility that the pain you are experience could be coming from the neck.

  1. Poor Posture and Muscle Weakness

Modern desk jobs and increased use of technology have led to greater demands being placed on our upper back and shoulder blade region. Larger amounts of stress are placed on the shoulder blade muscles and upper back as sitting becomes the majority position during the day.  When muscles get overworked they then become “fatigued” and tighten up because they are no longer able to perform their job well.  This will give the sensation that your shoulder blade region feels “tight” causing you to “stretch” the area out. However typically the underlying root case of the pain is from a “weakness” in key shoulder blade muscles and not a true tightness. Some common signs of this pain include:

  1. Pain that increases with sitting as the day progresses.
  2. Pain that is relieved with laying down
  3. One sided pain that feels tight or dull ache.

People that experience shoulder blade pain associated with weak muscles typically report they do not notice their symptoms as much during their off days or on the weekend. If the shoulder blade pain occurs during certain lifting or sporting activities and not during rest periods then that can also be a sign indicating muscle weakness.  This is because during the “down time” or “off time” the muscles are not placed under as much stress and thus do not get “overworked”. Below is an exercise that can be worked on to improve muscle endurance in your shoulder blades. Start with your elbows and arms up against the table and then slide your arms up the wall. Then return back to start position. Perform in a slow and controlled manner until you feel fatigue in the upper back/shoulder blade region.

               Start                                                                                                                   End

     

 

 

How to Get Neck Pain Relief During the Day

How to Get Neck Pain Relief During the Day

How to Get Neck Pain Relief During the Day

 Part of the reason that neck pain is so common is the use of technology and desk jobs. The positions we hold our head/neck in during the day can have a direct effect on whether or not we develop neck pain. Proper posture alignment can often be difficult to determine. Watch this video below to understand the correct alignment that your neck should be in throughout the day. This will bring you the relief that you want!

Top Causes for a Stiff Neck

Top Causes for a Stiff Neck

Top Causes of a Stiff Neck

 A stiff neck is a very common condition. It can keep you from turning your head comfortably or cause a lot of pain when you are at work. Often times stiffness in the neck can lead to headaches in the back of the head. There are several causes of a stiff neck. It is important to find out what is causing the neck tightness so that you can address the issue at its source and get lasting relief. Watch this video below to find out what can cause a stiff neck.

3 Ways to Determine if Your Headaches are Coming from Your Neck

3 Ways to Determine if Your Headaches are Coming from Your Neck

Headache In Back of Head

Headaches can be caused by many different issues. An often overlooked cause of headaches is the neck. The reason that many treatments for headaches fail is because the root cause of the headaches has not been addressed. It is very common for people to go years and years with headaches before they see someone that is able to determine that their headaches are coming from their neck. The good news is that once the true source of the headaches is found then treatment can be administered with lasting relief to follow! Watch this video below to find out more.

Why Your Neck is Tired (Heavy Head)

Why Your Neck is Tired (Heavy Head)

Why Your Neck is Tired

Weak neck stabilizing muscles can often be the culprit in neck pain and headaches. This important muscle group is needed so that our neck can support our head throughout the day. If these muscles do not function properly then the pain begins to set in and often times headaches soon follow. Watch this video below to learn about the different symptoms and causes of weakness in the neck.