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Back pain between shoulder blades

Pain between shoulder blades explained

The medical name for shoulder blades is scapula. They are at the back of the shoulder and they are three-sided. Together with the arm bone and the collar bone the shoulder blade forms the shoulder joint. Mobility in the back happens due to the muscles that are attached to the shoulder blades. Shoulder and neck movement is tangled with these muscles as well. At times, pain between the shoulder blades will occur out of nowhere. There are many causes, some of which are more known to people than others.

Injury or trauma

When people get injured in sports, work or simply falling down, it can have a major effect on the spinal column and the surrounding soft tissue. When some of these injuries occur, the ligaments and muscles attached to the spine and shoulder blades can get hurt or weakened. X-rays and MRI cannot always visualize what caused these injuries.


Since the human body is a kinetic chain, poor posture and wrong positioning of the arms and feet can cause pain in the back. Lots of people who spend a lot of time sitting at the desk may experience tension in the neck and around the shoulders. For example, when people slump while sitting, it makes the neck and shoulders slant forward. This position of the body provides stress and tension on the neck muscles, shoulders and pain between the shoulder blades.


Usually, there are no symptoms caused by gallstones unless it becomes lodged in a duct and makes an obstruction. When this happens, pain between shoulder blades appears.

Disc degeneration

Symptoms of disc degeneration may be an injury, trauma, infection and even aging.

Disc herniation

Disc herniation has four stages and the one above is the first. It is followed by disc prolapse, disc extrusion and finally sequestered disc. Severe pain between the shoulder blades may occur in all of these stages. Plus, more pain can be caused if the surrounding soft tissue gets inflamed.


Ceaseless lifting of objects over a person's head will cause fatigue and spasms. The pain between the shoulder blades is sure to follow. Rowing may cause problems as well.


Kyphosis is a certain condition of the spine in which the area between the scapulas has an unnatural curve. Deformities such as “hunchback” and “humpback” are the results of kyphosis and will most definitely cause pain between the scapulas.

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