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

Back pain in the area of ​​the shoulder blades

Very often, people complain that their back hurts in the area of the shoulder blades. Attributing this to overwork, work associated with prolonged sitting or moving heavy objects, postpone a visit to 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, the nerve endings are compressed, which causes pain.

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

An exacerbation occurs under the influence of provoking factors - a 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.

Most often, the root cause is a disease, 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 the back hurts in the area of the shoulder blades, for which you will need to see a doctor and undergo an examination.

Scapula injuries

This bone is located on the side of the spinal column, is protected by many muscles and is damaged in very rare cases. Her injury is often combined with a fracture of the ribs, so it is not always possible to make a diagnosis in time.

Fractured scapula is one of the causes of severe pain

In this case, the victim feels severe pain in the area of the shoulder blades, sometimes hemorrhage and the development of shoulder hemarthrosis are possible.The cause of 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 see a doctor. This may be inflammation of the synovial bag, which is often accompanied by a crunch, a feeling of heaviness.

Dislocation, or rather the displacement of the humerus and scapula relative to each other, is another reason why the back can hurt in the area of the shoulder blades. Injury occurs with a strong jerk by the arm, upon impact. Dislocation of the scapula does not allow active movement of the upper limb.

When palpated, severe pain is felt. Visually, the asymmetry of the shoulder blades is clearly visible, one of them has a noticeable protrusion of the axillary edge.

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 the back hurts below the shoulder blades, this may be a sign of a lumbar intervertebral hernia. A chest hernia causes a variety of symptoms.

The most frequent of them:

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

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


Aching pain between the shoulder blades can 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 the symptoms at the site of the lesion appear immediately. The main sign of pathology is the presence of a festering 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 the bone tissue through the blood is called hematogenous. Its acute form is most common in children and adolescents.

Microorganisms penetrating from 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 contact form 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. Given that 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, increased fatigue, different levels of the shoulders should be distinguished.

Scoliosis of the thoracic spine provokes the appearance of pain in the shoulder blades

Diagnosis is made only by X-ray. When the stage is running, the back hurts in the region of the spine almost constantly.


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

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

If your back hurts in the area of the shoulder blades, you must definitely be examined in order 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 due to injuries, congenital malformations, excessive overloads.

Suspicion of a pathology causes pain in the back 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 pain in the spine is localized below the shoulder blades, it can also pass to the right hypochondrium.

Diseases of the internal organs

If the back hurts very much 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 retrosternal, hiding coronary heart disease and other equally serious diseases of the internal organs. It is important to diagnose and start treatment in a timely manner.

Intercostal neuralgia

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

Unpleasant symptoms are formed due to the fact that pathological changes that affect 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 often occurs due to psychological reasons. The patient feels a contraction and tingling, feels a sense of anxiety and inexplicable fear. The pain may radiate to the right arm, neck.


Often, pain in the back 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 back muscles.

When the first symptoms appear, you should visit a doctor and undergo an examination.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, computed tomography, and ultrasound.

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


What to do if your back hurts in the area of the shoulder blades? Do not forget that the basis for the occurrence of such a symptom can be a variety of 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 origin of pain requires specific clinical therapy, which includes:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs. Painful sensations are effectively removed with the help of corticosteroid, non-steroidal agents. They can be used externally by applying ointments recommended by a doctor to the area of the shoulder blades, or by injection. Combining these methods allows you to achieve the best result.
  • Chondroprotectors. They are used to treat the scapular region of the back, when pain is caused by 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 the tissues of the body. It is able to destroy bone growths, improve blood flow, which leads to increased cartilage nutrition, reduces muscle tone and eliminates pain in the shoulder blades. In addition, electrophoresis, massage, paraffin applications, and manual therapy are widely used.

If a vertebrogenic cause of pain is established, warming compresses using a solution of dimethyl sulfoxide, 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 perform only 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 the shoulder blades

For this you need:

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

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