Spine pain in the shoulder blade area and above the waist - why does it hurt?

back pain in the scapula area

Many times, people complain of pain in their back in the scapula area. Attributing this to overwork, work related to sitting for long periods of time or moving heavy objects, they put off seeing a doctor.

However, any pain may herald the presence of serious disease in the spine, threatening the development of complications.

main reason

Spinal pain in the scapular region can be explained by the fact that a large number of receptors are located here, responding to any pathological changes. With the inflammatory process, the production of white blood cells increases, edema forms, and nerve endings are compressed, causing pain.

When there is pain in the lower back, shoulder blades, and back, the possibility of a disease that requires treatment cannot be ruled out. Often, conditions that affect vital organs such as the heart and lungs cause severe pain.

Deterioration occurs under the influence of stimuli - violation of posture, excess weight, lack of physical activity. If the back hurts below the shoulder blades, this may be one of the symptoms of a stomach ulcer.

In most cases, the root cause is a person's illness, injury, mental state.

Instead of trying to get rid of unpleasant symptoms on your own, use various creams and ointments. It is necessary to determine the cause of back pain in the area of the scapula, for which you need to see a doctor and get checked.

shoulder blade injury

Located on one side of the spine, this bone is protected by many muscles and can be damaged in rare cases. Her injuries were often combined with fractured ribs, so a timely diagnosis was not always possible.

Fractures of the scapula are one cause of severe pain

In this case, the victim experiences severe pain in the area of the shoulder blade, sometimes there may be bleeding and the development of hemorrhage in the shoulder.Causes of damage are falls, traffic accidents, blows.

If you experience back pain below or above the shoulder blades, redness and swelling, seek medical attention immediately. This may be an inflammation of the synovial bag, often accompanied by a crunching, heavy feeling.

Dislocation, or rather the displacement of the humerus and scapula relative to each other, is another cause of back injuries in the scapula area. The arm jerks violently at the time of the injury, which occurs on impact. Dislocation of the scapula does not allow active movement of the upper extremity.

Severe pain on palpation. Visually, the asymmetry of the scapulae is clearly visible, and one of the scapulae has a prominent axillary border.

intervertebral hernia

This is the name for a degenerative disease with deformation and destruction of the annulus fibrosus. Any part of the spine is susceptible to pathology.

If the back is painful under the shoulder blades, this may be a sign of a lumbar hernia. Thoracic hernias can cause a variety of symptoms.

Among the most common:

  • Pain between the shoulder blades that increases sharply with coughing or physical exertion. It's different in nature - it can be dull and acute pain in the back.
  • feeling abnormal.
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing.
  • Muscle weakness, arm lift problems.

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


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

The disease is usually very difficult. The tissue that lies above the bone is thin enough that symptoms of the lesion appear immediately. The main signs of pathology are the presence of ulcerated wounds, soft tissue edema with hyperemia. One complained of pain in his back in the scapula area, sometimes coupled with chills, elevated body temperature, and rapid pulse.

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

Microorganisms invaded from the environment cause exogenous osteomyelitis. The cause of this is a wound, trauma, or an open fracture. They spoke of the contact form of the disease when purulent lesions moved from soft tissue to bone.


One of the most common causes of back pain in the scapular region is scoliosis in the thoracic segment of the spine. Given that this part is related to the ribs, the chest is deformed.

In addition to the main symptoms, increased fatigue should be highlighted when the back is painful below the shoulder blades and above the waist, with varying degrees of shoulders.

Thoracic scoliosis causing shoulder blade pain

Diagnosis is only by X-ray. The back is almost constantly aching in the spinal area when the stage is running.


Back pain in the scapular region is the main symptom of osteochondrosis, when the upper part of the spine goes through a degenerative process. The disease is often confused with pneumonia and tuberculosis.

An experienced neurologist identifies osteochondrosis by several cumulative signs. The localization of the pain syndrome depends on where the nerve endings are pinched. Therefore, a distinction was made between left and right pathology.

If your back hurts in the scapula area, you must have a checkup so you can start treatment early. This guarantees faster recovery.


This is the name for a multi-causal condition that often occurs with osteochondrosis, intervertebral hernia, and spondylosis. Spondyloarthropathy is an arthropathy affecting the intervertebral joints, which develops as a result of injury, congenital deformities, excessive overloading.

Suspicion of pathology can lead to back pain under the shoulder blades for no apparent reason, especially when the weather changes, when moving. Advanced stages are determined by characteristic crunch.

subphrenic abscess

This is the name for a rare but serious complication of post-celiac inflammation. The main symptoms are burning in the back, especially in the scapula area, shortness of breath, high temperature, and coughing.

In addition to spinal pain located under the shoulder blade, it can also be transmitted to the ribs on the right side.

Visceral disease

If the back is very painful in the scapular region, this may raise suspicion of existing disease of the heart, bronchopulmonary system, and gastrointestinal tract.

Therefore, these symptoms should not be ignored.. Strain needs immediate attention, especially chest pain that hides coronary heart disease and other equally serious visceral diseases. Prompt diagnosis and initiation of treatment are important.

intercostal neuralgia

The cause of this phenomenon is a burning sensation in the back when the scapula area burns, often intercostal neuralgia.

Unpleasant symptoms develop due to compression of the intercostal nerves due to pathological changes affecting the spine.

Pain in neuralgia occurs at the level of the scapula and varies in intensity. They get worse when you cough or take a deep breath.

psychological problems

Back pain under the shoulder blade often occurs for psychological reasons. The patient feels pressure and tingling, anxiety and inexplicable fear. Pain may radiate to the right arm and neck.


Often, back pain under the shoulder blade is the result of occupational activity. The work of mechanics, drivers, tailors, athletes, designers is related to the daily tension of the back muscles.

When the first symptoms appear, you should see a doctor and get tested.Many serious complications can be avoided when the disease is detected early and treatment is started promptly.

If the back is painful in the scapula area, doctors prescribe modern diagnostic methods, including X-rays, computed tomography, and ultrasound.

It is nearly impossible to determine the exact cause of pain on your own. Given that heart attacks often occur, delaying medical attention can be very dangerous.


What to do if your back hurts in the shoulder blade area? Don't forget that there may be multiple pathologies underlying the occurrence of this symptom. Therefore, treatment can only be prescribed by a doctor and carried out under his supervision.

Stretching Exercises for Treatment and Prevention of Scapular Back Pain

Traumatic and joint pain requires specific clinical management, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs. With the help of corticosteroids, non-steroidal drugs, the pain sensation is effectively eliminated. They can be applied topically by applying a doctor-recommended cream or injection to the shoulder blade area. Combining these methods allows you to achieve the best results.
  • chondroprotective agent. They are used to treat the scapular area of the back when the pain is caused by herniation, herniation of the vertebrae. Preparations containing mucopolysaccharides, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate help to improve the nutrition of cartilage tissue and increase its elasticity.
  • physiotherapy. Physical therapy procedures show good results as joint tissue is damaged.The most popular shock wave technology, infrasound acts on body tissue. It disrupts bone growth and improves blood flow, thereby increasing cartilage nutrition, reducing muscle tone and eliminating shoulder blade pain. In addition, electrophoresis, massage, paraffin application and manual therapy are also widely used.

If vertebral pain is identified, a warm compress with a solution of dimethyl sulfoxide, turpentine, and alcohol can be effective. Relieves muscle spasms and relieves pain by improving blood circulation.

Folk remedies can also be used to treat shoulder blade pain, but they are only adjunctive.


To avoid unpleasant symptoms like back pain in the scapula area, it can help to follow certain rules.

A healthy diet will keep you away from shoulder blade back pain

For this you need:

  • Eat just right. The lack of trace elements required by cartilage tissue leads to disc degeneration.
  • Maintain proper posture. Uneven loading on the spine is one of the leading causes of pain.
  • Hyperactivity. This helps prevent excessive muscle tone and normalizes blood circulation. Useful for walks in fresh air, sports games, gymnastics.

We cannot forget to perform regular medical examinations, so that any development of pathology can be detected at a very early stage.