Having those burdening upper back pain between shoulder blades is really annoying for busy people. But, how could this happen?
Upper pain between the shoulder blades can occur in many forms and origin. The area between the shoulder blades is located in the upper back and surrounds parts of the thoracic spine. Under the shoulder blades are nerves, muscles, and ribs that end at the vertebral bodies. Pain in this area can be traced back to the numerous anatomical structures.
What causes of the upper back pain between shoulder blades?
Many causes of the upper back pain can be severely limited by the specific location and type of pain. Organic causes can also be the reason for the pain, but they are much less common than the more likely spinal muscular ailments.
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Muscular and spinal causes
- Common back muscles stress
The cause of upper back pain between shoulder blades is obvious and most suffered by people with no organic disease background. You can relax if you always feel in a fit condition, applying healthy living habits, does not smoke, or not a heavy-alcoholic drinker.
Posing a certain posture for a long time is one of the cause. The muscles of the upper back and the neck can be heavily stressed by certain movements and wrong exercises. This cause a pain similar to the muscular hangover. After strength exercises of the upper back or through sports such as cycling or running, these pains can occur quickly.
The neck muscles are also very susceptible to tension and pain. The neck muscles are capable of sustaining a weight with strong flexibility. With proper resting, enough nutrition from the foods, and doing regular stretches, surely the pain will be gone on its own.
- Sleep position
Even in sleep due to the wrong position, muscle tension can quickly occur. This pain can pull along the muscles in the upper back and lead to pain between the shoulder blades.
- Herniated disc
We have to agree that the spine, more or less can be responsible for the pain. Complaints of the spine are often attributed to the discs between the individual vertebral bodies. Even in the upper back, a herniated disc can be caused by improper carrying and heavy lifting.
The pain occurs in the middle of the vertebral bodies and is caused mostly by improper movement. In some cases, the pain can radiate into the arms or chest. Consult the doctor or chiropractor for medical advice.
In rare cases, chest and upper abdominal organs may be the reason behind the pain. An organic cause must be a caution, especially in the case of very sudden, short, and very severe pain. This includes the case of permanent pain which the doctor does not find a muscular cause.
Acute severe pain may indicate a heart attack. The pain can radiate to the left arm and it can also cause hard to breathe.
Burning pain between shoulder blades that occur more or less suddenly after eating or drinking may be related to the stomach.
For example, in the case of severe heartburn/acid reflux or gastric ulcer, food intake can lead to severe pain, which in most cases occurs behind the sternum but also between the shoulder blades.
The painful mucosal irritation heals itself within several weeks if no further acid affects it. The therapy consists of the reduction of acid in the stomach using Antacids such as calcium carbonate are often taken to treat the immediate problem. Consult the doctor for a medical advice.
In very rare cases, pain between the shoulder blades can find their origin in the lungs. Often only a pneumonia is responsible for this pain.
However, a slowly progressive, and dull ache between shoulder blades can also be one of the first symptoms of lung cancer. Since the lung itself is not sensitive to pain, the tumor has time to grow large and spread locally.
It is only when the tumor spreads to the lungs, in the thorax or in other organs that it comes to the pain. The signs are, feeling of unease, pressure, and heavy pain sensation in the chest. If the tumor is located in the back portions of the lungs, there may be pressure pain between the shoulder blades.
These increase over time and if symptoms such as a cough, fatigue, and unease are added, it is recommended to consult a doctor a soon as possible.
The heart can also provide an organic cause of pain between the shoulder blades and chest. A typical symptom found in acute heart events is a severe pain in the back and chest with tight-sharp and short pain.
This may be an acute heart attack and leads to life-threatening symptoms. In this case, an emergency dial should be called.
A very dreaded and rare disease is pancreatic problems. This is not noticeable over a very long period of time and first symptoms often occur after a proliferation and spread.
Pain between the shoulder blades is a very non-specific, potential symptom of the pancreas. Often there are constant, light, diffuse pressure pains that are not much worse, but no better as well.
Also, in this case, a cause in the pancreas is still very unlikely, since many spinal changes also evoke similar pain.
How long the upper back pain between the shoulder blades occurs?
The duration of pain between the shoulder blades depends on the cause and the therapy of the pain. For muscular ailments can last from a few days to several weeks, depending on the characteristics.
Strong strains and muscle fiber injuries require a long healing time. In case of discomfort of the thoracic spine, care must be taken that the back pain does not into chronic stage.
If the pain is not adequately treated in good time, it can persist for a long time. At 6 months of pain, you are already in a stage of chronic pain.
However, the duration caused by organic diseases cannot be predicted. Heart disease may worsen over years. Medication and surgery can often stop the pain from progressing. Over the counter medication is should be avoided at all cost for organic causes.
What to do in case of upper back pain between shoulder blades?
The therapy varies greatly with the diagnosed cause, according to the location, and type of the pain. Muscular discomfort often requires no therapy. Only light massages and heat therapies can accelerate the healing process.
- The muscular and spinal problem caused by hard and intensified work can also be easily treated with a massage from a physiotherapist, or by doing exercise and stretches after work. In the case of chronic complaints, muscle building and exclusive exercises are especially needed to support the spine. Only in some cases, a surgery may be necessary.
- The treatment of the organic causes such as the lungs, heart, stomach or pancreas must be very specific to the symptoms. A heart attack must be treated in an emergency unit according to certain criteria. These include medication but also interventional therapies.
- Tumor diseases, which are only in rare cases behind the pain, may be treated surgically and further medical attention.
Having an upper back pain between shoulder blades is caused by several conditions. The back muscular problems are easily relieved, even by doing home treatment and enough resting. Usually getaway on its own in a couple days or a week.
The spinal cause might be in a grey area. The safest way is to consult the chiropractor, and what medical advice should be doing to alleviate the pain.
While the organic disease cause is on the contrary. It is strongly recommended to dial the emergency number if you feel short, sharp, or burning pain, and you or your family have an organic disease medical history because it might be a life-threatening cause.
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