To your average joe, upper back pain between shoulder blades can be confusing if not misleading. The shoulder blades, also known as the "scapula", are the bones that connect the upper arm to the collar bone. Pain between shoulder blades can often come out of nowhere, and for seemingly no reason at all. That being said, there is always a reason, and we will delve into pain associated with the shoulder blades below.
The upper spine can be affected by a great deal of things. The area in between the shoulder blades, termed the upper spine, is subject to a lot of daily usage, pressure, and wear. It's no surprise that this highly tense area of the body can be afflicted with everything from degenerative disc disease to a simply muscle strain.
Pain in between the shoulder blades isn't always a call for alarm. Muscular irritation is one of the two most common causes of upper back pain. Basically, repetitive motions can 'irritate' the shoulder girdle and back of the back of the thoracic rib cage. It's not a pleasant feeling, and it can be exacerbated by too much exercise (so put down the weights). A combination of massage therapy, pain medications, and simply letting the body heal will usually make it go away.
Joint dysfunction and pain between the shoulder blades. The second most common form of serious upper spinal pain is joint dysfunction. Your ribs connect to the spine via joints on either side of it. A dysfunctional joint can not only cause pain, it can get worse. Contact your doctor immediately and schedule an appointment. The likely solution to this is manual stimulation by a trained professional (i.e. chiropractor and/or physical therapist) and home exercises.
Rare cases. There will always be those uncommon cases which display symptoms of degenerative disc disease (DDD), thoracic disk disease, and other rare but serious conditions. Please consult a doctor immediately if you must move to get rid of pain or if you feel numbness, radiating pain, or severe pain. These are all symptoms of a much more serious problem.
Stretching and pain between the shoulder blades. Most comprehensive treatment plans for less serious conditions encompass stretching, movement, and light muscle building. Along with pain medication and the oversight of a trained medical professional, these therapies can work wonders.
The shoulder blades are surprisingly delicate, although they are often seen as symbols of pride, strength, and confidence. Repetitive movements, and even slouching, can irritate and weaken the upper spine. While a simple strain is fairly common, and relatively easy to fix, consult your licensed physician about any type of consistent pain concerning the shoulder blades. Be safe, and give yourself a pat on the back (literally) for all the hard work your spine does.