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Four reasons you’re feeling pain in the shoulder blade area


You go to pull open a door, and that’s when you feel pain in your shoulder blade area. This type of scenario is very common. However, it’s likely not the action of opening the door that’s causing your pain. 

Your shoulder pain is probably being caused by an underlying issue, but you aren’t alone in dealing with shoulder discomfort. In fact, medical studies show that up to 31% of Americans experience shoulder pain in any given one-month period. The good news is that physical therapists can help determine the root cause of your shoulder pain. The even better news is that they can help you find effective treatment for pain in your shoulder blade area

These four problems could be causing the pain in your shoulder blade area

The area around the shoulder blade contains muscles, ligaments, tendons and other structures. Any of them could be the source of your pain. Physical therapists are well versed in the human musculoskeletal system, which includes the shoulder. This deep knowledge allows your therapist to diagnose common issues like: 

  • Poor posture — Forward-rounded shoulders. A head and neck that’s craning forward constantly. These are just a few signs that you have poor posture. Often, this issue is triggered by looking down at a phone or laptop screen for hours at a time. Poor posture can also overstretch or weaken muscles around the shoulder blade, which can trigger aching. 
  • Muscle strains — The shoulder blade, or scapula, has many muscles attached to it. Doing lots of unaccustomed shoulder movements can strain these muscles. Lifting objects that are too heavy can also cause this injury. A scapular muscle strain can lead to symptoms like: 
  1. Soreness
  2. Stiffness
  3. Decreased range of motion
  4. Swelling
  5. Muscle spasms
  • Scapulothoracic bursitis — There are six bursae that provide cushioning between the scapula muscles and the shoulder blade. Repetitive shoulder movements can trigger inflammation in one or more of these bursae. Athletes like pitchers and quarterbacks are more likely to develop this condition. 
  • Herniated disc — Spinal discs are pillowlike structures between the vertebrae. Damage to the outer covering of these discs can allow their inner material to poke out, or herniate. A herniated disc in the cervical or thoracic spine can irritate a nerve that runs through the shoulder. The result can be pain near the shoulder blade. 

Find help for the pain in your shoulder blade area at Back in Motion

Tired of feeling pain in your shoulder blade area? Our team at Back in Motion Physical Therapy is prepared to help you find effective treatment for your pain. We can start by doing a free screening of your shoulder to pinpoint the root cause of your pain. Then, our specialists can create a unique therapy plan for you that can include therapy methods like: 

Contact us today for more information about how we can treat your shoulder pain or to schedule your initial appointment. 

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