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Shoulder Blade Pain

Shoulder Blade Pain

What You Need to Know About Shoulder Blade Pain

The shoulder blade is also called the scapula. It is important to distinguish shoulder blade pain from shoulder pain and recognize the fact that shoulder blade pain does not always originate from the shoulder. As discussed, pain due to problems in the scapular or shoulder blade region is rare and occurs mostly due to problems in the lower part of the neck or in the upper part of the back. This referred pain pattern from the neck manifests in the inner side of the shoulder blade towards the spine.


  • A fractured shoulder blade can also cause inflammation and pain. A painful inflammation over the shoulder blade in the upper back or on the top of the shoulder, a tendency to hold the arm close to the body, an increase in pain while moving the arm, immobilized arm and a flattened or deformed shoulder indicate a broken scapula or shoulder blade.
  • Thus, shoulder pain can occur due to various medical causes and conditions including shoulder injury, fracture, shoulder separation, rotator cuff tear, humerus juvenile osteochondritis, Parsonage-Aldren-Turner Syndrome, shoulder joint dislocation, and Impingement Syndrome.
  • Since the shoulder joint connects the upper arm to the upper part of the body, rotator cuff injuries also cause pain in the shoulder region. Rotator cuff injury is an injury to one or more of the four muscles in the shoulder. The pain can be due to inflammation and complete or partial tear of the muscles. Rotator cuff injury is more common in the forty-plus population with pain that typically worsens at night. This is most often accompanied by a gradual onset of weakness and inability to move the arm.
  • Arthritis is a painful inflammatory condition in the joint region. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of Arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis and Septic Arthritis caused by infection, Gouty Arthritis caused by Uric Acid deposits in the joint region and Pseudogout, caused by deposition of Calcium Pyrophosphate crystals, also cause painful inflammation. Periarthritis, Adhesive Capsulitis, also popularly known as "frozen shoulder" also cause chronic pain in the shoulder.
  • Tension, muscle tears and strain can cause pain in muscles. Many rheumatic conditions like Lupus, Fibromyalgia and Lyme disease also cause pain in muscles. Bursitis is the painful inflammation of the Synovial fluid containing Bursae sacs caused by repetitive movement and excessive strain. Joints at the elbow and knees are usually affected. Shoulder Bursitis is also common. Bursitis is also caused by traumatic injuries.
  • Tendonitis is the painful inflammation of the tendon. Tendonitis symptoms include pain and stiffness of the affected area of the tendon and a burning sensation around the joint regions of the inflamed tendon. Pain and stiffness are aggravated by activity. Tendinitis injuries are common in the upper and lower limbs. Achilles Tendonitis or Tendinitis is a common sports injury.

When struggling with shoulder pain at work, it is usually wise to invest in an adjustable workstation to prevent shoulder and back pain resulting from leaning awkwardly and/or over-stretching your muscles..