The shoulder blade, otherwise known as the scapula is the bone structure in the upper back part of the body connecting the arm to the thorax (chest wall). The shoulder blade also forms part of the socket, which connects the upper arm to the socket. It is surrounded by muscles and tissues which cushion the bone structure allowing the shoulders to move smoothly. Thus, the shoulder blade is largely involved in the different movements of the human arms. Like any other parts of the body however, the shoulder blade may suffer swelling and inflammation, which lead to what is commonly referred to as shoulder blade pain.
However, pain between shoulder blades may be caused by a number of factors. The pain may be sourced from inflammation of the tissues or tendons surrounding the scapula or the shoulder blade. Muscles surrounding the shoulder blade may have been torn or strained due to some strenuous activities. The same case may also apply as regards the tendons and ligaments in the scapula region. Joint dislocations may also lead to shoulder blade pain as a result of a strong trauma after an accident or during a play of a sport. Shoulder blade pain may also involve infection or bone tumor in the region of the scapula; but cases of this type are very infrequent.
Although pain between shoulder blades may signal that there is something wrong with the tissues, joints, ligaments or muscles around and within the shoulder region, it is not however always the case. Not all types of pain between shoulder blades are indicative of infection, inflammation, or problems within the scapula region. Pain between the shoulder blades may be an indicator of a disease other than that which is directly related to infection in the scapula; such pain may be a signal warning from one of the organs of the body. This type of pain is considered as “referred pain”.
Shoulder blade pain may signal any pain from another part of the body the severity of which may range from mild to severe. Thus, the pain may be a referred pain from the lower part of the neck, or from the lower part of the back. This may be caused by too much stress or too much time spent in front of the computer. This may also indicate a posture problem. If the person has a bad posture, the spine may be affected and therefore it refers the stress and pressure to the shoulder blade area.
On the other hand, pain between shoulder blades may indicate severe medical problems or conditions in the other organs of the body. It may mean an impending heart attack; it has been documented that prior to a heart attack, most are experiencing pain between their shoulder blades. Gallbladder disease may also manifest in the form of pain between shoulder blades. This may oftentimes be accompanied by vomiting. It may also be caused by liver cancer and esophageal cancer or cancer in the esophagus due to an abnormal growth of cells and tumors in a person’s esophagus.