The shoulder blade or scapula is defined as the bone that connects the humerus or the arm bone with the clavicle, which is the collar bone. The shoulder blade forms the posterior part of the shoulder girdle. In human beings, this bone is flat, roughly triangular in shape and is located on a posterolateral aspect of the thoracic cage.
Similar to most pains, pain between the shoulder blades is a notification by the body of an underlying medical concern. There are a multitude of possible causes of pain between the shoulder blades.
Chest pain accompanied by shoulder blade pain may be a warning signal of a heart attack. Reports highlight that that most males experience shoulder pain as a precedent to an actual heart attack. However, females frequently report pain between the shoulder blades in the event of a heart attack. Pain in the chest and shoulder blade accompanied by symptoms such as sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness and indigestion call for immediate attention. Pain in the shoulder blade could indicate gall bladder dysfunction as well. Although gall bladder pain is commonly felt in the right upper abdomen, it can also manifest itself as pain between shoulder blades or under the right shoulder blade. Such pains are usually sudden and intense and could last from 15 minutes to several hours. In severe instances, the pain may be accompanied by vomiting or sweating. Once the attack passes, it may not reoccur for a period of days, weeks, months, or even years. The treatment involves the removal of the gall bladder. Recently, the most popular methodology employed for the same is called a laparoscopy cholecystectomy. This treatment is characterized by lesser post surgical pain and requires a shorter stay in the hospital.
Another cause of shoulder blade pain could be cancer of the liver. Liver cancer occurs due to an abnormal cell growth in the liver. It is of two types. Primary cancer indicates the onset of malignancy in the liver itself; while secondary cancer of the liver occurs when a cancer starts someplace else and spreads to the liver. Apart from pain around the right shoulder blade or pain between the shoulder blades, the other warning signs include discomfort in the upper belly on the right side, jaundice, hard lump in the belly and abdominal swelling causing a feeling of fullness. Another kind of cancer whose symptom could manifest in the form of shoulder blade pain is esophageal cancer. The esophagus is the food passageway that connects the throat to the stomach. Esophageal cancer usually does not display any symptoms until the cancer has advanced to a stage that is too late for a cure. The main symptom is difficulty in swallowing food. There is a frequent sensation of food getting stuck in the throat or chest. However, shoulder blade pain may not always symbolize a reason for panic. Sometimes, pain in the shoulder blade could just be the result of a muscle strain from too much time hunched over the computer's keyboard, stress, style of sleeping at night, or other muscle injury caused by sports, exercise, normal aches and pains or even a bra being worn too tightly.
Pain in the shoulder blade may range from moderate to acute. Regardless however, it causes a certain degree of discomfort such that the sufferer may find it difficult to concentrate and focus his or her attention on anything, thus hampering the individual’s daily routine or tasks. Therefore, it becomes necessary that one effectively finds a way to get rid of shoulder blade pain. A certain degree of knowledge as to the cause of the pain may serve as a requisite for an effective solution towards the treatment of shoulder pain. If the pain is a result of over stress or inflammation, then the solution lies in taking anti-inflammatory oral medicines such as ibuprofen and naproxen. However, if shoulder blade pain is a radiated pain from the heart or the abdominal system due to ulcer, then the mere intake of ibuprofen may not be a real solution. In such cases, the physician would prescribe specific medication after thorough check up.
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