Experiencing Shoulder Blade Pain It Might Be Scapular Dyskinesis
Shoulder pain is a common complaint in active and non-active people, alike. Musculoskeletal issues, such as overuse, strains, rotator cuff issues, poor exercise form and even sleeping awkwardly, can all cause pain in and around the shoulder blades. While arthritis, heart and lung conditions, shingles, gallstones and even liver disease can manifest as shoulder blade pain, these conditions are much less common causes of shoulder pain than musculoskeletal issues.
If youre experiencing shoulder blade pain, pain between your shoulder blades or pain under your shoulder blades, it may be due to scapular dysfunction officially known as scapular dyskinesis.
Visit A Health Care Provider
If the above treatments dont effectively reduce the pain under your shoulder blade, visit a physiatrist, chiropractor, or physical therapist. These health care providers will evaluate you for the source of the pain and can individually tailor plans that will help strengthen and stretch your upper back, neck, and core muscles. They might also provide manual manipulation, using hand maneuvers to loosen stiff muscles or misaligned joints.
You may need to take a trial and error approach with these tips. Try a combination of these treatment ideas to see what reduces the pain under your shoulder blade.
Give A Try To The Low Incline Bench Press
If your shoulders tend to hurt while performing the regular bench press, you can try out the low incline bench press. On an adjustable bench, just set the angle to one notch above flat. This slight incline angle allows your chest muscles to get involved to a greater degree. The low incline bench press not only saves your shoulder but can also serve you pretty well if you are unable to feel your chest while performing the bench press.
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Causes Of A Pinched Nerve In The Shoulder Blade
- Swelling or inflammation: Pinched nerves tend to arise when nearby swelling begins to cause compression. Carpal tunnel syndrome for instance occurs when there is a pinched nerve in the wrist area it can cause the surrounding tendons or ligaments to swell. Swelling and inflammation can also be caused by repetitive stress, poor posture, or illness.
- Injury: The nerves around the shoulder blades can become pinched between bone spurs around your spinal discs. Bone spurs are little outgrowths of bone that grow on top of normal bone, but they can also occur naturally as the spine compresses while we age.
- Illness: Lupus, diabetes, arthritis, hyperthyroidism, and many other conditions can trigger swelling in your joints and result in a pinched nerve. Obstructions like cysts or tumors can also play a part in this.
- Posture: Poor posture and weight distribution can put undue pressure on the nerves in your shoulder blade. This can be attributed to posture habits, pregnancy, obesity, and even having large breasts.
Mid Phase Of Physiotherapy
This phase targets working on overhead mobility. While performing the movements under this phase, a little discomfort and pain are acceptable.
90/90 shoulder external rotation to overhead press
To perform this movement, follow the given steps:-
- Stand upright pinching both shoulder blades back slightly.
- Stand on one end of the band and hold onto its other end.
- Start with lifting your elbows and keeping your forearm parallel to the floor.
- Now rotate your forearm making your palms face the wall in front of you.
- Then firmly holding the band, push it upwards as if performing an overhead press. You can also imagine punching the ceiling.
Pulling out the sword
Follow the given steps to get this movement right:-
- Stand upright and slightly pinch your shoulder blades back.
- Hold the band with both hands and start this movement with the hand that is on the opposite hip of the injured shoulder.
- Finally, pull the band in an upward direction towards the injured shoulder. You can imagine pulling out the sword from its sheath.
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Where Is Your Shoulder Blade
The shoulder blades are triangular-shaped bones that are located at the back of your shoulders and are medically termed as scapulae. Each of your shoulder blades connects the collarbone to the upper arm bone. It also has about three groups of muscles attached to it to aid in moving the shoulder joint.
You must have noticed that your shoulders have a wide range of motion. This is all thanks to the muscles that connect them and allow the shoulders to rotate, move up and down, side to side, and in a circle. Since your shoulders can move in so many ways, it is quite easy to injure them, leading to shoulder blade pain.
However, injuries are not the only cause of shoulder blade pain. In some cases, this pain could be an indication of distress to the nearby organs.
Discussed below are some of the main triggers of shoulder blade pain.
Exercises For Pinched Shoulder Nerves
Physical therapy is also an option to treat a pinched nerve in the shoulder blade. A physical therapist can work you through exercises designed to strengthen the muscles and relieve pressure.
They can also offer advice on how to modify your everyday activities to avoid further triggering the nerve. Two quick examples of possible exercises they can suggest for pinched nerve in shoulder blade:
- The pendulum: Lie down on the bed and let one arm hang over the side. Slowly swing it back and forth. This may trigger pain, but bear it if you can. Increase your speed as the pain subsides and continue for 30 seconds to a full minute. As you perform the exercise over several days, try to increase your endurance time.
- Arm circles: Stand in an open area and extend your arms with hands outstretched so you are making a T with the floor. Begin to rotate your arms in small circles for about ten seconds, and then stop and repeat in the opposite direction. Two sets of ten seconds on each arm is a good goal.
Just because your nerve is getting trapped doesnt mean you have to be. If you have a pinched nerve in shoulder blade, speak to your doctor about ways you can be treated and improve your quality of life.
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Stretches Arent The Only Treatment Option Panther Physical Therapy Can Offer For Your Shoulder Blade Pain
You dont have to rely on stretches alone to treat your shoulder blade pain. At Panther Physical Therapy, our team of therapy specialists are ready to help you in many ways. For instance, we offer free screenings that can help jump-start your therapy process. Our team can also create a treatment plan for shoulder pain thats personalized to your needs.
Are you ready to start getting our help with your shoulder pain? Contact us today for more information or to schedule your free screening.
Preventing Shoulder Blade Pain
After youve found an efficient way to relieve your pain, the next step is prevention. How can you prevent this pain from happening again? The main route to prevention is exercise. Strengthening and stretching the vulnerable area or the previously injured area will help you avoid pain down the road. Make sure you slowly ease into exercise.
Exercise regularly, and keep in mind, that the key to long term relief, is to keep training, which you often will have to do for many months. Strengthening exercises ought to be done two to three times a week, with one two days pause. Stretching exercises can be done daily.
Start with once every two days. In a week or so, bump it up to twice every two days. In about 4-6 weeks, try doing these exercises 2-3 times a day every other day. The following exercises you can find in Injurymap. The app takes the guesswork out of exercising. It helps you ease into it and guides you through every step.
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How Does The Rotator Cuff Get Hurt
The main joint in the shoulder is formed by the arm bone and the shoulder blade. The joint socket is shallow, allowing a wide range of motion in the arm. The rotator cuff is made up of 4 muscles that surround the arm bone. This cuff keeps the shoulder steady as the arm moves.
The supraspinatus muscle rests on top of the shoulder. Its tendon travels under the bone on the outside of the shoulder . This tendon is the one most often injured because of its position between the bones. As the tendon becomes inflamed , it can become pinched between the 2 bones. The sac of fluid that cushions the tendon can also be irritated and swollen.
Maintaining An Arch In The Back
Many people perform the bench press with a flat back. This puts the shoulders in a dangerous internally rotated position when they are at the bottom-most part of the bench press. Here, we are not recommending you to maintain an arch like that of powerlifters. You just need to ensure that there is an arch present in your upper back.
Arching your back puts the glenohumeral joint in an externally rotated and safe position. Arching the back while stabilizing your scapula keeps the tension in your core and leg muscles. This provides you with a firm base as you start the push from your heels, and it goes through your core, into the shoulders, and finally reaches your arms. This further keeps your shoulders in a better position that avoids any kind of sharp shoulder pain when bench pressing.
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Causes Of Shoulder Blade Pain
or tension in the shoulders usually happens due to improper neck or back posture. Most of the time, it happens because of the way a person sits or stands when using a computer or at work.
However, other possible causes of that are part of a more serious condition include:
- : People with types of arthritis may experience swelling and pain in their shoulders. This includes and .
- Infection or injury: These can cause inflammation, which would lead to flushed skin, swelling, and pain around the shoulder.
- Damage: Shoulder pain may be the result of damage or injury to the bones, cartilage, muscle, or tendons in and around the shoulder.
- Other areas of the body: Shoulder pain can also happen because of problems in other parts of the body, including the neck.
If you are concerned about shoulder pain for any reason, contact your doctor.Learn more about when to contact a doctor for shoulder pain.
Trigger Point Therapy And Self Massage
Second, I ask clients who complain about shoulder blade pain to feel the muscles through their shoulders, neck and upper back and look for tender spots.
You can use a tool such as a Thera Cane, tennis ball, yoga therapy ball, or a street hockey ball to isolate the pain points in your shoulder area. Use either the Thera Cane or lean against a wall with one of the mentioned balls. Explore each of these areas and search for tender points:
- Between your shoulder blades and your spine.
- On the shoulder blade itself.
- Below the shoulder blade.
Usually only one shoulder will bother us at a time. This allows you to compare your good side to your tender side to gauge the shoulder blade pain level.
Once you identify and isolate the pain points, do some self-massage.
Trigger Point Resource
To do that I highly recommend this book, The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. I use it all the time as a reference for my clients. I also suggest that clients purchase a copy for themselves.
They have a great section at the beginning of the book that identifies where pain is referred to. For example, even as Physical Therapists we sometimes forget that the scalene muscles in the neck can be the source for a nagging pain in at the lower angle of your shoulder blade.
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What Causes Shoulder Blade Pain
Many factors can cause shoulder blade pain, which many people mistake for back pain. A common cause for scapula pain are muscle contractures or muscle tightness, though exposure to intense cold can also trigger it.However, in some less common conditions, shoulder pain indicates much more serious illnesses. Whats more, sometimes the pain in the scapula comes from a different source, like a nearby bone, muscle or tissue.Other causes include factors such as carrying heavy loads, sleeping in inappropriate positions, accidents that damage the bone, infections, and even illness or injury to nearby organs .Some believe that ongoing stress can also be manifested as shoulder pain.
Problems In Muscles Bones And Joints
When your rotator cuff tendon rubs or catches on nearby tissue and bone as you lift your arm, its called shoulder impingement, which is another very common cause of shoulder pain.
If you are an active athlete, a rotator cuff injury might be the reason for your shoulder blade pain. In rare cases, an accident or sports trauma can cause a broken scapula.
Sometimes, osteoarthritis might be the root cause. Osteoarthritis makes your joints sore and tender. Other diseases that may generate upper back pain between shoulder blades are various disc diseases or fibromyalgia.
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Ways To Fix The Neck & Shoulder Pain You Feel While Working From Home
May 11, 2020
Working from home may be the new normal for some individuals given the COVID-19 pandemicbut did you know that the layout of your home office may affect your overall neck and shoulder health?
Laurent Delavaux, M.D., an interventional pain physician at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, says that roughly 10-25% of individuals will have new neck pain each year while another 7-34% of people will experience new shoulder pain. These ailments are becoming increasingly more common given that many of us use computers or phones more frequently throughout the day, shares the expert.
Dr. Delavaux explains three common work-related scenarios that can lead to neck and/or shoulder pain and provides helpful solutions:
Problem: I have bad posture while working on a laptop, computer or phone. According to Dr. Delavaux, bad posture is when an individual rounds his or her upper back and head forward while also rounding the shoulders forward. This puts a lot of stress on your neck and certain shoulder muscles, he says.
Solution: Fix your posture. Dr. Delavaux advises that individuals practice good posture. This is when the shoulders are relaxed but pulled back, with the chest open and head level with ears at the level of the shoulders, he says. Techniques to improve your posture include:
If there is any pain doing these stretches, then it is best to not continue until you have reviewed your concerns with your doctor, he cautions.
Trigger Point Release In Between Shoulder Blades
How it helps:
The first thing you need to do is relieve the trigger points that may have formed in and around your shoulder blades. By using a massage ball you can find a tender spot and apply pressure in the exact spot that you feel pain.
How to do it:
- Begin lying on your back
- Place a massage ball in between the shoulder blades
- Once you find a tender spot, just hold the ball in that place and apply more pressure with your body weight.
- Hold the pressure on that spot for at least 30 seconds
- Find the next spot and repeat the same process
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What Is Shoulder Pain
The pain of shoulder can happen at any of those tendons, ligaments or muscles located in the shoulder area. However, there is one thing for sure, that is when your shoulder begins to hurt it will be so difficult to focus on other tasks.
Shoulder pain does not exclude anyone at any age. People who often stay in front of laptops, smartphones or tablets for prolonged periods are the most vulnerable targets to this condition.
Late Phase Of Physiotherapy
The late phase of physiotherapy includes movements that mimic the bench press to some extent. This phase involves movements like the following:-
Chest and overhead press with kettlebells
To perform this movement follow the given steps:-
- Take a light 10-15 lbs kettlebell.
- Then lie on a bench and execute a bench press by inverting the kettlebell.
- The inverted kettlebell allows you to focus on balancing the weight. It also makes sure that you execute the exercise at a slow pace.
With the kettlebell, you can perform flat/incline chest press and overhead shoulder press.
Chest and overhead press with dumbbells
Once you are comfortable using kettlebells, you can switch to dumbbells for performing chest and overhead presses. Dumbbells provide you with a greater range of motion. Owing to this factor, you can vary your shoulder position while performing this exercise for added comfort.
Chest and overhead press with barbell
The final part of the last phase of physiotherapy includes performing chest and overhead press with a barbell. With the use of a barbell, the entire motion of a chest press and an overhead press becomes more strict. You just need to keep your elbows slightly tucked down while performing this bench press. This makes sure that you are putting less strain on the shoulder joint.
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What Causes Shoulder Pain
There are few significant factors which usually contribute to the occurrence of shoulder pain. The most common one must be the injuries of those soft tissues like ligaments, tendons as well as muscles of the shoulder. The reason can be repetitiveness or some overuse injuries.
Occasionally, the pain in the shoulder can come from injuries of the bicep or neck. Several other causes are bursitis, arthritis, tendinitis, torn cartilage, bone spurs, frozen shoulder, the broken bone at the shoulder as well as injuries to spinal cord .
Some particular diseases which also trigger the shoulder pain like cervical spine diseases at neck or conditions of heart, liver and even gallbladder.