Some Shoulder Conditions May Become More Common As You Age
You probably don’t think about your shoulders much, until you suddenly experience pain in one of them. Shoulder pain can make a simple act brushing and drying your hair, reaching behind your back to fasten a bra, or grabbing something overhead seem like a monumental task.
As you age, you’re more likely to experience shoulder pain from a variety of common conditions. “Shoulder problems are very common,” says Dr. Arun Ramappa, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. The pain can come on gradually or abruptly, and it may range from mild to excruciating.
Below are some of the most common conditions you may encounter, and some tips for how to address them.
How To Treat Back Pain Under Left Shoulder Blade
Any amount of pain in your back should never be ignored. It could be the sign of a serious issue or something small.
What causes pain below my left shoulder blade? There are a variety of reasons that you can be experiencing back pain under left shoulder blade.
If you are weightlifting, have a job that requires lots of back use or just everyday wear and tear.
Diagnosis Of Upper Left Back Pain
Diagnosis can be made after thorough history taking and physical examination. Recent history of fall, accidents injuries and stings may suggest the cause of upper left back pain. Presence of fever is assessed to rule out possibility of infections. Blood investigations help to detect infections, inflammation and other possible conditions. X-rays, bones scans and MRI may be performed to find bone, muscle, ligament and soft tissue damage as well as diseases of lung and abdominal organs. Nerve conduction studies, ECG and other cardiac related investigations may be performed, if appropriate.
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Why Do I Have Shoulder Pain At Night Only
While this nighttime shoulder pain cannot always be explained, a lot of the pain comes down to:
- Being still at night
- Unrelieved tension and stress from the day
- The sleeping position you choose
- Your mattress
During the day, the shoulder is being actively used while you are in a vertical position. The tendons engage and are pulled downward by gravity, which allows space to be made in the muscle groups in the shoulder. This additional space allows for an increase in blood flow and oxygen that alleviates the stiffness and pain that would be present otherwise.
When you lay down to rest or sleep at night, you are generally in a horizontal position. This removes the effect of gravity and allows the shoulder muscles to relax. The lack of movement and the relaxation of the muscles allows the fluids in your joints to settle and decreases the flow of blood, allowing the joint to become inflamed. People also tend to lie on their shoulder while sleeping, which can compress the joint even further, and thereby worsening the inflammation.
Symptoms Of Pain Under The Left Shoulder Blade
Signs, symptoms of pain in the lower region of the scapula are due to such pathogenetic mechanisms:
The painful symptom under the left shoulder blade can vary in sensation from aching, tolerant to sharp, burning, cutting. There are some typical complaints of pain under the left shoulder blade on the part of patients:;
Symptoms, manifestations of pain under the scapula on the left can be combined according to etiological signs as follows:
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Back Shoulder Pain: Causes Picture Symptoms And Treatment
Back shoulder pain can confuse you as it is not obvious. At times, the pain can occur due to some simple reason like the wrong posture at work or during sleep. While some people experience it as a result of serious health conditions like lung cancer or heart attack. The potential causes may vary from one person to another. So, you can experience the agonizing pain due to an underlying health condition or trauma to the muscles in your back. You need to consult a doctor to determine the exact nature of the pain. It will help you deal with the interscapular pain effectively. Keep reading to understand the common problem and the methods to prevent it.
What Are Some Upper Back Pain Risk Factors
Say you havent seen the doctor yet about your upper back pain, but youre pretty sure its not an acute injury. After all, you havent taken up a new sport. Maybe you barely have time to exercise, much less overdo it.
Believe it or not, that actually increases your risk of back injury. When youre physically active, the muscles in your belly and backyour corehelp support your spine. If youre sedentary, you might have weak muscles that contribute to upper back pain.
Lack of exercise is one of several factors that can increase your risk of upper back pain. Others include:
Excess weight. Since your spine supports the weight in your torso, excess weight could stress your back. Belly fat, in particular, is a problem: If you carry a lot of weight in your midsection, it can strain the soft tissues in your back. Conversely, weight loss can reduce pain though research suggests it may be even more effective as part of a holistic strategy that includes pain management strategies.
Belly fat can contribute to upper back pain, but weight loss can help relieve it.
Psychological conditions.;Experts arent sure why, but you might be more likely to have back pain if you have depression and anxiety. In fact, some research suggests that people who have depression have worse back pain than people without depression.
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Left Pain Under The Shoulder Blade
The pain on the left in the lower region of the scapula may be associated with such diseases:;
- Ulcerative process in the gastrointestinal tract. As a rule, the pain symptom increases – with a chronic disease gradually, with exacerbation or perforation – rapidly. The pain surrounding, shooting, reflected can abate after the food is evacuated in intestines or by means of vomiting.
- Neurogenic pain, IRR . The painful symptom is felt as squeezing, pressing, extending to the left, often under the scapula. Violations of respiratory functions, increased sweating, hand tremor, feeling of spasm, coma in the throat, feeling of fear, panic are also characteristic of the IRR.
- The pain on the left under the scapula may be associated with a developing myocardial infarction, which is often felt as another attack of IHD, angina pectoris. A pain symptom, as a rule, begins to develop in the chest zone, less often from the back, radiating to the left side, spilling over and causing a burning sensation.
- Cervical osteochondrosis, less often osteochondrosis of the thoracic region. This disease is accompanied by a characteristic aching, but tolerable pain symptom, which can intensify with increasing load, including static.
It should be noted that for an accurate clinical picture it is very important to describe the sensations, the nature of the painful symptoms, which may be the following:
Neck Pain On The Left Side Is Not A Thing To Ignore
Proper diagnosis and treatment are required to cure it. While rare, undiagnosed or untreated neck pain can elevate to a permanent disability. Neck pain is not something you have to live with- even if you may consider the pain relatively mild. Don’t let pain affect your quality of life, and get help with a compassionate specialist.
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What To Do If Your Shoulder Hurts
If you do experience shoulder pain, it’s not always possible to figure out the cause. Sometimes problems in other parts of the body are actually the source of the pain, which then radiates to your shoulder. This can happen with certain neck problems, including arthritis and disc herniations, says Dr. Arun Ramappa, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School.
In general, if you are experiencing a lot of pain or know you injured yourself, it’s best to see a doctor right away to have your shoulder condition diagnosed.
But if you have general, mild shoulder pain, try adjusting your activities, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and performing mild stretches to see if the pain improves on its own. However, if the pain doesn’t go away after a few weeks, you should consult your doctor.
When To See A Doctor
When upper left back pain persists for a couple weeks, its important to visit a doctor in order to get an accurate diagnosis and pain relief. If upper back left pain is ever accompanied by numbness, weakness, severe headache, nausea, trouble walking, bowel/bladder incontinence, or other troubling symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
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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.
Bicep Tendon Injury And Tears
Shoulder muscles are attached to bones with tendons. If you tear the biceps tendon in your shoulder, you might find yourself with less strength in the affected arm and the inability to turn your arm from palm down to palm up.
The split and tear of tendons can result from acute injury or degenerative changes in the tendons. This is usually caused by increasing age, long-term overuse and wear and tear, or a sudden injury.
Bicep tendon tears can either be partial or complete. Most are partial, where the tendon is not completely severed. But without treatment, the tendon can continue to tear and eventually separate into two pieces. This is, of course, very painful and eradicates all possibility of movement at that point.
In many instances of complete tears, the tendon pulls away from its site of attachment to the bone. Rotator cuff and biceps tendon injuries are among the most widespread types of these injuries. Injury and overuse of the shoulder are the most common causes.
Symptoms of a bicep tear include sudden and sharp upper arm pain accompanied by an audible snapping noise, bruising from the middle of the upper arm that goes towards the elbow, and a bulge in the upper arm above the elbow.
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When To Go To The Doctor
You cant always assume the discomfort is no big deal. If pain lingers for more than a few days or requires regular pain medications, you should be evaluated by your physician, says;Leda Ghannad,;MD,;assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Rush University Medical Center. Another sign: if the pain limits your abilities in your day-to-day life, like you have to call off work to stay in bed. Following are signs you need to get medical help, pronto.
Impingement Syndrome Of Rotator Cuff
Although some people with rotator cuff tendinitis develop impingement syndrome, some individuals have the impingement syndrome only. As the name suggests, this condition occurs when the tendons in the shoulder are impinged upon from one of the shoulder bones.
The most common cause of impingement syndrome is participation in sports and activities that involve lots of arms over the head kind of work, like swimming and weight lifting.
Pain is usually persistent and makes daily activities difficult. If not treated, the syndrome can lead to inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons, causing thinning and tearing in extreme cases.
If you have difficulty reaching up behind your back or experience pain when lifting your arm up, impingement syndrome or acromion pain could be to blame.
Diagnosis requires a physical exam with a shoulder impingement test and sometimes x-rays. Treatment focuses on pain relief using anti-inflammatory medications and resting the shoulder as much as possible. Healing can take up to eight weeks.
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Treatment For Shoulder Pain In Left Or Right Side
The treatment of shoulder pain often depends on the cause and severity of the pain. If your pain is mild, you can choose to treat it at home. Wrap the ice cube in a towel and place it on the painful area of your shoulder for 15 to 20 minutes each time. This can effectively help relieve pain in your shoulder. Be careful not to put ice directly on the skin; it will cause frostbite and burn the skin.
In addition, you can use over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids to help reduce pain and inflammation. Then compress the area with an elastic bandage or shoulder anchor to reduce swelling. Always consult your health doctor before taking medication.
What Causes Upper Left Back Pain
Back pain that is localized to the upper left side can be both frustrating and puzzling, especially when the cause is unknown. Depending on your health history, you may wonder if the pain is related to your spine, shoulder, ribs, or possibly an internal organ, such as the heart. Lets look at some possible causes of upper left back pain, and when it requires a doctor visit.
Sometimes the cause of upper back pain is easy to find. And other times, it’s more mysterious. Watch:Causes of Upper Back Pain Video
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Signs And Symptoms Of Shoulder Pain
There may be many causes of shoulder pain. They all have their own unique set of symptoms.;
People with shoulder pain can experience pain deep in the shoulder joint, in the back or the front of the shoulder and the upper part of the arm. Sometimes the pain in the shoulder can be described as a catching pain. The location and type of pain is likely to relate to the structure causing the pain.
In some conditions there may be reduced movement, and moving the shoulder may cause you to feel pain. A feeling of weakness of the shoulder/upper arm is also common.;
Depending on the condition, there may be a sensation of the joint slipping out and back in to the joint socket, or the shoulder can become completely dislodged . Some people may experience sensations of pins and needles and burning pain. This is more likely to be associated with nerves from the neck than the shoulder joint itself.
Lack of movement after a shoulder dislocation is usually due to pain. Complete rotator cuff tears and injury to the axillary nerve both cause weakness in moving the arm away from the body. These problems require close clinical examination.
Shoulder Blade Pain: Your Guide To Pain Relief
Pain in the shoulder blade area is a common phenomenon. We guide you through the common causes, pain relief techniques and ways to prevent shoulder pain.
The area around or under your shoulder blade is achy. Its sore. It may even get worse when you perform certain activities, such as turning your head or reaching for an object with your arm. Pain, in general, poses an irritating problem.
Yet, shoulder blade pain doesnt have to take over your life. There are various treatments and methods that can ease your pain. However, your specific way to pain relief may depend on what is causing your discomfort or injury in the first place.
To help you find a solution that works for you, this article describes the most common causes of shoulder blade pain and how to relieve the pain.
Looking for a solution to your shoulder pain problem? Try the Injurymap exercise app now.
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Time To Visit A Doctor For Back Shoulder Pain
Even if the back shoulder pain does not cause problems, you need to see a doctor to determine the severity of the situation. But, most of the times, the pain alleviates without any medical treatment. You can manage it with home remedies and stretching exercises. But, when the pain becomes severe, you have to seek medical help. The excruciating pain that does not go away indicates a serious problem. Therefore, you need to check it out. Monitor other signs occurring in your body along with the shoulder blade pain. Certain symptoms that accompany with the shoulder blade pain indicate a life-threatening condition. It requires immediate medical attention from the experts. So, seek help immediately when you observe other signs like the following with the back shoulder pain:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of consciousness
- Paralysis on one side of your body
The treatment plan developed by your doctor depends on the severity of your condition and the underlying cause. Depending on the person, the recovery time varies.
What Is The Upper Back
If you want to understand your upper back pain, start with an anatomy lesson.
Pain in the upper and/or mid back is less common than lower back or neck pain. One 2015 Mayo Clinic review of studies suggests that about a third of people get lower back or neck pain , compared to less than one-fifth reporting upper back pain.
The upper back is the region below the cervical spine and above the low back . The upper back is called the thoracic spine, and it is the most stable part of the spine. The range of motion in the upper back is limited because of the spines attachments to the ribs .
Think of your spine as a tree trunk. It keeps you standing upright. It connects parts of your skeleton to each other. It carries the weight of your upper body.
Since thats a massive job, the spine itself shares some of the physical load with nearby muscles, some of which include:
- Trapezius: Near your shoulder blade, helps you stand straight and throw
- Latissimus dorsi: Lower on your back, helps with arm movement and breathing
- Rhomboids: Adjacent to trapezius, supports your shoulders and helps you pull
When you hurt your upper or mid back doing yard work or playing tennis, chances are high youve injured one of these muscles. The most common reason we see people with upper back pain is a simple musculoskeletal strain, says Reginald Knight, MD, Director of Bassett Spine Care Institute in Cooperstown, NY.
- Tenderness to touch
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