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Pain Between the Shoulder Blades - Another Headache!

Unraveling the Mystery: Causes of Pain Between the Shoulder Blades

Back Pain Between The Shoulders

Picture this: You're sitting at your desk, engrossed in your work, when suddenly, a nagging pain starts to creep up between your shoulder blades. You try to stretch and adjust your posture, but the discomfort persists. What could be causing this unwelcome sensation?

In this article, I'll delve into the possible reasons for interscapular pain, exploring both common culprits and lesser-known factors that might be contributing to your discomfort.

So, let's uncover the mystery and find answers to the causes of pain between the shoulder blades.

1. Poor Posture:

One of the leading causes of pain between the shoulder blades is poor posture. Hours spent hunched over a desk or slouched on a couch can strain the muscles in your upper back, leading to tension and discomfort. Imagine your spine as a perfectly aligned stack of building blocks. When your posture deviates from its natural alignment, undue stress is placed on the muscles and joints, resulting in that bothersome pain.

2. Muscular Imbalances:

Your body is a finely tuned machine, with muscles working in harmony to maintain balance and stability. However, when certain muscles become weak or overactive, imbalances can occur, leading to pain between the shoulder blades. For instance, tight chest muscles and weak upper back muscles can pull the shoulder blades forward, causing strain and discomfort in the interscapular region. Understanding and addressing these imbalances can help alleviate the pain.

3. Stress and Tension:

Ah, stress—a familiar companion in our modern lives. The tension we carry in our bodies often manifests as pain, and the area between the shoulder blades is no exception. When stress levels rise, the muscles in our upper back and neck can become tense and tight, leading to that all-too-familiar ache. Exploring stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, exercise, or relaxation practices, can significantly reduce pain in this area.

4. Inactive Lifestyle:

Sedentary habits can take a toll on our bodies, and pain between the shoulder blades may be an unwelcome reminder of this. Lack of regular exercise and movement can weaken the muscles in your upper back, making them more prone to strain and discomfort. Incorporating physical activity into your routine, especially exercises that target the upper back and shoulder area, can help strengthen these muscles and alleviate pain.

Desk ergonomics with a foam roller
Here I'm using a foam-roller for better posture

5. Desk Ergonomics:

Your work environment might be contributing to your interscapular pain without you even realizing it. Poor desk ergonomics, such as an improperly adjusted chair, a desk that is too high or low, or an inadequate computer setup, can place unnecessary strain on your upper back muscles. Taking the time to optimize your workspace ergonomics can make a world of difference in reducing shoulder blade pain.

6. Nerve Impingement:

Sometimes, pain between the shoulder blades can stem from nerve impingement or irritation. Conditions like herniated discs or spinal stenosis can compress nerves in the upper back, causing referred pain in this area. Massage Therapy may help but if you suspect nerve-related issues, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for a more accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

7. Trauma or Injury:

In some cases, pain between the shoulder blades may be the result of a previous trauma or injury. Whiplash from a car accident, a fall, or even intense physical activity can lead to muscle strains, ligament sprains, or other structural damage in the upper back region. Seeking medical attention and following a proper rehabilitation plan is crucial for a full recovery.


As a seasoned practitioner in the field of Massage Therapy, I've witnessed firsthand the impact of pain between the shoulder blades on countless individuals. By unraveling the mystery behind this discomfort, we've uncovered valuable insights into its potential causes.

So, the next time you feel that unwelcome twinge between your shoulder blades, don't despair. Whether it's through regular exercise, seeking therapeutic massage, or making ergonomic adjustments to your environment, remember that YOU are the key to your own comfort and pain-free living.

Do you want to banish those pesky shoulder blade pains and embrace a life of freedom, movement, and optimal health? Your journey to a pain-free back starts now!

In health and wellness,

John Caruso

Licensed Massage Therapist Sarasota, Florida


John Caruso bio

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