Relieve Back Pain in Between Shoulder Blades: Simple Tips

Are you having trouble sitting or standing for long periods of time due to back pain between your shoulder blades? If yes, then you are not alone. It is a common complaint among many people, and it can be caused by several factors such as poor posture, muscle overuse, lifting heavy objects, and even arthritis.

In this blog, we will discuss the causes of back pain between shoulder blades in detail, and explain how proper posture can help alleviate it. We’ll also go over non-surgical treatments like compression therapy, massage therapy, stretching exercises, and heat/cold therapy that can help relieve the pain.

So read on to get all the information you need to manage and cope with this condition effectively.

Understanding Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Back Pain in Between Shoulder Blades

Upper back discomfort is a common problem that may result from various causes such as poor posture, muscle strain, prolonged sitting at office desks or excessive use of laptops. Back pain in between shoulder blades may also indicate severe issues like heart attack or arthritis.

The thoracic spine’s mobility gets affected when the scapula or trapezius muscles get strained leading to referred pain. Old age or injuries can also cause osteoporosis or compression fractures resulting in persistent upper back pain. Compression therapy along with massages from physiotherapists or yoga teachers are great remedies for relaxing tightness.

Causes of Upper Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Back pain between shoulder blades can result from poor posture, muscle overuse, injury, or underlying conditions like osteoarthritis.


Stress and tension in the neck and shoulders can also contribute to back pain. Stress causes muscles to tense up, leading to discomfort and pain in the upper back. Moreover, stress can interfere with sleep quality, further exacerbating the problem.

Lifting Heavy Objects

Lifting heavy objects can also strain back muscles and cause pain, especially between the shoulder blades. Another common cause of back pain between the shoulder blades is arthritis.


The scapula connects the arm bone to the collarbone and facilitates arm movement while supporting the upper body. Poor posture or overuse can result in muscle tension and pain between the shoulder blades.

Osteoporosis and Fractures

Back pain between the shoulder blades can be caused by osteoporosis and fractures, which are more common as bones become less dense with age. Fractures in the vertebrae can lead to stiffness and limited mobility. Treatment includes medication, exercise, and lifestyle changes, but a healthcare professional should evaluate the condition first.

Trapezius and Rhomboids

Back pain between the shoulder blades may result from tension or strain in the trapezius and rhomboid muscles due to poor posture, stress, or overuse. Stretching and strengthening exercises, massage therapy, or chiropractic adjustments can help. Promptly addressing this pain is crucial to prevent chronic discomfort or hindrance of daily activities.

Diagnosing Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Diagnosing upper back pain involves understanding its common causes, such as poor posture or muscle strain. Consulting with a medical professional is crucial in determining the underlying cause of upper back discomfort, while imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs fir soft tissues can provide more accurate diagnoses.

Diagnostic injections may also be used in some cases. Nerve conduction studies also help with nerve-related pain, and blood tests rule out infections or systemic conditions. A medical history review and symptom discussion is also important. Accurate diagnosis is crucial to develop an effective treatment plan.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades

physiotherapy in London

Relieving back pain in between shoulder blades through non-surgical treatment options can be an effective way to manage discomfort. Acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy along with compression therapy can offer relief from upper back muscles’ tightness and inflammation contributing to the problem.

Additionally incorporating stretching exercises along with proper nutrition can aid in reducing stress on discs in the thoracic spine causing upper back pain. Good posture is essential while sitting for long periods which contributes towards better mobility of scapula avoiding muscle strain leading towards referred pain to arms or chest.

Compression Therapy

Compression therapy is a non-invasive treatment for upper back pain that involves applying pressure to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation. It can be used during physical activities and in conjunction with other treatments. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new back pain treatment.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can relieve upper back pain by reducing tension and promoting relaxation. It also improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and prevents future muscle strains. For severe cases of upper back pain, deep tissue or trigger point therapy may be necessary.

One Body LDN offers deep tissue massages and physiotherapy in London for back pain between shoulder blades. With regular sessions, patients can find relief from discomfort and improve their quality of life.

Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises may alleviate upper back pain by reducing muscle tension and improving flexibility. Effective stretches such as the doorway stretch, shoulder blade squeeze, and seated twist should be performed gradually with increased intensity. Regular stretching can also prevent future pain by improving posture and offer muscle balance, but consult a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine.

Heat and Cold Therapy

Heat therapy can ease upper back pain by relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow. Cold therapy reduces inflammation and swelling for acute injuries or flare-ups. Alternating between heat and cold can provide more relief. Be cautious with direct contact, and consult a healthcare professional before treatment.

Surgery as a Treatment Option for Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Severe upper back pain may require surgery if non-surgical treatments fail. However, it’s essential to consider the potential risks and recovery time before opting for any surgical procedure. Always consult with a medical professional to identify the best course of treatment that suits your specific case. Non-surgical treatments are preferred over surgery, unless it’s the last resort.

Surgical Options for Upper Back Pain

In severe cases of upper back pain, surgery may be an option. Spinal fusion, laminectomy, and discectomy are some surgical options available, depending on the cause of the pain. These procedures are quite invasive and require a significant amount of time for recovery.

When is Surgery Needed for Upper Back Pain?

Upper back pain surgery is a last resort after non-surgical treatments like physiotherapy, medication, and chiropractic care have failed to relieve severe pain. Surgical options include spinal fusion, laminectomy, and discectomy for conditions like a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease. It’s essential to discuss all treatment options for shoulder blade pain with your doctor to determine the best course of action.

It’s important to carefully consider the risks and benefits before opting for surgery as treatment. Talk to a healthcare professional to understand all your options and make an informed decision. Remember, non-surgical treatments are always preferred unless it’s the last resort. In any case, it’s crucial to prioritize your quality of life by taking care of your back and seeking medical attention when necessary.

Coping with Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Managing back pain between shoulder blades can be difficult and uncomfortable. To effectively cope with this type of pain, it’s essential to identify its root cause and take appropriate steps towards relief. You can also cope with shoulder pain by incorporating practices like yoga and massage therapy into your routine to help reduce tension and promote healing.

Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen may provide temporary relief, but it’s important not to rely on these as a long-term solution.

Remember, taking care of your back is crucial for maintaining overall health and wellbeing. By identifying the cause of your back pain between

Simple Tips for Relieving Back Pain in Between Shoulder Blades

Proper Posture

Maintaining proper posture can prevent strain on the upper back muscles, reducing pain between the shoulder blades. Neutral spine position while sitting or standing distributes weight evenly and reduces tension.

Workstation Changes

To prevent upper back pain, adjust your workstation. Keep the computer screen at eye level to avoid neck and shoulder strain. Invest in an ergonomic chair that supports your back and neck. Take frequent breaks to stretch and consider using a standing desk or adjustable work surface to vary posture during the day.


Exercise can alleviate upper back pain by strengthening the muscles and reducing discomfort. Stretching and yoga poses like downward dog and child’s pose can also help. Resistance training exercises such as rows and pull-ups work to strengthen the upper back muscles. However, consult with a healthcare professional before starting any exercise program for back pain to ensure safety.


Proper nutrition can help manage upper back pain by reducing inflammation and improving overall health. Eating anti-inflammatory foods and avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol can help. Staying hydrated is also important. A personalized nutrition plan from a healthcare professional or registered dietitian may be beneficial.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades

It’s crucial to comprehend when to seek medical attention for upper back discomfort. Immediate medical attention should be sought if the pain is acute and sudden with symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pain. It’s also imperative to see a doctor if there’s a constant discomfort accompanied by numbness or tingling sensation. For those with conditions like osteoporosis and cancer, consulting a health professional for upper back pain relief is recommended.

Key Takeaways About Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Ignoring back discomfort between the shoulders due to poor posture or overuse of muscles can lead to lower back pain. Prompt treatment with simple exercises and stretches targeted towards upper back muscles can provide relief for the referred pain. Heat therapy and massage are effective measures for thoracic spine mobility improvement. Immediate medical attention should be sought in case of chest pain or aortic dissection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common causes of back pain between the shoulder blades?

Back pain between the shoulder blades can result from poor posture, prolonged sitting, injuries to the neck/shoulder area, medical conditions like herniated discs or osteoarthritis, and stress/tension. Identifying the root cause is important in developing a treatment plan.

How can regular exercise and stretching help alleviate back pain?

Incorporating regular exercise and stretching into your routine can alleviate back pain by improving flexibility, strengthening core muscles for better posture, and releasing tension in the shoulder blade muscles. Gentle activities like walking, swimming, or yoga can be effective for those experiencing back discomfort.

Are there any specific sleeping positions that can help with back pain relief?

Certain sleeping positions can alleviate back pain, such as placing a pillow under the knees when sleeping on your back to reduce pressure on the spine. Side sleeping with a pillow between the legs can also align the spine and ease discomfort. Avoid stomach sleeping, as it strains the neck and spine. It’s best to try different positions to determine which is most effective for you.

Where can I find physiotherapy near me?

To find physiotherapy near you, use search engines or online directories to locate clinics and read reviews. Ask for recommendations from friends or healthcare providers, and check if your insurance covers physiotherapy services and preferred providers. One Body LDN offers physiotherapy in London for shoulder pain, disc herniation, neck pain, spinal cord injuries, and other types of back and shoulder problems.

Where can I find sports massage near me?

You can locate sports massage services in your area by checking online directories, asking at your gym or with healthcare professionals, and seeking recommendations from friends. Ensure the therapist is licensed and experienced for optimal results. For sports massage in London, One Body LDN offers expert services for athletes and active individuals to address muscle tightness, improve circulation, and enhance recovery. With a team of trained therapists, they can tailor the treatment to your specific needs and goals.


Back pain between shoulder blades is a common condition that can be caused by poor posture, overuse of muscles, lifting heavy objects, and even arthritis. Non-surgical treatment options like compression therapy, massage therapy, stretching exercises, and heat/cold therapy can help relieve upper back pain. Surgery may be needed in severe cases. However, proper posture, exercise, and nutrition play a crucial role in managing upper back pain. If you experience persistent or worsening upper back pain, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly to prevent complications.

If you are searching “private physiotherapists near me” / “Sports massage near me” / “Deep tissue massage near me” / “pain treatment near me”, have private health insurance physiotherapy cover and are looking for the best private healthcare in London – One Body LDN is your answer.

We are approved by ALL major private health insurance physiotherapy companies:

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Contact us today to learn more!


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