Pain in shoulder blade

Pain in the shoulder blade or between the shoulders can have various causes. Sometimes there is an injury or inflammation. Subacromial pain syndrome is common in shoulder complaints. Pain may be felt in the collarbone, muscles or a tendon. Other causes are RSI or osteoarthritis. It is important to identify the cause, treat it and give the shoulder appropriate rest. Sometimes it is necessary to administer medication or even undergo surgery.

Shoulder pain, what is that?

When we think of shoulder pain, we think of pain that is really only felt on top of the shoulder. But the pain can also be felt elsewhere, such as at the front or back. Sometimes the pain radiates, often to the neck or arm. Pain may also only be felt in the upper arm or neck, while the cause lies in the shoulder. The shoulder consists largely of the scapula. This is a triangular thin bone with the point pointing downwards. The shoulder blade is connected to the upper arm at one point. On the other side, the collarbone connects the shoulder blade to the torso. The shoulder blade is clearly palpable, we often tap it as a pat on the back.

Broken shoulder blade

A broken shoulder blade is not very common. This part of the bone contains many strong muscles, making it well protected against fractures. If the shoulder blade does break, it is a major accident. Pain is felt in the shoulder blade, which worsens especially when moving the arm. There is noticeable swelling at the back of the shoulder and bruising will often occur. A bruise quickly forms. The doctor will often take an X-ray to assess the fracture. Treatment consists of wearing a sling or sling for two to four weeks. The patient may be prescribed painkillers and sometimes also anti-inflammatories. Surgical intervention will only be performed in severe cases. The recovery therefore takes a little longer.

Broken collarbone

A common fracture of the shoulder is a broken collarbone. The collarbone connects the shoulder blade to the sternum and is a vulnerable bone because it lies free and absorbs blows from the shoulder blade. This makes it easy to break in the event of a fall or a blow to the shoulder. With a broken collarbone, pain is palpable and the arm cannot or hardly be lifted up. It is also often painful to clap your hands. Children in particular are more likely to suffer a broken collarbone: until adulthood, the collarbone has not yet hardened and breaks more quickly. The fracture is visible to the doctor through an X-ray. The fracture cannot be put in plaster and this is not necessary: these types of fractures heal quickly and nicely. The arm can be worn in a sling or sling for three to four weeks, which keeps the shoulder still. Despite the rapid healing, the patient may still notice increased sensitivity in the collarbone for several years.

muscle strain

The shoulder contains many strong muscles to allow movement of the arm. When these muscles are used in a way that does not normally occur, muscle pain occurs. Just think of heavy lifting where we use our shoulders or pushing against something. Muscle pain occurs, especially the next day. Sometimes this pain lasts for days. This is because it is often difficult to give the shoulder rest, we often move the shoulder unconsciously.

Other causes

There are even more causes for a painful shoulder. For example, there is the frozen shoulder, the dislocated shoulder (also called dislocated arm, which is caused, among other things, by hypermobility syndrome), rotator cuff syndrome or costoclavicular compression syndrome. If pain complaints do not disappear after one to two weeks of rest, it is advisable to have a doctor look at it.
Joint inflammation (arthritis) and osteoarthritis
Joint inflammation is also called arthritis. The cartilage and bone become chronically inflamed. There is pain in the shoulder that worsens with movement. The pain complaints will become more and more present as time progresses. Moving the shoulder can cause a cracking sound. It is difficult to lift the arm. In addition to normal arthritis, there is also the rheumatic form. Treatment consists of physiotherapy, painkillers/anti-inflammatories or cooling of the shoulder. In severe cases it is possible to replace the shoulder with a prosthesis. Sometimes part of the bone can also be removed.
Osteoarthritis is mechanical wear and tear of the joint. This is less common at the shoulder. The pain symptoms are the same as with arthritis. In the morning the pain is less than in the evening. Left untreated, osteoarthritis can develop into arthritis. Treatment consists of painkillers and anti-inflammatories.

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