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Pain under Left Shoulder Blade

Pain under Left Shoulder Blade

The region near the shoulder blade may feel sore due to a myriad of reasons, ranging from an injury to the shoulder to certain underlying medical conditions that may affect the individual's well-being. This article elaborates on the possible factors that may cause shoulder pain.
Shrinivas Kanade
Last Updated: Feb 7, 2018
The shoulder is one amongst the most important joint in the human body. We derive the freedom of movement, courtesy of our shoulders. They maintain stability and offer the required mobility to wheel the humdrum as well as celebrate the little joys and august victories of life. However, the cycle gets upset when your shoulders don't feel up to the mark.

Depending on the cause, pain in the shoulder blade may be severe enough a symptom, to keep a person from executing his/her daily activities. The pain may significantly hamper the range of motion of the affected shoulder. Although pain under the left shoulder blade does not always indicate something severe, its association with heart diseases warrants a medical diagnosis. Undermentioned are causes that lead to a discomfiting pain in the shoulder region.

Causal Factors
Injury
There are possibilities that you have injured your muscles while exercising, or engaged in lifting heavy load. A sharp, shooting pain may be the characteristic of an inadvertent, though unintentional injury to the shoulder blade. A hot or cold compress with ample rest is one remedy you must follow.

Bursitis
Bursae are fluid-filled sacs, positioned between the bones and the muscles passing over them. During the contraction and relaxation of muscles, bursae act as cushions, effectively preventing any form of friction. However, the inflammation of bursa (bursitis) located in the region may cause the pain. Hot compression is an instant help for the inflammation to subside.

Torn Rotator Cuff
Overused, sprained, or strained muscles of the rotator cuff cause pain. The four main muscles and tendons come together to make a rotator cuff, every one of which come into play whenever there is movement. Of these, the subscapularis muscle lies under the blade and is not easily reachable. Pain due to a torn rotator cuff may aggravate if one indulges in strenuous exercise routines. Take it easy for a weak or two to get back to your routine with your original vigor.

Aging
As you age, the bones in your body become brittle. The bone density gets hampered, and they become weaker with time. However, this is normal and very much a part of aging. What is disturbing is the rate at which people endure discrepancies with regard to bone health. Arthritis and osteoporosis are two conditions that affect the bones, thereby making them brittle and susceptible to injury. A minor fall can fracture the shoulder bone, or the scapula, which may lead to pain and discomfort. Exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy diet to avert a situation of this ilk

Compressed Nerve
Commonly known as pinched nerve, this is a condition in which pain radiates from the shoulder to the arm. This may not be termed serious a condition to treat as over-the-counter medication, liquid relievers, and cream-based ointments are remedies that work toward soothing the nerve. Due to recurrence of the problem, doctors advise their patients to undergo physiotherapy. Attending the sessions for a considerable period, may provide the much-required relief to the affected area.

Cold and Flu
One of the first symptoms of approaching flu is body ache. With body ache comes a runny nose and high body temperature accompanied with general discomfort. Your shoulder muscles may feel rigid; however, this is momentary. Applying a heat compress may help alleviate the condition.

Faulty Sleeping Position
Your sleeping position is regarded as one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. The pain, nevertheless, is harmless and does not demand any medical treatment. Be cautious as to how you sleep so that you do not wake up gruff the next morning due to a sore neck and shoulder muscle ache. A hot water bath, or heat therapy may well prove to be ready remedies to get you back on track.

Trigger Points
Overuse of muscles, sometimes causes them to spasm and prevents them from getting rid of their waste products. This leads to the formation of trigger points, which may be identified as being tender when touched. Trigger points, also known as knots, may be very painful as the process of loosening spastic shoulder muscles may demand the adoption of one precise physical therapy.

Dislocation
When the spheroidal joint, or the glenohumeral joint is affected -- wherein the synovial ball dislodges from the socket joint -- the shoulder is said to have been dislocated or delocalized. This occurs when the shoulder abducts from the body. As the tissues around the dislocation are also hampered, the doctor may perform a procedure to relocate the synovial ball into its original position. Wearing a sling, adequate rest, adopting the cold-compress therapy, and exercising as per the doctor's instructions may help you recover better.

Frozen Shoulder
When there is a lack of synovial fluid that facilitates smooth movement in the shoulder joint, one may complain of shoulder pain. Movement induces pain; thus, motion is altogether restricted when one develops a frozen shoulder. Medication, low-intensity exercise, heat therapy, and physiotherapy are some of the treatment measures, one may apply in order to seek relief.

Fracture
Fracture of the clavicle (collarbone) or the scapula (shoulder blade) may be one of the potent causes for shoulder ache. An accident that traumatizes these bones may cause a crack in the bone. The pain is radiative in nature, grasping the entire shoulder region. A surgical procedure to reposition the bone and indulging in post-surgery exercise routine prescribed solely by the doctor, of course, may aid in recovery.

Subscapularis Inflammation
A muscle that belongs to the rotator cuff group of muscles, aids the arm in moving anticlockwise or inwards. Sportspersons who involve themselves in games that require strenuous movement of the arm have higher chances of enduring this condition. Pain is localized in the shoulder region, and the condition may require a considerable period for treatment and complete recovery. Cross-fiber massage, rest and relaxation, and resistance-band strengthening are certain techniques that may be introduced during the course of treatment.

Impingement Syndrome
A condition caused by exerting excessive pressure over the scapula or shoulder blade, impingement syndrome inflames the bursa and the tendons. The strong impaction may lead to a laceration of the rotator cuff. Rest and relaxation along with prescribed medication by an expert should positively help in improving the condition.

Other Causes
  • The pain radiating from the gallbladder due to its inflammation, or the presence of gallstones, generally is felt in the right blade. However, occasionally, it can also be felt under the left blade.
  • Pain due to the inflammation of the pancreas, pleura, or pericardium, in some cases, may also be felt under the left blade.
  • Soreness of shoulder blades may be experienced due to peptic ulcers, or ulcers in the intestine.
  • >The pain felt during a heart attack may get transmitted to the left blade via nerves present in the chest.
  • Health conditions, such as pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, and aortic dissection may also be one of the causes of pain in the left blade.
  • A type of lung cancer, pancoast tumor plots itself over the anterior portion of either of the lungs. One of the prodromal symptoms of a pancoast syndrome is an ache in the scapula region, radiating toward the clavicle down to the elbow. 
Disclaimer: The article published herein, is meant to accomplish pedagogical purposes only. The recommendations mentioned hereby may not be generically applicable. The information, by no means, intends to supplant the diagnosis and advice imparted by a qualified chiropractor.
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