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Pain Under Right Shoulder Blade

Pain under the right shoulder blade can be due to an array of reasons, ranging from minor to severe. In this HealthHearty article, we take a look at the various causes of pain under the right shoulder blade, and the consequences of leaving this pain untreated.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
First-Aid Treatment:
Rest - Give some rest to your shoulder.
Ice - Use an ice pack for instant relief.
Compress - Wrap your shoulder to reduce swelling.
Elevate - Sleep with your shoulder elevated using a pillow.

Pain is one of the most important ways that our body uses to tell us something is wrong. Often, we ignore the pain in the hope that it will correct itself. Surprisingly, in a few cases, it does happen that the pain vanishes without any medication. However, pain in certain parts of the body should never be ignored. Pain under the right shoulder blade is one such example. If you notice pain under the right shoulder blade, then this needs immediate medical intervention to diagnose the cause.
Unfortunately, shoulder blade pain is quite confusing, as the causes are not always known. There can be multitudinous causes of sharp right shoulder pain. Some of them are of minor consequence that need no medical intervention, while others are grave and need to be addressed as early as possible.
Minor Causes of Pain under Right Shoulder Blade
These are some of the causes of pain under the right shoulder blade that are not serious. This does not mean that the pain should be ignored; it is always a good practice to let your doctor know about any pain that does not seem to have a cause that can be determined easily.
► For many people, sitting in front of a computer working constantly is one of the reasons for developing pain under the right shoulder blade. Using the computer mouse, and sitting an uncomfortable distance away from the keyboard contributes to this pain.

► Carrying a child over the right shoulder can also be a reason for pain under the right shoulder blade.

► Similar to carrying a child, carrying anything heavy on the right shoulder, like a heavy purse, school books, or bags on a daily basis can also lead to pain under the right shoulder.

► Incorrect posture often results in body pain. Slouching while sitting on a chair, leaning incorrectly, etc., all result in muscle strain, which eventually manifests as pain under your right shoulder blade.

► Similarly, muscle pain resulting out of an incorrect sleeping position can also manifest in pain under the right shoulder blade. Athletes and other sportsmen also experience right shoulder pain quite often. It is mostly due to a muscle injury while playing.

Major Causes of Pain under Right Shoulder Blade

These are some of the more serious causes of pain under the right shoulder blade. These are the reasons that pain under the shoulder blades should never be ignored.
Heart Attack
In males, heart attack symptoms include pain in shoulders; in women, the symptoms include pain between the shoulder blades. However, a heart attack is determined by several other symptoms as well. Hence, if you are exhibiting other symptoms along with pain under the right shoulder, then do not hesitate to call an ambulance as early as possible. The other symptoms of heart attack include excessive sweating, pain in the left side of the chest, dizziness, vomiting, etc.

Gallbladder Attack
Gallstones and other gallbladder diseases often cause pain under the right shoulder blade. Gallstones often obstruct the bile flow and cause pain in the upper abdomen. Though pain is usually experienced in the upper abdomen, it may also move up towards the shoulders; specifically the right shoulder. Gallstone attacks can last for 15 minutes to a few hours. Moreover, once the attack is over, it may not surface again for weeks or even months. In severe cases, a person may experience vomiting or nausea in addition to shoulder and abdomen pain. Normally, gallstone attacks follow a heavy meal, rich in fats.

Liver Diseases
Liver diseases, such as liver cancer and liver abscess, may also cause pain under the right shoulder blade. Liver cancer is responsible for shoulder pain when it spreads to other parts of the body. Liver abscess, which is a bacterial infection of the liver, also causes pain in the shoulder region. The infection eats away a part of your liver, generating a gaping hole in the liver, which is often the source of pain. As the liver is located right underneath your rib cage, the pain from the liver easily travels to the shoulder region.

Breast Cancer
Often, shoulder pain is an indication of cancer of the breast that has spread to other parts of the body. If you have cancer in the right breast, then you will more commonly experience pain in the right shoulder. Women susceptible to cancer must get screened on a priority basis if they experience pain under the right shoulder.

Finally, arthritis can also cause a stabbing pain in and around your shoulder region. It also restricts the movement of your arm. Arthritis pain can be controlled with the help of certain medications.

Apart from the above mentioned causes, there are some perfectly benign causes of this condition, which include pinched nerve, muscle spasms, sprains, etc. Hence, you need not always worry should you experience this condition.
As evident from the above information, the treatment options for pain under the shoulder blades depends upon the underlying cause. The cause can be decided only after a proper diagnosis is made. Hence, it is very important that you see a physician if you experience this condition on a regular basis. Even occasional severe acute pain should be reported to the doctor. Only a physician can ascertain the right cause and impart necessary treatment.

Call your doctor if you feel chest pain, tightness, trouble while breathing, and nausea for a long time. You can keep a check on other symptoms (if any) that may accompany this condition. This can provide valuable information for your physician in diagnosing your condition.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for information purposes only, and must not be used as a substitute for a medical practitioner's advice.