Shoulder blade pain is a constant nagging pain that is quite difficult to manage. It has various forms like pain in either left or right side of the shoulder; or pain between the two blades. The intensity of pain may vary from mild to acute; and can sometimes, even affect the daily activities.
The most common cause of pain is overstretching of muscles, tendons, etc. It can happen because of overuse of the shoulders, incorrect posture or any injury to the shoulders. With aging, the soft connective tissues of shoulders get degenerated and leads to this painful condition. Osteoarthritis is one such degenerative disease that, when affects the spine, causes pain in the elderly.
Shoulder pain can be a symptom of a number of underlying health conditions. Recurrent pain under right shoulder blade is a possible sign of gallbladder disease. During heart attack, the chest pain tends to get extended to the shoulders. Those who are suffering from some forms of cancer like esophagus cancer or lung cancer may also experience this type of pain.
Effective Pain Relief Methods
In case you suffer from pain that is severe, frequent, and is accompanied with other symptoms, it is recommended to consult the doctor immediately. In minor cases, the following remedies can be helpful.
➡ When you are suffering from pain, the first thing you need to do is to keep a watch on your day-to-day activities. Cut down on all those tasks that put pressure on your shoulders. The painful shoulder should be rested properly. For this, you have to take rest after regular intervals of time. It can be done either by lying flat on the floor or by supporting the back on a chair with back rest.
➡ Ice massage or application of cold pack on the shoulder is helpful, particularly, if there is some inflammation caused by overstretched muscles or other soft tissues. However, make sure you do not apply the ice directly on the skin surface. Always wrap up the ice-cube in a piece of cloth and then place it over the painful site. It has to be applied at least three times a day and the duration of each application should be around 15 minutes. This way both the pain and inflammation is brought down.
➡ Hot packs are also good for pain relief. On application of heat, the blood circulation in the affected muscles increases which heals up an injury fast and relieves the pain.
➡ It has been found that any kind of pain gets aggravated when a person is under stress. Therefore, for a quicker relief from the pain, it is important that you reduce stress and keep yourself in a relaxed state, both physically as well as mentally. If your work schedule is a hectic one, then it's time for you to slow down a bit, as far as your work is concerned.
➡ Take some time off and unwind your mind and body. Acupuncture can help you to tackle the stress related issues.
➡ When these remedies do not seem to work, you should take some medical advice. Doctors usually prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for temporary pain relief. In case of a severe pain, they may also administer steroid injections.
➡ Sometimes, a sling around the shoulders is beneficial as it restricts shoulder movements and offers stability to the entire shoulder area.
➡ Vitamin supplements and other nutritional supplements with calcium and phosphorus content help to strengthen the overall skeletal framework of the body and are recommended to these patients. However, health care professionals should be consulted before taking any of the supplements.
➡ There are many simple exercises that you can do on your own for controlling shoulder muscle pain. Stretching exercises are the most effective for this purpose. Yoga is also an excellent way of relaxing the fatigued shoulder muscles.
➡ Those people who are overweight are more prone to shoulder pain, as their extra body weight puts additional strain on the back and shoulder muscles. In order to relieve this pain, obese people must lose some weight.
➡ If the pain is because of a particular underlying cause, like gallbladder disease, then it has to be treated properly and the painful symptom will disappear on its own.
The regular diet should be rich in proteins and carbohydrates. Protein is good for building up the muscles and carbohydrates meet up the energy required for the repairing the damaged tissues. It is recommended to take any medicine and painkillers only on consulting the doctor.
At times, the pain in the shoulder blades becomes so bad that the patients start losing hope that they will ever get relief from it. Hope this article revives their hope that proper treatment and a little bit of changes in the lifestyle can bring an end to the pain.
Disclaimer: This article is meant for educational purposes only. It is not to be substituted for proper medical advice and treatment.