16:22 PM

6 Things That Can Cause Pain Between Your Shoulder Blades

TheHealthy discusses common causes of pain between the shoulder blades, and how to find relief from discomfort, according to experts including HSS physiatrist Naimish Baxi, MD.

“Posture is probably the biggest contributing factor to scapular pain,” said Dr. Baxi. How you sit and stand all day can definitely lead to discomfort between the shoulder blades and around the scapula, particularly if you’re in a forward-leaning position for hours.

Poor posture stems from rounded shoulders and a C-curve in the upper spine. It includes a protracted, rather than retracted scapula, which means your shoulders round forward, instead of down your back and away from your ears. The neck also flexes forward and the shoulders internally rotate, explained Dr. Baxi. “Sitting in this posture for hours a day and weeks on end can cause muscle imbalances,” he noted. Improving your work setup to make it more ergonomic will also help adjust your posture. Dr. Baxi advised the computer screen should be at eye level with the keyboard close enough that you don’t have to reach for it. Elbows should flex about 120 degrees.

According to Dr. Baxi, it’s important to balance stretching the front of the body with strengthening the back of the body. “It’s even more important to strengthen than stretch,” he cited. “You can stretch all day, but you won’t improve posture if you can’t get your muscles to activate on their own.” For strengthening moves, focus on pulling exercises. A rowing machine can help you do this. Or try a reverse fly exercise, which stabilizes the muscles of the shoulders and strengthens the back. You want to perform moves that pull your shoulder blades together, as if you’re trying to hold a ball between them, advised Dr. Baxi.

A nerve-related issue that can lead to pain is scapular winging, a condition in which one or more of the shoulder blades sticks out rather than laying flat against the body. However, this is not very common, stated Dr. Baxi. 

Read the full article at Thehealthy.com.