Experiencing persistent pain between your shoulder blades? Don’t worry – this is a common complaint and one that’s usually caused by lifestyle factors or poor posture rather than anything serious. It’s also known as interscapular pain, and it can either be a sharp, jabbing sensation or a dull, throbbing ache. The pain might also affect other parts of your back or arms, and it can feel different on different days.
It can be irritating if pain between the shoulder blades is stopping you doing what you love, affecting your daily life or causing you to lose sleep. If that’s the case, check out our quick and easy tips to ease the pain between your shoulder blades.
What causes pain between the shoulder blades?
Lifestyle factor such as repeatedly over-exerting the muscles, hunching over a computer all day or sleeping on a poor quality mattress are some of the most likely causes of this kind of pain.
However, in some cases, pain between your shoulder blades can be an indication of something a bit more serious. Go to the doctor if you’re also experiencing chest pain or vomiting, or if you’ve ever suffered a traumatic injury to the spine.
How to overcome pain between the shoulder blades
Luckily, there are a number of exercises and remedies you can use to try and alleviate this kind of pain. Here are four of our favourites.
- Stretch. Position yourself on all fours on the floor, alongside an object that’s around knee-high when you’re standing. Place your palm on the object, so that your arm bends at a 90-degree angle. You’ll then twist the shoulder joint, and push the shoulder downwards toward the other hand. Remember to exhale as you do so, and repeat up to eight times with each arm.
- Have a massage. Massage is a deeply relaxing practice and tension is released from the muscles as they are gently manipulated. A massage should be a regular part of your health and wellness routine.
- Try yoga. There are plenty of asanas (or poses) within yoga which can help you to effectively target pain between the shoulder blades. The cat/cow postures are some of the best. To do this, get on all fours and keep your back in a neutral position, tucking your tailbone under. As you inhale, round out your spine and put your chin to your chest. Hold for a few seconds for exhaling, arching your back as much as you can and looking up to the ceiling. Repeat 8-10 times daily.
- Improve your posture. How you sit on a day to day basis can have a major impact on your muscles. To ease the persistent pain between your shoulder blades, readjust your screen so you can sit up tall at your desk. Pretend you’re squeezing a tennis ball between your shoulder blades to keep the muscles engaged.
- Warm up your muscles. Baths and a hot water bottle will temporarily alleviate the pain as well as having a relaxing effect.
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