Neck and lower back pain are the most common types of back pain, so it can be challenging to discover the cause of pain in your shoulder blade or around your spine.

Identifying the cause can help you better deal with the pain, prevent you from making the pain worse, and help you find a chiropractor that can provide effective treatment.


7 Causes of Upper Back Pain

1. Poor Posture


Your spine can undergo structural changes if you sit with poor posture for long periods of time. You may not realise it, but sitting at your work desk or on your cell phone with a hunched back, while tilting your head down, or sitting to one side can weaken your muscles and place strain on spinal discs, muscles, and ligaments. This can eventually cause pain in the upper back.

2. Overuse

A woman reaches for her painful shoulder blade.

Participating in activities that you would not do on a regular basis, such as helping a friend move furniture, can lead to muscle strains and sprained ligaments, as you are overworking muscles that you would not normally use.


3. Improper Lifting Technique

When lifting heavy objects, a proper technique must be used to lift the weight without causing injury. Not using the proper technique puts pressure on your upper back and stretches the ligaments around your shoulder blade.


4. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition. Its common symptoms include fatigue and widespread pain, such as tenderness and pain in the upper back. The pain caused by fibromyalgia can be a dull ache or a sharp, shooting pain, which comes and goes.

5. Dislocated Rib

Repetitive strain on the body caused by lifting objects overhead can lead to a dislocated rib. This can cause difficulty breathing and a sharp pain near your shoulder blade.


6. Compression Fracture

Compression fractures are caused when a vertebral bone weakens and compresses. This can cause upper back pain if the vertebral bone was in your upper back.

7. Thoracic Herniated Disc

Although uncommon, a herniated disc in the thoracic spine (upper back) can occur when the outer layer of a disc breaks and the inner layer of the disc starts to leak. This can cause pain and may inflame a nearby nerve root.


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