Pain under the left shoulder blade in the back, an alarming signal from the body from behind. What does that mean?

Pain appearing on the left under the shoulder blade is a fairly common symptom that can manifest itself in both men and women, and even children. At first glance, such symptoms may seem frivolous, but in fact, pain under the left shoulder blade from behind can be a harbinger of a number of dangerous diseases.

The reasons for the occurrence of such a pain syndrome are diverse and most often not associated with problems on the shoulder blades themselves. Most often, inflammatory and pathological processes in other organs and systems are the cause of pain.

Pain under the left shoulder blade is a signal of one of the most serious illnesses

Why does it hurt under the left shoulder blade?

To understand why there is pain under the shoulder blade, one needs to remember the anatomical structure of a person. In fact, most of the time the pain is in the very organs that are nearby, although it happens that the pain radiates along the nerve fibers far from the focus of the disease.

The left shoulder blade is on the ribs that make up the chest. The ribs are connected by ligaments and intercostal muscles, and there are intercostal vessels and intercostal nerves between each rib. The intercostal nerves, in turn, branch off from the spinal cord, which is located in the trunk of the spine, central to the shoulder blade. Together with the ribs, the shoulder blade protects the left heart, left lungs, stomach, spleen, pancreas, and aorta.

Based on this localization, the causes of pain can be divided into two main groups:

  1. Pain related to musculoskeletal disorders and muscle pain.
  2. Pain associated with pathological changes in the work of internal organs (diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, spleen, respiratory organs).

The cause of pain in the shoulder blade can be determined by its type, intensity and localization:

  • Pain radiating to the left shoulder blade. . .The pathological source of such pain can be far from the pain site. Most often, this symptom is typical of diseases of the stomach or heart.
  • Aching pain under the left shoulder blade. . . Indicates the presence of a lengthy chronic process. Such painful manifestations can be associated with chronic heart diseases (pericarditis, myocarditis), as well as with cervical osteochondrosis of the spine.
  • Dull pain under the left shoulder blade. . . Most often it occurs against the background of the development of thoracic or cervical osteochondrosis. Usually, painful sensations spread from the back of the head along the back, arm, under the shoulder blade and are accompanied by nausea, dizziness, numbness (tingling) of the hands.
  • Severe pain under the left shoulder blade. . . Severe pain is not typical of the scapular zone, so it serves as a signal for a life-threatening pathological condition. At best, severe pain may indicate intercostal neuralgia, but more often such sensations indicate the presence of a gastric ulcer and the development of a pre-infarct state.
  • Sharp pain under the left shoulder blade. . . Intercostal neuralgia can cause severe pain - at the same time, when inhaling, the pain syndrome increases significantly, there is a feeling that "it takes your breath away". Sharp pain can be caused by left-sided pneumonia in the acute phase, while the patient experiences stabbing and stabbing symptoms throughout the left side of the chest, radiating to the left shoulder blade. Sharp pains may occur less often when the pancreatitis worsens - the pain has shingles and a cramp-like character.
  • The woman is worried about the pain under the left shoulder blade in the back from behind
  • Drawing pain under the left shoulder blade. . .May indicate the initial stage of the development of cervical osteochondrosis. The pain starts just below the occiput and radiates to the left (or right) side of the back.
  • Burning sensation under the shoulder blade. . . This symptom may indicate persistent intercostal neuralgia, angina attacks, myocardial infarction. Sometimes the appearance of a burning sensation under the shoulder blade can indicate the development of vegetative-vascular dystonia. In this case, the pain is accompanied by tachycardia, hand tremors and a strong feeling of fear.
  • Constant pain under the left shoulder blade. . . This pain syndrome can indicate the development of left sided pneumonia. In this case, the pain is accompanied by dry cough, low fever, lack of air, shortness of breath.
  • Shooting pain under the left shoulder blade. . .Sharp pain (so-called "lumbago") is usually a sign of osteochondrosis, but can also indicate intercostal neuralgia. Tingling in the back from exertion, deep breathing or coughing can be signs of pleurisy or pneumonia.
  • Pressing pain. . . Indicates the development of osteochondrosis, may also indicate the initial stages of coronary artery disease and an exacerbation of vegetative-vascular dystonia.
  • Throbbing pain. . .In this way, the protrusion of the intervertebral disc on the left side in the thoracic or cervical spine is most often expressed. Pulsating pain can indicate a herniated disc or an incipient aortic dissection.
  • Acute pain under the left shoulder blade. . . Indicates dangerous conditions and requires immediate medical attention. The causes of the pain syndrome can be: attacks of angina pectoris, left-sided bulging of the intervertebral disc, gastric ulcer.

The nature of the pain and its localization can vary, but most often the painful sensations under the left shoulder blade are a very dangerous symptom that requires immediate medical intervention.

What diseases can cause pain under the left shoulder blade?

The painful syndrome on the left under the shoulder blade is most often caused by pathologies of the musculoskeletal system, heart, stomach and bronchopulmonary system.

Consider the possible diseases, accompanied by pain under the left shoulder blade, and the accompanying symptoms.

Diseases The nature of pain Associated symptoms
Musculoskeletal system
Shoulder scapular periatritis The pain occurs in the shoulder area and radiates to the shoulder blade. The patient cannot move freely (cannot put his hands behind his head because of pain), the joints crunch when moving.
Intercostal neuralgia The painful sensation is localized in one of the intercostal spaces and is accompanied by a feeling of numbness. The pain syndrome increases when you bend to the left. In the course of the inflamed area, redness may appear, characteristic rashes may appear.
Back muscle disorders (myositis, inflammation, lesions) Back pain is severe, it can hurt in nature. On the left side, pain occurs when the shoulder blade is injured when the muscles are stretched.
oncology Aching pains under the left shoulder blade or sharp pains of a constant nature. With tumors of the shoulder blade, the chest area behind it is deformed.
trauma Intense pain syndrome, especially in the first hours immediately after the injury. If the pain increases with movement, or if there is swelling, or swelling, the problem may be a fracture of the shoulder blade or rib.
Osteochondrosis, spondylosis, thoracic scoliosis, herniated disc Severe pain manifests itself either permanently or as "lumbago". Unpleasant sensations appear in the spine - the feeling of being "driven into a stake".
Heart disease
Angina pectoris Pain under the left shoulder blade from behind from behind occurs with exertion and radiates into the left arm, the left shoulder blade, and sometimes the left jaw. It is accompanied by shortness of breath, fear of death.
Heart attack Burning pain under the left shoulder blade from the side of the heart. Pills do not relieve heart pain. The left hand becomes numb, there is severe shortness of breath, the sternum begins to "burn".
Pericarditis and myocarditis Painful pain character on the left side. It is accompanied by chills, which are more common at night, and a rise in temperature.
Aneurysm of the ascending aorta dissecans The pain syndrome migrates from top to bottom. The pain first appears in the chest, then gradually moves under the left shoulder blade and further down the lower back. A sharp drop in pressure.
Diseases of the bronchopulmonary system
Pneumonia on the left side The pain is moderately intense. Cough with phlegm, wheezing in the lungs, fever.
pleurisy Pain is felt when breathing Shortness of breath, wheezing in the lungs.
Gastrointestinal diseases
Stomach ulcer The pain under the shoulder blade is accompanied by a burning sensation (more often at night). Pain when eating.
Perforated ulcer Sharp and stabbing pain (like a stinging). Fever, vomiting.
Acute pancreatitis Shingles pain, sometimes radiating to the side. Flatulence, repeated vomiting, fever.

Other accompanying symptoms of pain syndrome can help determine the disease caused by pain on the left under the shoulder blade:

  • Pain worsens after eating- gastric ulcer, pancreatitis, gastritis.
  • The pain worsens when you sneeze- Bone diseases, trauma, pleurisy, neuralgia, joint and muscle diseases.
  • Pain is felt when turning the head- Osteochondrosis, collarbone injury.
  • Pain occurs when swallowing- Diseases of the esophagus, psychosomatic disorders.
  • Pain is accompanied by shortness of breath- pleurisy, cardiac pathology, intercostal neuralgia.
  • With pleurisy, heart disease, and intercostal neuralgia, pain under the left shoulder blade can be accompanied by severe shortness of breath
  • When there is pain, a cough occurs- Damage to the respiratory tract.
  • The appearance of the temperature- infectious and inflammatory processes: pericarditis, purulent pleurisy, subphrenic abscess.
  • The pain is accompanied by numbness in the left arm.- Angina pectoris, osteochondrosis, myocardial infarction.
  • Nausea and belching accompany pain- Pathology of the gastrointestinal tract (pancreatitis, ulcer, gastritis).
  • When there is pain, numbness occurs in the tongue- Angina pectoris, osteochondrosis, heart attack.

Pregnant women experience pain under the shoulder blade for the same reasons as other people, but the expectant mother has a much higher risk of developing certain diseases. The most likely cause of back pain on the left in a pregnant woman is osteochondrosis (due to the increased load on the spine), pyelonephritis (due to the displacement of the kidneys and activation of their activity), overuse of the back muscles.

In children, pain under the shoulder blade usually occurs as a result of trauma, with neuralgia (after hypothermia), myositis, pleurisy.

Diagnosis and treatment. Which doctor should I go to?

Depending on the type of pain and its manifestations, you should choose a doctor with whom you want to make an appointment:

  • Emergency doctor- with stabbing, severe pain, burning in the chest, shortness of breath, accompanied by pain with severe dizziness, severe weakness or loss of consciousness.
  • neurologist- if the pain is associated with exertion or movement.
  • Traumatologist- if the pain occurred after an injury.
  • Cardiologist- with burning behind the sternum, reaching under the shoulder blade, in the left hand, in the jaw.
  • Pulmonologist (or therapist)- if the sensations of pain increase with breathing and are accompanied by cough, shortness of breath, fever.
  • Gastroenterologist- if the pain is related to meals and accompanied by dyspeptic disorders.
  • The surgeon- Pain under the shoulder blade is accompanied by a deformation of the sternum, with sharp pains accompanied by a high fever.

If it is difficult to independently decide on the choice of a doctor, it is worth contacting a therapist who, based on the results of the examination, will make an appointment with a close specialist.

Diagnostic measures are prescribed depending on the reasons that caused the pain under the left shoulder blade, rear:

  • General examination - patient history and questioning, visual examination (measuring pulse, blood pressure, temperature, palpation, hearing), blood and urine tests.
  • X-ray examination, CT and MRI - determines the pathology of the spine and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, as well as diseases of the pulmonary system.
  • Ultrasound of the abdominal organs, EGD - gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Ultrasound and EKG - prescribed for the examination of cardiovascular diseases.
Long-term pain under the left shoulder blade in a man that requires a visit to a therapist

The treatment regimen for left shoulder blade pain is selected specifically for each disease - there is no single treatment protocol.

Important!Treatment for pain under the left shoulder blade is primarily the treatment of a disease that causes pain syndrome.

If the pain is related to cardiovascular disease, heart medication is prescribed, a diet that spares physical and psycho-emotional activities is prescribed.

Gastrointestinal disorders that cause pain are treated with antacids and a gentle diet.

Musculoskeletal disorders are treated with the help of long-term therapy, including the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, the performance of special therapeutic exercises.

Surgical treatment is prescribed when conservative therapy is ineffective. With a perforated ulcer, severe diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, rupture of the spleen, intervertebral hernia, surgical intervention is mandatory.

If there is pain under the left shoulder blade, then a medical examination is imperative to avoid the appearance and development of life-threatening pathologies.