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"What is the pain I am experiencing below my shoulder blade?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat is the pain I am experiencing below my shoulder blade?


There is a pain below my left shoulder blade that won?t go away. It is starting to spread throughout my back and I?m worried. Is it possible I need surgery?


Shoulder pain is one of the more common musculoskeletal complaints. The shoulder is the most movable joint in the body and is also one of the most unstable joints. As a result, it is a site of many common problems. The shoulder blade is largely involved in the different movements of the human arms. Not surprisingly, pain around shoulder blade has numerous causes. Being overly used, the shoulder blade may suffer swelling and inflammation. One possibility is the inflammation of the tissues or tendons surrounding the shoulder blade. The tendons and ligaments in the scapula region or the muscles surrounding the shoulder blade may have been dislocated, torn or strained. Of course, not all types of shoulder blade pain arise from an inflammation. It may be an indication of a disease not directly related; such pain may be a signal from another part of the body which is termed "referred pain." Thus, your pain may be a referred pain from the lower part of the neck, or from the lower part of the back. On the other hand, it may indicate severe medical problems or conditions in the other organs of the body. It is challenging to establish a diagnosis without a thorough medical history, a physical exam and diagnostic tests. I would recommend a visit to a primary care doctor for consultation who may refer you to a specialist if warranted.

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