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Causes of left shoulder blade pain

Updated February 21, 2017

Left shoulder pain is not an uncommon ailment, and it can affect people of all ages. In most cases this pain is very treatable, but understanding the cause of it is key in finding the proper treatment. If you suffer from pain in your left shoulder blade, learn a few things about what can be causing your pain, in order to better alleviate it.

Ageing Pains

One common cause of left shoulder blade pain can simply be the ageing process. As you get older, your joints and bones begin to become weaker and more brittle, making them more susceptible to arthritis that can cause aches and pains. Usually, your doctor will help you find a treatment method that fits the severity of your case.

Sleeping Wrong

Another cause of pain you may be feeling in your shoulder is simply by sleeping on the left shoulder the wrong way. Sleeping wrong can cause the muscle to set wrong or make your shoulder blade feel out of whack for a few days. It typically will subside with the help of a hot bath and preventive steps. Try sleeping differently or on another side, or using two pillows instead of one to prevent the pain from returning.

Pinched Nerve

If your shoulder blade pain also presents with pain that travels down your arm, a possible cause can be a pinched nerve. Pinched nerves are usually very treatable with either over-the-counter medication or muscle relaxers that your doctor can prescribe. In some cases, a pinched nerve may also receive physiotherapy treatment to prevent it from returning.

Rotator Cuff or Muscle

Another pain in your shoulder blade can be caused due to a torn rotator cuff or muscle in the shoulder. These pains can usually be diagnosed easily because they are usually caused by injury or during physical activity. Often, your doctor will do an X-ray to diagnose this issue, and in many cases, it can be fixed with surgery and physiotherapy.

Flu Pains

A common cause of mild shoulder blade pain can also be simple illness from the flu or a bad cold. This is usually because of body aches and pains caused by inflammation associated with illnesses and viruses. Pains like this typically go away shortly after the illness itself does, but to help alleviate them faster, try using hot compresses or a heating and cooling gel.

Extreme Pain

A more serious cause of pain in your left shoulder blade can actually be a signal of something wrong in another part of your body, like your organs. Typically this pain will be felt most in the lower part or just underneath the shoulder blade. Pain in the left shoulder blade can signal issues with organs in the chest and abdominal area such as the heart or stomach.

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About the Author

Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.