Causes of pain under the left shoulder blade in the back

To understand which pathology your body is overcoming, you need to accurately describe the symptoms. Low back pain under the left scapula is a common symptom of serious health problems. The difficulty in diagnosing a specific disease is that the pain in this region of the lower back can manifest itself in various pathologies. From vascular lesions to pathologies of the nervous system.

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Types of pain

When there is pain on the left side under the scapula, it is necessary to understand its nature. Several types of pain are known:

  1. The pain under the left scapula of the zone character lasts a long time, the discomfort covers an area of the lower back. During a painful attack, there is a feeling of shortness of breath, cough and shortness of breath appear. The condition is associated with the presence of nerve pulsations in the intercostal space.
  2. The burning sensation is accompanied by numbness of part of the skin. The patient feels tingling all over the body.
  3. Growing character. The peculiarity of this type is that the whole left arm begins to ache, causing an increase in muscle tone. Hand movements become unbearable.
  4. Acutely intense. The person loses the ability to lie on the left side. Shortness of breath is noted with difficult inhalation. Movement increases the pain, then it becomes difficult to move.
  5. Anxiety behind the scapula is characterized by displacement. The cutting pain occurs in the left scapula, then is localized in the center along the spine. The patient sighs.
  6. Intense and painful, can be called the easiest manifestation of the above. In the scapular region, lift the painful arm only when the person is moving.
  7. Traction syndrome is seen in the upper back, in the lower part of the spine.
  8. And another kind - sharp character.
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The list is not limited to the types of pain symptoms listed. There is a feeling of excruciating pain and tingling, which can not be confused with other manifestations.

Attention should be paid to the nature of the pain syndrome. It will be easier for a doctor to diagnose your pathology.

What causes the appearance of the syndrome?

Why is there discomfort under the scapula? The appearance of pain under the scapula can be explained by human anatomy. Often a part of the body is affected, and the unpleasant sensations from it spread to other organs along the nerve trunks. The left shoulder blade "stretches" over the costal arches that together form the rib cage. The costal arches are connected to each other by ligaments and intercostal muscles.

Beneath each rib are blood vessels and nerves extending from the spinal cord and spinal column. The rib and left scapula complex have a protective function. Limit any damage to internal organs: heart, left lung, stomach, spleen, pancreas and aorta.

The anatomical position of the scapula can cause two major groups of pain:

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  1. Due to the violation of the musculoskeletal system. This includes muscle pain syndrome.
  2. Feelings due to dysfunction of internal organs.


The following types of diagnostics are prescribed to determine the cause of the onset of pain and make a correct diagnosis:

  • X-ray examination of the spine.
  • Gastroscopy.
  • CT, MRI.
  • ECG.
  • Ultrasound of the abdominal organs.
  • UAC, LHC.

Depending on the damage factor, a specialist will prescribe treatment.

What is connected with

If there is pain in the back, the sensation is localized under the left shoulder blade - it is usually associated with one of the following diseases:

  • Pathology of the musculoskeletal system;
  • Heart disease;
  • Diseases of the bronchopulmonary sphere;
  • Digestive system dysfunction.

Diseases of the musculoskeletal system

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There are cases when the manifestations of painful feelings are caused by the collapse of the skeleton. Patients suffering from osteochondrosis, curvature of the spine, spondyloarthritis, hernia and other diseases feel pain in the left under the scapula. There are two types of symptoms.

  • First, aches and pains are associated with chest pain. The character is in pain, restricts movement, does not allow to breathe deeply.
  • Another type feels like an intense colic.

Shoulder-scapular periarthritis is an inflammatory disease of the shoulder structure. Radiation pain occurs in the left arm, left half of the lower back, which causes stiffness and pain in the movements.

Sprengel syndrome is the presence of a pterygoid scapula in a patient that is congenital or the result of a disease. Long-term, tingling pain is characteristic.

Pathologies associated with the heart and blood vessels

Acute ischemia of the heart muscle - myocardial infarction. With a heart attack, compression in the thoracic region is characteristic. It spreads from the heart to the left scapula, arms and back. This condition can be fatal if left untreated. It is characterized by an open burning sensation and severe pain under the left shoulder blade, which interferes with normal inhalation and exhalation.

The difference between myocardial infarction is that nitroglycerin is not stopped, the attack lasts more than 15 minutes. Hand claws are common. We must not hesitate with the development of the state.

An attack of angina pectoris - a cardiological disease characterized by sharp incisions in the heart with radiation under the left scapula. Early manifestations - compression in the heart area spreads to the left. Cardialgia is depressing and sharp, can be aggravated by movement.

The difference between angina pectoris and a heart attack is that the attack of angina pectoris can be stopped by taking nitroglycerin or by physical and psychological relaxation. The cause of the attack is atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries. Triggers: hypothermia or overheating, alcohol abuse, overeating.

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Vegetative crisis is a condition similar to the manifestations of angina or heart attack. Weight and compression appear under the left scapula and in the sternum. The left shoulder spreads over the forearm, reaching the distal phalanges of the fingers. Radiates to the left side of the chin and the area between the shoulder blades.

It is characterized by pathological cold, inspiratory shortness of breath, chest tightness and lack of air. The syndrome is short-lived and spreads to the epigastric region and neck. You can stop the vegetative crisis by taking sedatives and tranquilizers.

Bronchopulmonary diseases

Respiratory diseases are also the cause of discomfort in the left back. If at least one lung is affected, the main site is pneumonia or pleurisy. The pain syndrome is accompanied by coughing, sneezing and deep breathing. Auscultation is characterized by wheezing in the lungs, fever, weight loss. It is very difficult to breathe. It is a kind of pain relief.

Disorders of the digestive system

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Increased pain is characteristic of gastric ulcers. It is associated with the use of food, the pain subsides after vomiting. Begins to withdraw in the stomach area. A sure sign that this is a stomach ulcer is a heartburn. It is painful not only in the subscapularis, but also on the left side of the chest. The process is accompanied by muscle tension, difficulty breathing.

If the pain syndrome occurs suddenly and manifests itself with sharp impulses, it is necessary to contact an ambulance immediately. Acute pancreatitis can cause serious concern. Feelings are gravel in nature, the attack develops suddenly. A rare cause may be a spleen rupture. Bleeding appears with trauma to the spleen tissue, it is almost impossible to stop. Urgent surgery is required.

Damage to the scapular region

  1. Cervical osteochondrosis.
  2. Disruption of the walls of the intercostal nerves.
  3. Scapular rib syndrome (occurs with physical overload, injury and can cause this syndrome).
  4. Malignant skeletal neoplasm.
  5. Osteomyelitis (may appear after a bullet wound)
  6. Defeat of the subscapularis.
  7. Shoulder-scapular periarthritis.


There are cases when painful feelings on the left are caused by psychological pathologies or strong psycho-emotional stress. The reason for the appearance of pain syndrome is clear to everyone, it causes stress and emotional stress. Psychosomatic diseases are accompanied by pain in the scapular region, somatic disorders are noted. These include:

  1. The temperature rises to high numbers.
  2. Compression, burning in the sternum.
  3. Round in the throat.
  4. Feeling short of breath.

Who to contact

Given the severity and nature of the pain under the scapula, you can seek help from the following specialists:

  • In case of sudden onset of symptoms with increasing pain and deteriorating health, it is necessary to call an ambulance.
  • Consult a traumatologist in case of trauma resulting in unpleasant sensations (stretching, weight lifting).
  • Difficulty breathing, blue skin tone, tingling in the chest should be an incentive to consult a cardiologist.
  • You should consult a neurologist and orthopedist in case of increasing pain with exercises with your hands, physical activity, spinal disorders.
  • Consult a doctor for low back pain under the left shoulder blade
  • Postprandial pain, dyspeptic disorders (nausea, vomiting) are a reason to visit a gastroenterologist.
  • Consult a pulmonologist if you have back pain, especially under the scapula, accompanied by cough and shortness of breath.
  • If the pain is permanent or temporary, if it appears for no reason, consult a therapist. After a thorough examination and diagnosis, the therapist directs the patient to a specialist.
  • If it is not possible to determine the cause of symptoms as a result of instrumental examination methods, it is often necessary to consult a psychologist and psychiatrist, along with stress, psycho-emotional stress.

Treatment of subscapularis pain

There is no general treatment plan for the treatment of patients experiencing pain in the upper region. Therapy is carried out taking into account the etiology of the disease. Treatment for symptoms associated with diseases of the musculoskeletal system is carried out according to the following protocol:

The patient needs special treatment.

  • Make peace. There are times when enough rest relieves muscle tension, restores function, and relieves pain.
  • Medical treatment is used in inflammatory processes. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are prescribed.
  • Antidepressants are prescribed for chronic pain that lasts for a long time.
  • Muscle relaxants are given with muscle spasms. For maximum effect, the drug is often prescribed in combination with NSAIDs, analgesics, massage and physiotherapy procedures, exercise therapy.
  • The appointment of massage courses has a beneficial effect on the condition of the muscles. Helps relieve muscle spasms, relieve pain, improve blood circulation & well-being
  • Acupuncture is used to restore nerve conduction and relieve painful symptoms.

The method of therapy is prescribed individually for bronchopulmonary, cardiological and gastrointestinal diseases. Necessary vitamins, antibacterial drugs, analgesics and NSAIDs are selected.

Patients with symptoms of heart attack and angina pectoris are hospitalized urgently.

When aneurysms and severe pathologies are diagnosed, they resort to surgery.


  1. Daily training, gymnastics. Half an hour walk.
  2. A fully balanced diet.
  3. Prevents damage to bones & joints

What the doctor says

Medical professionals advise patients with angina pectoris or heart attack to take prescribed medications regularly, follow a diet, and avoid stress. Long-term treatment and exercise therapy with NSAIDs are required for spinal disease. Pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract are stopped by the use of special drugs and diet.

Doctors advise to follow a healthy lifestyle, it is easier to prevent a disease than to treat it.

The result

If you know the exact cause of the discomfort under the left shoulder blade, you can start treatment faster. The cause of the concern must be properly identified. See a doctor immediately when signs of any pathology appear. Bless you!