Causes of pain under the left shoulder blade in the back behind

To understand what pathology has hit your body, you need to accurately describe the symptoms. Back pain under the left scapula is a common symptom of serious health problems. The difficulty in determining a specific disease is that pain in this region of the back can manifest itself in various pathologies. From vascular injuries to pathologies of the nervous system.

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Types of Pain Sensation

When pain appears on the left under the scapula, it is necessary to understand what type it is. Several types of pain are known:

  1. Pain under the left scapula of a type of shingles lasts a long time, the discomfort covers an area of the back. During a painful attack, there is a feeling of shortness of breath, coughing and shortness of breath appear. The situation is linked to the fact that in the intercostal space there is a nervous pulsation.
  2. The burning sensation is accompanied by numbness of a part of the skin. The patient feels a tingling sensation that spreads throughout the body.
  3. Growing character. The peculiarity of this type is that the whole left arm starts to ache, causing an increase in muscle tone. Making hand movements becomes unbearable.
  4. Intense sharp. The person loses the ability to lie on the left side. Shortness of breath with difficulty in inhalation is observed. The movement increases the pain, so it's difficult to move.
  5. Discomfort in the posterior part of the scapula, characterized by dislocation. The stabbing pain occurs in the left scapula and is then located in the center along the spine. The patient gives an audible sigh.
  6. Dull and painful, one might say, the easiest manifestation of those listed above. Whimpering in the scapula region will only be when the person moves, raise the painful arm.
  7. The pull syndrome will appear in the upper back, running down the spine to the lower back.
  8. And another type - a sharp character.
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The list is not limited to the listed types of pain symptoms. There are sensations of pain and tingling that cannot be confused with other manifestations.

Attention must be paid to the nature of the pain syndrome. It will be easier for a specialist doctor to determine your pathology.

What triggers the onset 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 sensation it causes spreads along the nerve trunks to other organs. The left shoulder blade "meets" in the costal arches, which together form the rib cage. With the help of ligaments and intercostal muscles, the costal arches are connected to each other.

Under each rib are the vessels and nerves that extend from the spinal cord, from the vertebral column. The rib and left scapula complex has a protective function. They restrict the internal organs from any kind of damage: heart, left lung, stomach, spleen, pancreas and aorta.

As a result of the anatomical location of the scapula, two large groups can be the cause of pain:

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  1. Caused by a violation of the musculoskeletal system. This also includes muscle pain syndrome.
  2. Feelings due to dysfunction of internal organs.


To establish the cause of pain onset and make the correct diagnosis, the following types of diagnoses are prescribed:

  • 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 the treatment.

what is connected with

If it hurts from behind, the sensation is localized under the left shoulder blade - usually associated with one of the following disorders:

  • Pathology of the musculoskeletal system;
  • Diseases of a cardiac nature;
  • Bronchopulmonary sphere diseases;
  • Digestive tract dysfunction.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

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There are cases in which the manifestations of painful sensations arise as a result of skeletal destruction. Patients suffering from osteochondrosis, spinal curvature, spondyloarthrosis, hernia and other conditions feel pain on the left under the scapula. The symptom is of two types.

  • First, pain and aches are associated with chest disease. The character is hurting, restricts movement, does not allow deep breathing.
  • Another type is felt in the form of severe cramps.

Scapular periarthritis is an inflammatory disease of the shoulder structure. Radiating pain occurs in the left arm, left half of the back, which causes stiffness and pain in movement.

Sprengel syndrome is the presence of a pterygoid scapula in a patient, congenital or resulting from a disease. Prolonged, tingling pain is characteristic.

Pathologies associated with the heart and blood vessels

Acute cardiac muscle ischemia - myocardial infarction. With a heart attack, compression in the chest region is characteristic. It spreads from the heart to the left scapula, upper arm and lower back. This condition can be fatal if left untreated. It is characterized by a pronounced burning sensation and intense pain under the left shoulder blade, which interferes with normal inspiration and expiration.

The difference between a myocardial infarction is that it is not stopped by taking nitroglycerin, the attack lasts more than 15 minutes. Numbness in the hands is common. With the development of the state, one cannot hesitate.

Disease of the cardiology sphere, manifested by sharp cuts in the heart radiating under the left scapula - an attack of angina pectoris. Primary manifestations - compression in the heart region spreads to the left side. Cardialgia is constrictive and acute, can be aggravated by movement.

The difference between angina pectoris and a heart attack is that an angina pectoris attack can be stopped with nitroglycerin or with physical and psychological rest. The cause of the attack is atherosclerosis of the cardiac (coronary) arteries. Provoking factors: hypothermia or overheating, alcohol abuse, abundant food intake.

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A vegetative crisis is a condition similar to the manifestations of angina or heart attacks. Heaviness and compression appear under the left scapula and on the sternum. It spreads over the left shoulder, forearm, reaches the distal phalanges of the fingers. It radiates to the left side of the jaw and into the area between the shoulder blades.

The pathology is characterized by chills, inspiratory dyspnea, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. The syndrome is short-lived and spreads to the epigastric region, neck. By taking sedatives and tranquilizers, you can stop the vegetative crisis.

Bronchopulmonary Diseases

Diseases of the respiratory system are also the cause of the appearance of unpleasant sensations in the posterior left region. The main place is occupied by pneumonia or pleurisy, if at least one lung is affected. Pain syndrome is accompanied by coughing, sneezing, and increased pain with deep breathing. Characterized by increased temperature, decreased weight, wheezing in the lungs on auscultation. It's very difficult to breathe. A kind of pain cuts.

Disorders in the organs of the digestive system

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Increased pain is characteristic of stomach ulcers. It is associated with the use of food, after vomiting, the pain weakens. In the stomach area, he starts pulling. A reliable sign that it is a peptic ulcer is heartburn. Painful not only on the subscapularis but also on the left side of the chest. The process is accompanied by muscle tension, difficulty breathing.

If the pain syndrome appears suddenly and manifests itself by acute impulses, it is necessary to urgently contact an ambulance. Acute pancreatitis can cause severe discomfort. Sensations are tiles in nature, the attack develops suddenly. A rare cause may be a ruptured spleen. With trauma to the splenic tissues, bleeding appears, almost impossible to stop. Emergency surgery is required.

Damage to the scapular region

  1. Cervical osteochondrosis.
  2. Violation of the intercostal nerve walls.
  3. Scapular rib syndrome (occurs with excessive physical exertion, injury, can also escape and cause this syndrome).
  4. Skeletal malignant neoplasm.
  5. Osteomyelitis (may appear after a gunshot wound)
  6. The defeat of the subscapularis.
  7. Shoulder-scapular periarthritis.


There are cases in which painful sensations appear on the left with psychological pathologies or strong psycho-emotional stress. The reason for the appearance of the painful syndrome is clear to everyone, it is caused by stress and emotional stress. Psychosomatic illnesses are accompanied by pain in the area of the scapula, somatic disturbances are noted. These include:

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

Who to contact

Given the intensity and nature of the pain under the scapula, you may want to seek help from the following specialists:

  • It is necessary to call an ambulance team in case of sudden onset of symptoms, with increased pain and deterioration of health.
  • In case of trauma, which resulted in unpleasant sensations (stretching, weight lifting), see a traumatologist.
  • Difficulty breathing, bluish skin tone, tingling in the chest region should be reasons for referral to the cardiologist.
  • It is necessary to consult a neurologist and orthopedist in case of pain that increases with the exercise of the hands, physical activity, with known disorders of the spine.
  • see a doctor for back pain under the left shoulder blade
  • Pain after eating, dyspeptic disorders (nausea, vomiting) are reasons to consult a gastroenterologist.
  • See a pulmonologist if your back hurts, especially on the left side under the scapula, accompanied by coughing and shortness of breath.
  • When the pain is permanent or temporary, it appears for no apparent reason, they go to a therapist. After a thorough examination and diagnosis, the therapist refers the patient to a restricted specialist.
  • If, as a result of instrumental examination methods, it was not possible to establish the cause of the symptoms, with frequent stress, psycho-emotional stress, consultation with a psychologist and psychiatrist is necessary.

Subscapular Pain Therapy

There is no general therapeutic plan for the treatment of patients suffering from upper back pain. Therapy is performed taking into account the etiology of the disease. For symptoms associated with disorders of the musculoskeletal system, treatment is carried out according to the following protocol:

It is necessary to give the patient special treatment.

  • Provides peace. There are times when sufficient rest removes muscle tension, restores function, and relieves pain.
  • The medical method of treatment is used for inflammatory processes. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are prescribed.
  • For long-lasting chronic pain, antidepressants are prescribed.
  • With muscle spasm, muscle relaxants are administered. To achieve the maximum effect, the drug is most often prescribed in combination with NSAIDs, analgesic drugs, massage and physiotherapy procedures, exercise therapy.
  • Appointing massage courses has a beneficial effect on the condition of the muscles. Helps relieve muscle spasm, relieve pain, improve blood circulation and well-being.
  • To restore nerve conduction, eliminate painful symptoms, acupuncture is used.

The method of therapy is prescribed for individual bronchopulmonary, cardiac, and gastrointestinal diseases. The necessary vitamins, antibacterial drugs, pain relievers and NSAIDs are selected.

Patients with symptoms of heart attack and angina pectoris are subject to emergency hospitalization.

When diagnosing aneurysm and serious pathologies, they resort to surgical intervention.


  1. Daily workout, gym. Walking for half an hour.
  2. Complete and balanced nutrition.
  3. Avoid joint and bone injuries.

what the doctor says

Medical experts recommend that patients who have had an angina pectoris or heart attack take prescribed medications regularly, follow a diet, and avoid stress. Spinal disease requires long-term NSAID therapy and exercise therapy. Gastrointestinal tract pathologies are interrupted by the use of special medications and adherence to a diet.

Doctors advise adherence to a healthy lifestyle, it is easier to prevent a disease than to cure.


If you know for sure the cause of the discomfort under your left shoulder blade, you can start treatment more quickly. It is necessary to correctly discover the cause of the discomfort. As soon as you have symptoms of any of the conditions considered, consult a doctor immediately. Be healthy!