Shoulder blade pain can be an obtrusive ailment that often interferes with your life at work and at home. If you are experiencing should blade pain, you may find it difficult to perform even the most basic of tasks, such as carrying bags or reaching for an item on a shelf. For many people, this type of pain does not actually originate in the shoulder blade, but is instead a symptom of pain elsewhere. If you are experiencing pain along your shoulder blade, consider reading the guide below to learn more about the types and causes of shoulder blade pain.
Causes of Shoulder Blade Pain
The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the human body, involving several different muscles that allow us to move our arms in almost any direction. Pain in the shoulder blade can be equally complex and may originate from a variety of activities. Typically, the pain can be categorized into two groups: chronic and acute.
Chronic pain is often caused by repeated motions that regularly put stress on shoulder muscles and the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a group of four different muscles that stabilize the shoulder and help it move and rotate freely. If any of these muscles become strained because of a work-related activity or sport, for instance, the rotator cuff may fail to properly support the shoulder, causing pain along the shoulder blade.
Acute pain, on the other hand, is caused by a one-time impact or strain. For example, straining one’s shoulder in an accident or landing hard on the shoulder during physical activity can cause acute pain. Damage to any of the shoulder muscles can put excess strain along the shoulder blade, causing noticeable pain. This type of ailment can also be caused by an irritated nerve in the neck or by a strained trapezius muscle in the back.
Ergonomics and Shoulder Blade Pain
While shoulder blade pain is sometimes caused by injury or repeated stress, many people today unnecessarily suffer from this type of pain because of their posture and desk layout at work. These issues can cause or aggravate shoulder blade pain by contributing to:
- Muscle tension
- Neck or back strain
- Repetitive motion strain
If you experience shoulder blade pain while at work, consider modifying your workstation to include ergonomic office products that relieves stress on your neck and back. Taking a few moments to adjust your desk layout to meet your body’s unique measurements and range of motion can help to minimize your work-related shoulder blade pain.
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