Most of the time, shoulder pain in clavicle is the result of overuse, which can cause inflammation and irritation.
When this happens, your shoulder blades may rub together; this can cause your pain.
In the event of injury, you can also feel a sharp pain in your shoulder blade.
This pain can spread to your shoulder, arm, and shoulder blade.
It may be a dull ache that you feel in your shoulder or a sharp pain that feels like a stabbing.
A sharp pain in your shoulder blade can be the result of a dislocation.
Dislocation pain is sharp or stabbing pain that occurs when your shoulder blade breaks the surface of your clavicle.
Other symptoms of dislocation include:
- Pain that spreads to your shoulder or arm
- Shoulder swelling
- Shoulder muscle weakness
- Pain that gets worse if you move your shoulder
- Shoulder and arm pain that occurs more often than other types of clavicle pain
Symptoms of a pinched nerve
A pinched nerve occurs when one of the nerves in your shoulder blade is pinched.
The most common cause of a pinched nerve is trauma. The pain can spread to other parts of your shoulder, arm, or shoulder blade, or the pain can be so sharp and intense that you can’t bear the pressure.
Other symptoms include:
- Pain that comes on suddenly and gets worse when you move your shoulder
- Pain that gets worse after you’ve been inactive for a while
- Pain that gets worse after you’ve been sleeping for a while
- Sharp pain that feels like a pins and needles sensation
Pinched nerve pain can also be a sign of a herniated disc.
See your doctor right away if you have sharp pinched nerve pain that:
- Is accompanied by a sudden onset of pain
- Is worse if you move your shoulder
- Gets worse when you’re inactive
- Gets worse after you’ve been sleeping
If you have a herniated disc, your doctor may recommend a corticosteroid injection to relieve the pressure on the nerves.
Treatment for shoulder blade pain
In most cases, shoulder blade pain can be treated at home.
If you have shoulder blade pain that’s accompanied by shoulder instability, you may need to have surgery to relieve the shoulder pain.
Your doctor may recommend an orthotic brace to provide support to your shoulder blade and the muscles and tendons in your shoulder.
Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy to address the following:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of flexibility
- Muscle spasms
In cases of shoulder blade pain that’s the result of an injury, your doctor will likely recommend:
- A splint to stabilize your shoulder
- A sling to help you move your shoulder
- A brace to limit your movement
You may also need to get a corticosteroid injection, which helps relieve inflammation and pain.
If your pain is severe, your doctor may also recommend a nerve block or nerve graft.
Your doctor will inject a corticosteroid into the nerve to relieve the pain.
In some cases of shoulder blade pain, your doctor may prescribe a pain medication, such as:
- NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen
- Ibuprofen combined with a steroid
In cases of a pinched nerve, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to address the pain and other symptoms.
If your shoulder pain is chronic, you may need to see a physical therapist to address the problem.
At home, you can do the following:
- Apply ice to your shoulder blade
- Take a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen
- Try cold therapy, such as an ice pack
- Take a muscle relaxer, such as Flexeril
What is the outlook for shoulder blade pain?
Over-the-counter pain medication can reduce pain and inflammation. Sometimes, a corticosteroid injection can relieve the pain.
In severe cases, you may need surgery to relieve the pain.
In the event that you have a herniated disc, surgery to remove the disc may be necessary.
See your doctor right away if you have shoulder pain that’s severe or if the pain goes away after you take a pain reliever.
If the pain is accompanied by weakness, loss of flexibility, or spasms, you may need physical therapy.
Your doctor will likely recommend that you take a pain reliever, a muscle relaxer, and physical therapy as a treatment plan.
How can I treat shoulder blade pain at home?
There are a number of home treatment options for shoulder blade pain. Your doctor may recommend a physical therapy program at the hospital.
You may be able to relieve your pain with a home exercise program. If your pain is severe, you may need to do physical therapy at a hospital.
Here are some exercises that may help relieve shoulder blade pain:
- Pelvic tilt: Lie on your back and bend your knees. Hold this position for a few seconds and release. Repeat this several times.
- Supine bridge: Lie on your back with your knees bent. Lift your knees toward your chest, and hold for a few seconds.
- Chair arm circles: Sit in a chair with one arm at a time outstretched and the other bent at a 90degree angle. Make circles with the bent arm, then repeat with the straight arm.
- Chair rotation: Sit in a chair with one hand on the armrest and the other hand on the chair arm. Make a clockwise or counterclockwise movement with the bent arm.
- Shoulder blade squeeze: Lie on your back and keep your upper body and legs flat. Hold the shoulder blades in place with your hands. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat several times.
If these exercises don’t help, it may be a sign that you have a pinched nerve. In this case, you may need a steroid injection. You may also need an orthotic brace to stabilize your shoulder.
Shoulder blade pain is sometimes a sign of an injury or overuse.
Your doctor can determine the cause of your pain and recommend a treatment plan to address your symptoms.
When your pain is severe, you may need surgery to remove the damaged area and relieve pressure.
See your doctor if you have shoulder blade pain for more than two or three weeks
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