Manage Back Pain

Middle Back Pain:

Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Middle back pain is a common complaint where the ligaments, joints and muscles are put under excess pressure due to a poor sitting posture or lifting technique.



Do you suffer with pain between your shoulder blades - especially while sitting for any length of time? Middle back pain is a pain arising anywhere between the shoulder blades and the waist.

This is a common complaint where the ligaments, joints and muscles of your mid back are put under excess pressure due to a poor sitting posture. When your mid back is placed on stretch for an excess length of time - or repetitively over time - it will eventually become strained and cause pain. I often ask my clients to stretch their little finger backwards with pressure for one minute - which illustrates the pain that comes from this type of straining.



Back pain between shoulder blades is a type of pain I find very satisfying to work with ... and it is a condition for which manual treatment really gets results!


There are a number of underlying causes to this type of shoulder blade pain such as incorrect posture, disc injuries, whiplash injuries and sometimes lung conditions.

Treatments include postural correction, manipulation and specific exercises to strengthen the area.


So, back pain between your shoulder blades is very common. It can be due to:


Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades Poor sitting posture: Is the most common cause of pain between shoulder blades that I see on a daily basis. COnside this - your spine should naturally curve outwards slightly at your shoulder blade level. However poor sitting posture is very common, and usually results in your mid-back curving outwards too much. This results in excess pressure being placed on this area of your spine. The result is usually middle back pain between your shoulder blades.

Over time, this condition may result in over-stretching of your muscles and ligaments around this area, which will eventually scream at you to unload them by giving you pain! The treatment of this condition involves correcting to good posture to unload the overstretched tissues and then back strengthening exercises to make a natural sitting posture easier to maintain.




Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades Thoracic kyphosis: Your thoracic spine will natually curve outwards, but if you have an excessive curve in your mid-back it is called a "thoracic kyphosis". If you leave this posture (which can be genetical or due to poor sitting habits) untreated, it can cause moderate to severe and chronic shoulder pain in the shoulder blade area.

Treatment is required to correct the curve where possible - but when it is structural and cannot be corrected, exercises are required to strengthen this area of your back and help unload the pressure on the strained muscles, joints and ligaments. Doing these exercises will ease your pain greatly, if not completely.






Lung conditions: If you have a chest infection or lung condition you may get pain between your shoulder blades. Treatment includes treating the lung complaint with medication and breathing exercises, as well as unloading the muscles and joints affected by your lung condition (also see upper back pain lungs).




Disc injuries: May arise in your neck or mid-back, and may refer pain to between your shoulder blades. Treatment is directed towards realigning your disc, followed by specific disc exercises to strengthen and mobilise your back so that you will not have a re-occurrence.




Whiplash injuries: May refer pain into your mid-back and between your shoulder blades. Treatment is needed to unload the affected spinal leves, followed by mobilisation exercises and specific exercise foe whiplash to resolve your whiplash injury. As always, diagnosis is the key! Ensure that you receive a correct diagnosis from your Physiotherapist - this will ensure that the correct treatment is applied for your specific situation.


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The information on this web site does not replace specific medical advice. It should only be used to complement advice from your doctor. Always seek in-person advice from a doctor or other qualified health provider for your particular condition.