Many of us experience shoulder pain, although typically in different ways. For some, it may be a sharp or burning sensation while for others it’s achy and tinder. Regardless of the type of pain, this may limit movements and interfere with daily activities. So, what could be the cause of shoulder pain?

Typical Causes of Shoulder Pain:

Improper Posture:

Some of us work at desk jobs and tend to sit for long periods of time with poor posture. Eventually, this can cause serious damage, such as structural changes that can cause pain in your shoulder. There are many different improper posture positions we use while working on a computer, such as hunching over a keyboard or sitting to one side. This poor posture can even be from looking down at a cell phone or a tablet, causing you to look downward. These types of improper positions put pressure on your spine and can weaken your muscles. This adds pressure on your spinal muscles, discs, and ligaments. Thus causing upper back and shoulder pain.

Also see, The Importance of Proper Posture.

Incorrect Lifting Technique:

It’s very important to use proper technique when lifting. An improper lifting technique can cause injury to your back or shoulders. For instance, lifting an object that is too heavy can often misalign your spine and put pressure on your back. It is also advised to be careful when lifting objects overhead, if an object is too heavy you might sprain ligaments or strain muscles, even potentially injury your shoulder or spine. Remember that even lifting a box from your doorstep improperly can cause injury. 


This has probably happened to most of us at one time or another, whether it be helping someone move, lifting overhead to paint a ceiling or participating in a new sport, these activities can cause your shoulders and back to be worked more than usual. When this occurs it can lead to ligament and muscle strains, causing pain in your spine and between your shoulder blades. 

Cervical Herniated disc:

A herniated disc occurs when the outer layer of disc tears or splits, causing the gel-like cushion to poke out. Sometimes, a herniated disc can cause pain and inflammation to a nearby nerve root, causing pain radiating pain down into your arm, shoulder or leg. Although less common, a disc herniation in your thoracic spine could also be cause for shoulder blade pain.

Rib Dislocation:

While this is also not very common, it is possible for a rib to dislocate and become misaligned from overhead or repetitive movement. A dislocated rib can lead to sharp shoulder pain. This comes as a result of a rib that isn’t aligned properly which can limit arm movements and breathing.

Heart Condition:

A result of some heart conditions can cause pain in the shoulder blade area. Heart problems, such as a tear in one of the large arteries can cause intense pain that is often felt in the shoulder blade. It’s also common for women to experience pain in the upper back and shoulder when having a heart attack.

Compression Fracture:

A weak vertebral bone in the upper back can fracture and compress leading to pain that eases with rest and is often sensitive to touch. A compression fracture is most common in the elderly and is caused by osteoporosis.

If pain affects your daily routines or exists for more than a week, seek help from a medical professional. If it is accompanied by headaches, nausea or fatigue, seek medical help immediately. For a preferred specialist in South Florida, call 1-888-409-8006 for more information.