Upper Back Pain Between Shoulder Blades

When it comes to upper back pain between shoulder blades, there is some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that there is a whole host of problems that can cause upper back pain between the shoulder blades.


The pain is not always the sharp intense pain that is associated with osteoporosis, herniated discs, sciatica, a malformed spinal cord, compressed vertebra, rheumatoid arthritis, or one of the other many degenerative physical problems that can create upper back pain.

These sort of disorders require professional medical treatment – frequently will require surgery – and are beyond the scope of this article…

It’s a scary list of problems that can cause back pain.

But, for severe back pain relief, there is hope…

Though it is often far more annoying than the sharp pains mentioned above, we often experience a dull ache between the shoulder blades. This type of malady is frequently muscular in nature and treatable with some simple exercises.

One main cause of this upper back pain between shoulder blades is poor posture. When you have poor posture, the extra pressure placed on the neck muscles is often the cause of upper back pain.

The first step is to be aware that our backache is caused by poor posture – check with your family physician. Then – of course – it is important that you find the best way to get rid of that pain. One of the best treatments to get rid of inflammatory back pain is to exercise.

Not only will exercising the muscles loosen them up, but you’ll learn to maintain the proper posture that will keep the upper back pain between shoulder blades away.

Here are 5 ideas…

1. One of the best stretches that you can do to loosen the muscles is to sit with your legs extended straight out in front of you.

Bend forward and reach for your toes, if you can, hook your fingers under your feet. If you aren’t able to do that (yet), stretch your arms as far forward as you can. Bending forward helps to loosen the muscles of the lower back, and stretching your arms helps to loosen the muscles of your upper back.

On ALL stretching exercises – do them as a gentle, continuous stretch – don’t bounce! Bouncing can strain or even sprain your muscles. In extreme cases it could cause vertebral injury.

Another excellent stretch is to lie on your back and reach your arms and legs as far in the opposite directions as possible. This therapy will help to loosen and relax the muscles that you have tensed up with poor posture.

One way to prevent and relieve the chronic pain we often get in our neck is to actually strengthen our neck muscles.

Here is a simple way you can exercise your neck to build the muscle strength that will help you avoid the causes of and get upper back pain relief.

2. Push your neck in one direction with your finger, while your neck muscles push your head in the other direction.

3. You can also use your head to hold a ball against the wall as an exercise to work out your neck muscles. You can start simply by holding it, then move on to pushing it against the wall 10 or 20 times, then pushing the ball against the wall continuously for 20 to 30 seconds.

4. Work in some exercises to help strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, especially exercises that focus on the upper back. Exercises that require your arms to pull, use your upper back muscles. Strengthening these muscles is one of the best ways to avoid and get relief from upper back pain between shoulder blades.

5. Correct your posture by practicing standing up straight and holding your head up high. Roll your shoulders back in order to lift them and keep your spine straight. Point your chin forward and lift your head to correct your posture.

Be careful if you are going to work out your neck to reduce upper back pain between shoulder blades. Your neck is delicate and can be sensitive, and you could injure it if you aren’t careful. Start slowly when doing neck exercises, and slowly increase the intensity of your neck workout as time progresses. If you start to feel sore, stop.


As soon as we start to feel any pain in our body, many of us immediately go for the nearest pain medication. Medications (such as ibuprofen) can help with the immediate inflammation… but this can be a big mistake. Medication only treats the symptoms, not the root causes of the problem and you will find only temporary pain relief. As soon as the medication wears off, the chronic back pain comes back.

True, it’s more work and a bit of a hassle, but taking the time to exercise and strengthen your back and neck muscles will have long term benefits and is well worth the effort.

Check to be sure you don’t have any sort of vertebrae herniation or disease and you’ll often find that a simple massage will do the trick! Or possibly a visit or two to get an acupuncture treatment.

The point is, not all back problems are the result of stenosis or osteopathic in nature or require back surgery. Often, to get rid of upper back pain between the shoulder blades, the top therapy may be a daily 10 minute exercise session.