Do you suffer with neck pain and shoulder blade pain? If so, you are not alone. My San Diego chiropractic clinic seems to have a deep supply of new patients with these complaints. The good news is that with a little care the pain usually goes away!
Anatomy of Shoulder Blade Pain
There is a muscle that runs from the upper and middle vertebra in your neck down to the angle of the medial part of your scapula on each side that is usually responsible for this pain. This muscle is called the Levator Scapula and it is highlighted in red in the drawing below.
The Levator Scapula can be aggravated by a number of different things. In most cases postural stress from things like slouching over your computer or smart phone will pull that muscle causing stress on the joints and eventually irritation, inflammation, pain and spasm.
In other cases, one of the joints has been irritated and the levator scapula has spasmed in an effort to protect the joint – this is common after auto accident injuries or sports injuries. Sometimes if the muscle is tight enough it will compress the nerves that feed your arms resulting in numbness, tingling and other symptoms.
Treatment for neck pain and shoulder blade pain can be difficult – especially if the pain is chronic. The first step is to get your pain evaluated by your chiropractor. Chiropractors specialize in conditions that affect your muscles and joints and are the best qualified professionals to guide your care. Treatment will most likely involve joint adjustments of the neck and upper back, various types of therapy to relax the muscle and some specific therapies for you to do at home.