Shoulder Blade Pain Could be Too Serious to Ignore

Shoulder Blade Pain Could be Too Serious to Ignore

If you’re experiencing pain between your shoulder blades, you no doubt know just how inconvenient and unpleasant that sensation can be. It can prevent you from performing the physical tasks you normally would limit your ability to work and play with your kids and even have a profoundly negative effect on your mood in the long term. It can be easy to chalk this pain up to the common issue of minor back strain and pop a few over the counter anti-inflammatory tablets when it gets too bad, but the truth of the matter is that pain between the shoulder blades can actually be far more serious.

Shoulder Blade Pain Could be Too Serious to Ignore
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There are correlations relating pain between the shoulder blades to several major types of cancer, including:

These are serious, life-threatening disorders. Like all cancers, the longer these three diseases progress without treatment, the worse the long-term prognosis becomes. This is why it’s critical not to ignore pain between your shoulder blades. Let’s take a closer look at these three serious illnesses, their risk factors and their other symptoms.

Esophageal Cancer


Your esophagus is an extremely important part of your digestive tract. It is the tube through which food passes on its way to your stomach after consumption. The health of the esophagus is directly relative to your ease in eating, swallowing and digesting your food. When a patient presents with esophageal cancer, a treatment plan must be developed quickly. A study performed by the Association of American Family Physicians linked upper back pain to the condition. Some risk factors for an esophageal cancer diagnosis include:

Other symptoms experienced by people suffering from esophageal cancer include:

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Lung Cancer

One of the most prevalent cancers seen and treated by physicians, lung cancer happens when a mass of cancerous cells grows in or metastasizes to the lungs.

Lungs are quite obviously a crucial part of human survival, and preserving as much healthy tissue as possible is always the end goal of a surgeon when treating the cancer. A clinical presentation on small cell lung cancer linked back pain to the disease. Risk factors for lung cancer include:

Additional symptoms experienced by patients with lung cancer include:

Liver Cancer

Your liver is your body’s primary agent for detoxification. Together with the kidneys, it filters the blood and fluids in your body.It also produces bile, an essential element in the digestion of lipids, which is stored in the gallbladder until your body needs it. Without a functioning liver, a patient will die. This is why patients with liver cancer are often on a transplant list and receiving dialysis, a treatment in which the blood is slowly taken out of the body, filtered externally and replaced. Some risk factors for liver cancer include:

Other symptoms experienced by patients with liver cancer include:

How To Proceed

If you’re experiencing pain between your shoulder blades in conjunction with any of the risk factors and symptoms presented here, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor to be evaluated as soon as you can. Your doctor will be able to advise you on how to proceed in the event of a cancer diagnosis. Waiting is never the answer if cancer is suspected, as once any of these cancers advance to their fourth state, a terminal diagnosis is likely. If you suspect you may have cancer, seek medical intervention as soon as possible.

Naturally Treating Upper Back Pain

If you’re fortunate enough to have a clean bill of health aside from the aching between your shoulder blades, natural remedies such as gentle stretching and a diet rich in naturally anti-inflammatory foods is key to offering relief. Foods such as dark greens, almonds, lean protein are helpful, while refined carbohydrates, saturated fats and sugars should be avoided. Upper back pain is often caused by poor posture, so try sitting up straight, standing up straight and sleeping on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest to aid in providing long term relief.

Not all upper back pain is related to cancer, but the correlations are significant enough that they should not be ignored. Visit your doctor to rule out any abnormalities, and once you have, proceed with a healthy diet, light stretching and ergonomically sound body positioning in order to get rid of unpleasant upper back pain once and for all.

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