All of us occasionally complain about back pain. We often suffer from low back, neck, and upper back problems. However, sometimes when we try to lie down, turn on our side, sneeze or cough, we start to feel pain between the shoulder blades. Usually, this is nothing serious, although the pain can be bothersome. What are the causes of thoracic spine issues, and what can be done to eliminate them?
Pain between shoulder blades is mainly reported by people in professions that require keeping the upper body in a forward-leaning position for a prolonged time, such as dentists, IT specialists, and factory workers. People with larger breasts and those leading sedentary lives with a lack of athletic activity frequently suffer from it as well. The causes of pain can vary – usually, they are associated with problems in the muscles, fascia, and spine. Improper posture can cause constant pressure on the nerves, leading to neuralgia in this part of the spine. Seniors sometimes complain of pain located at the level of the shoulder blades, when, as a result of advanced osteoporosis, they experience a compression fracture of the thoracic vertebra.
Here at P D Rehab we commonly treat patients struggling with chronic thoracic spine pain. They usually have already tried treating it by getting relaxation massages and attending chiropractic sessions but without much success. In those cases, the root of the problem does not lay in muscles and joints but in the structures inside the chest or abdomen, such as the pleura, pericardium, bronchi, large blood vessels, and the digestive system. Other internal organs and ligaments around the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder, may also play a role in this pain. Very often, diseases of these organs lead to inflammation of the adjacent tissues and, consequently, their contraction causes pulling on the spine and pain when moving.
Very few people realize that although pain occurs in one part of the body, the problem can occur in various other organs that do not function as they should for an extended period. It takes more time and effort to get the body back to full function if it is a chronic condition. When starting physical therapy, patients must be prepared for lengthy treatment, as a chronic problem cannot be cured in a single therapy session.
The biggest challenge in treating chronic ailments is getting to the actual root of the problem. Only after it has been eliminated can the patient achieve long-term improvement. The palpation diagnostics used at the P D Rehab clinic, based on the modern Counterstrain technique, allow for the identification of the source of the ailment and its correct treatment.
One of our patients had complained of chronic pain between his shoulder blades. The pain initially appeared on occasion but became sharp and permanent over time. Multiple sessions of chiropractic treatments, back massages, and acupuncture gave only a temporary improvement. During the initial examination, it was found that the problem was the contracture of the upper esophageal sphincter, which symptoms radiate to the middle back, giving a feeling of deep pain, strong muscle spasms, and severe restriction of movement in that central part of the spine. Using the Counterstrain technique, our therapist was able to relax the sphincter. The patient felt a 90% improvement after the first visit.
Home remedies for dealing with pain
If you begin to experience thoracic spine pain, first try to relax (best in a warm shower) and gently stretch your back muscles. Sudden movements can bring on acute pain, which will cause even more contraction of the surrounding tissues and a stronger blockage of the spine. Gentle massage of the painful areas and stretching exercises should also help. If the pain persists or worsens, seeing a physical therapist is recommended. A qualified therapist can accurately determine the cause of the pain. If there are more concerns during the examination, the therapist will refer the patient to a doctor for a more thorough examination. Usually, however, this is unnecessary; in most cases, the problem can be resolved with properly conducted rehabilitation.
If you suffer from back pain, call us or click here to schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our experienced specialists.