pain between the shoulder blades

Scapula Pain and Cancer: What's the Link?

Do you have shoulder blade pain? You may be wondering if there is a connection between shoulder blade pain and the cancer. Although not common, there are cases where the cancer can cause shoulder blade pain.

In this article, we will explore the link between the shoulder blade pain and cancer and present some of the most common causes of this type of pain.

Dorsal Spine and Scapula Anatomy

La dorsal column is a long, thin bone that extends from the base of the skull to the lower back. It consists of two parts: the spine and the ribs. The spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae. The ribs are attached to the vertebrae and serve as support and protection for the internal organs.

anatomy of the dorsal spine (thoracic spine)

The scapula is a triangular bone that sits at the back of the chest. It connects the arm bone to the collarbone and helps support the weight of the arm.

The scapula has several features that allow it to move freely: a shallow concave surface that articulates with the rib cage, a raised ridge that articulates with the humerus (arm bone), and a flat surface that articulates with the ribcage. articulates with the clavicle (clavicle bone).

Scapula pain: what is it?

Although the scapula itself does not move much, it is an important part of the shoulder joint and plays a role in a number of different movements including elevation, depression, retraction, and protrusion. Due to its location and function, the pain between the shoulder blades can be both paralyzing and frustrating.

anatomy of the scapula

La shoulder blade pain is a common condition that can cause great discomfort. It usually occurs when the muscles and tendons around the shoulder blade are irritated or inflamed.

Pain between the shoulder blades: 9 possible causes (and what to do?)

What are the causes of pain in the shoulder blade?

There are many causes of shoulder blade pain, but the most common is muscle strain or tendonitis. This may be due to repetitive movements, such as those often seen in sports, or poor posture. Other common causes include:

  • Arthritis: The shoulder blade pain can be a symptom of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints.

  • Fracture: A break or crack in the shoulder blade can cause pain. This is usually the result of a high impact injury, such as a fall or car accident.

  • Cancer: Although not common, the cancer can cause shoulder blade pain. Cancerous tumors can grow anywhere in the body, including in the bones, muscles and tendons around the shoulder blade.

Scapula Pain and Cancer: What's the Link?

Le cancer is a rare but possible cause of shoulder blade pain. It is a disease that can affect all parts of the body, including the bones. While cancerous tumors can grow in any bone, the shoulder blade is a particularly common site for the spread of cancer. cancer.

Shoulder blade pain is often the first symptom of cancer that patients notice. The pain can be dull and aching, or sharp and localized to a specific spot. Cancerous tumors can also cause the shoulder blade to feel heavy or stiff. In some cases, the pain may radiate from the shoulder blade to the arm or neck.

The type of cancer the most common that affects the scapula is the cancer of the lung. The other types of cancer likely to cause shoulder blade pain are the cancer breast, the cancer bones and lymphoma.

Shoulder blade pain can also be a symptom of cancer metastatic, i.e. a cancer which has spread from another part of the body to the bones. the cancer Metastatic bone is often painful, and the pain may worsen over time.

Tests to Diagnose Shoulder Blade Pain

If you experience shoulder blade pain, your doctor will likely order one or more tests to determine the cause. These tests may include:

lumbar scan

  • A radiograph : An x-ray can show if there are tumors or other abnormalities in the bones around the shoulder blade.

  • A computed tomography (CT): The scanner uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of structures in and around the shoulder blade.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) : MRI uses magnetic waves and a computer to create detailed images of structures in and around the shoulder blade.

  • A biopsy: A biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is taken from the shoulder blade and examined for cancer cells.

  • A positron emission tomography (PET): PET scans use a special dye and a scan to look for cancer cells throughout the body.

Scapula Pain: When to Worry?

If you experience pain in your shoulder blade that does not go away with over-the-counter pain medication, or if the pain gets worse over time, you should see your doctor. Here are other warning signs of cancer :

  • Weightloss ;
  • Non-mechanical pain (pain that is not caused by injury);
  • Night sweats ;
  • Fever ;
  • Fatigue.

Lung cancer and shoulder blade pain

Le cancer of the lung is the type of cancer the most common that affects the shoulder blade. It is a disease that occurs when cancerous cells form in the tissues of the lung.

Symptoms of cancer of the lung may vary depending on the degree of advancement of the disease. Early symptoms may be mild and nonspecific, such as fatigue or a general feeling of being unwell. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include:

  • A persistent cough;
  • Coughing up blood;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Chest pain
  • Hoarsely ;
  • Weightloss.


Le cancer is a rare cause of shoulder blade pain, and it is important to seek medical attention if you have the symptoms mentioned above or persistent pain.

However, before concluding that the cancer is the cause of your pain, it is important to see your doctor and rule out other potential causes. the cancer is just one possible explanation for shoulder pain, and often the pain is caused by more benign conditions.

As always, it's best to err on the side of caution and seek medical advice if you experience persistent or severe pain.

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