How To Tell If The Pain Between Your Shoulder Blades Is A Warning Sign Of Cancer
Whether it’s the strain of sitting down or standing up for hours at time or the stress of every day life, there are countless causes of this condition.
The most talked about type of back pain is the lower back, but what does it mean when the pain is felt in your shoulders and rib cage?
Upper Back Pain
Your upper back is defined as the region of your back ranging from the base of your neck down to the bottom of your rib cage (1).
Pain experienced in this region is often described as a dull, burning, or sharp pain that may or may not be accompanied by muscle tightness and stiffness (2).
This condition is often caused by (2) :
– Overuse, muscle strain, or injury to the muscles, ligaments, and discs that support your spine.
– Poor posture.
– Pressure on the spinal nerves from certain problems, such as a herniated disc , which can be accompanied by pain radiating down the arms, as well as some numbness.
– A fracture of one of the vertebrae.
– Osteoarthritis caused by the breakdown of cartilage that cushions the small facet joints in the spine.
– Myofascial pain that affects the connective tissue of a muscle or group of muscles.
More alarming symptoms include:
– Weakness in your arms or legs.
– Numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, chest, or belly.
– Loss of bowel or bladder control.
If you experience back pain with any of the symptoms above, seek medical attention immediatley. You may be experiencing signs of gallbladder disease, infection or cancer.
Back Pain : An Unknown Cancer Symptom
Lower back pain can be a symptom of cancer of the colon, rectum, or ovary that has metastasized into surrounding regions (3).
Throughout the back, tumors in the spinal column may cause back pain from expansion of the bone or from weakening the bone.
This in turn can cause spinal fractures, compression (pinching) of the nerves, or spinal instability. Unlike occasional muscle pain, this causes tenderness and discomfort in the bones (5).
When the pain is felt between the shoulders, it may be a sign of esophageal cancer or lung cancer (6). Liver cancer has also been known to cause radiated pain in the back (7).