How to Relieve Shoulder Blade Pain at Home

Are you experiencing shoulder blade pain?

Shoulder blade pain can feel like a deep aching discomfort, as well as a sharp or burning sensation at times.

Typically, shoulder blade pain is located over the upper back region and in between or around our shoulder blades (scapulae). 

Shoulder blade pain can often limit our activities in daily life such as restricting our shoulder or thoracic range of motion, sometimes breathing may even become painful! Additionally, dealing with prolonged pain can affect our quality of life and mood.

What Causes Shoulder Blade Pain?

Pain in or around the shoulder blade region can stem from a number of reasons, such as lifting too much at the gym, sleeping in that new bed on your holiday, or sitting at the office desk all day!

These underlying causes often include weakness or tightness in the surrounding musculature/tissue, irritation to the underlying spinal joints, or trauma or injury to the local region. 


Strengthening Exercises: Strengthening the muscles within and around the shoulder blades will work to increase what the tissues can tolerate, as well as providing increased support and stability for the upper back. Common strengthening exercises include the seated or banded row (see below).

Stretching Exercises: Static stretching exercises can be another effective way to relieve the tension and pain around the shoulder blade region. Seen below is an exercise designed to stretch the upper back musculature, these static stretches should be performed for 20-30 seconds at a time for 2-3 sets. It’s important to begin stretching gently and avoid excessive discomfort or pain throughout the movement.

Self-Massage: Other effective tools such as the foam roller or trigger point balls can also be used to alleviate shoulder blade pain at home and to release those tight upper back muscles.

Medications: Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories for a short period of time (no longer than 10-14 days) can also be used to temporarily reduce the pain and inflammation, an effective way to reduce the symptoms so you can get back to moving with those exercises! Please always consult with your pharmacist or doctor when taking any pain relief medications.

Activity Modification: Are doing some activities making your shoulder blade pain worse? Try slowing down and reducing the intensity, or take some time off to let things heal up. You’ll thank yourself later!

how to relieve shoulder blade pain at home



Our chiropractors at Fortitude will perform a thorough assessment to ensure they have a complete understanding of your condition. This includes taking an in-depth physical examination of the regions involved, as well as taking a look at lifestyle factors which may be playing a part in the underlying problem.

Not sure what’s ahead on your road to recovery? Get in touch and book online today or call us on (08) 6184 8835!