What are the causes of pain in the rear part of the right shoulder blade?

Fact Checked

The pain that develops on the right shoulder blade can be triggered by various causes and some are considered more serious than others. If the individual attempts to self-diagnose the condition, it can be risky. It is best to consult a doctor if the pain does not go away, worsens or comes and goes. The possible causes can range from infections, muscle strain, tumors and fractures.

Muscle and bone pain

The usual sources of pain close to the shoulder are the muscles and bones that are positioned beneath and around it. The muscle pain is often caused by straining while exercising or engaging in sports, although any abrupt movement such as coughing can trigger pain. It is important to note that these are typically worsened by repetition of a particular action.

Fractures in the spinal column or in the ribs can cause pain beneath the shoulder blade and usually triggered by a fall or significant injury. You enroll for first aid training so that you are prepared to manage fractures. Rare tumors affecting the bone or muscle can develop in this area and cancer can spread to other others such as the breast, skin and lung.

Right shoulder blade
The muscle pain is often caused by straining while exercising or engaging in sports, although any abrupt movement such as coughing can trigger pain.

Pain due to abdominal sources

The brain perceives pain from the liver or gallbladder originating from the right shoulder blade since the nerves for the sensation in these organs enters the spinal cord at the same level. If the individual has gallbladder disease, it can be accompanied by intolerance to certain foods and nausea with or without vomiting.

Even tumors and abscesses of the liver can lead to the similar pain, but not linked with food or nausea. Aneurysms are basically weak points in the blood vessel walls that can cause pain close to the right shoulder blade once they leak or rupture.

Lung pain

It is important to note that pneumonia and blood clots in the right lung can cause pain in the rear part of the right shoulder blade that tends to worsen when the individual breathes deeply. Take note that an unusual complication of pneumonia is lung abscess which can cause constant pain linked with spiking fevers. Lung cancer can also cause pain below the shoulder blade that is not affected by movement and can worsen at rest.


If the individual had chickenpox before, he/she is at risk for getting shingles. Take note that the virus that causes chickenpox thrives in the nerves and can become reactivated, thus resulting to moderate to severe pain that occurs before the development of a rash. Shingles can manifest on any part of the body, including the area below the shoulder blade. A vaccine can help minimize the risk for getting shingles.

Kidney pain

The right kidney is situated directly in the front of the tip of the shoulder blade. The right kidney pain can be triggered by kidney stone, tumor or a severe infection. The kidney stone pain is usually colicky in nature and can be severe to cause the individual to faint. Always remember that movement will not worsen the pain. The pain from infection is constant and worsens once the doctor lightly taps the area with a fist. As for tumor pain, it is also continuous and typically increases over time.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All firstaidreddeer.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.