Pain between the shoulder blades; Spinal or Organic?
5/16/07
Published in the Times Standard
           
 
      That sharp stabbing pain in the mid-back can have a number of different origins.  I’ll mention a few of the most common causes I’ve seen in my practice and how Chiropractic and sometimes nutritional supplementation can help.
      Generally speaking, the sharp, stabbing pain with pain on breathing is spinal related while the chronic sore and achy pain can be organ related. Digestive problems of heartburn,abdominal bloating, gas and loose or constipated bowels are often associated with this type of pain.
      Sharp, stabbing pain signifies more of an acute situation.  The pain can come from misaligned vertebrae in the spine or the associated rib connection called the costovertebral junction.  Ribs can be partially stretched and pulled away from this joint causing sharp pain and tenderness.  The ribs have intercostal nerves that supply the local musculature.  These same nerves protect us from puncturing an internal organ when the rib is broken by causing severe pain if we move wrong.  These same nerves can be irritated if the rib is even slightly displaced.  It can hurt to simply breathe.  Once the associated misaligned or subluxated vertebra is aligned, the adjacent rib head is restored to its proper position and the pain is relieved.
      The more chronic, recurring achy pain can be related to digestive problems.  Nerves from the gallbladder, stomach, liver and pancreas can refer pain to the spinal origin of its associated nerve supply.  Spinal muscles in the area will oftentimes spasm pulling vertebrae out of alignment.  As the spine and muscles try to adapt the pain may go, from sharp to a dull ache, but it is always there to a degree.  If  the vertebrae are high enough in the thoracic spine, the pain can radiate to the shoulders, arms and hands.  Once the digestive problem has been alleviated through enzyme nutrition, probiotics  or other proper supplementation, the pain subsides and the adjustment to the spine holds. 
 
If you have these types of symptoms, remember that pain is the body’s warning signal that something is not right.  Take advantage of the free consultation at our office to determine if yours is a chiropractic problem.  If it is, nothing else will help.  You could be pain free and on a new road to healthy living through Chiropractic “naturally”.