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Aching pain under the left scapula, extending to hand

Question by Bella:

Hello. I have all the time aching pain under the left shoulder blade. Sometimes radiates to the left arm. What could it be? Many thanks in advance.


Hello! Aching pain under the left shoulder blade can be a sign of heart disease or injury of spinal roots of the thoracic spine. In both cases, it may radiate to left arm due to irritation of nerve fibers.

For a more detailed diagnosis recommends an EKG and ultrasound of the heart. These studies are complementary. We should not think that if the electrocardiogram the norm, then with the heart.

To exclude or detect diseases of the thoracic spine is first necessary to perform radiography of the chest in frontal and lateral projections. If the chest x-ray are signs of degenerative disc disease or other diseases, the doctor may give a direction in magnetic resonance tomography. MRI will show the condition of the intervertebral discs and will be able to identify the hernia, which often infringed the nerve fiber.

Sometimes pain under left shoulder blade we observed in patients with chronic gastritis or gastric ulcer. They have pain appear after eating. In such cases, you should do the EGD (fibrogastroduodenoscopy). However, the frequency of this diagnosis is low, so it should be assumed only after exclusion of the above pathological conditions.