Q. I have unrelenting back pain between my shoulder blades. What could be the reason?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad M. Hanif Md.
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 16, 2018

Hello doctor,

I am a 30 year old female. For the past few weeks, I have had an unrelenting back pain between my shoulder blades. I also have a sharp, tearing chest pain above my left breast area or along my sternum on my right side. The sharp pain will last a few minutes, then stop. At times, it radiates to my shoulder. When it happens, my pulse and blood pressure increase for a few minutes and I feel short of breath. What could this be? I had PE ten years ago but the pain was not quite the same.

Dr. Muhammad M. Hanif Md.

Cardiology Critical Care Physician General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to icliniq.com.

After reviewing your health query, I want to add that there may be anything from a list of possibilities.

  1. Keeping in mind the past history of PE (pulmonary edema), it can be a relapse of the same. Pain and other symptoms are also mimicking if originating from the heart muscles.
  2. When the blood supply to the heart muscles is compromised, it causes pain that radiates to the shoulder too.
  3. Infection to the lung's outer coverings also causes this kind of pain and we need to rule that out too.
  4. Some patients who present with this kind of pain are later found to be suffering from stomach ulcers. Ulcers are caused by erosion of the inner stomach lining due to persistently high acid inside the stomach. All of this is caused by infection by a bacterium and fortunately, that is curable with proper medications. You are taking Prilosec (Omeprazole) that raises suspicion to some extent.
  5. Some patients get an infection of the pancreas and that also causes pain like this. The pancreas is located behind the stomach. The symptoms of blood pressure and increased pulse rate are due to pain and discomfort. Severe pain leads to a feeling of shortness of breath too.

So, as the next best step, you need to consult your PCP (primary care physician) and get referrals to consultations for a pulmonologist, a cardiologist and/or a gastroenterologist. Your PCP is capable of ruling out at the preliminary level on his own. He would refer you either to all of the aforementioned specialists or only one of them as he feels comfortable with. Once ruled out, we can better assist you and this hopefully will all be managed accordingly.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask me more if you need further assistance.

For further queries consult a cardiologist online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/cardiologist

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