“Oh geez, what is that feeling? Oh man, why do I have this shoulder blade pain… AGAIN?”

“Why is it that anything I do for this just doesn’t make this muscle knot go away?”

Stop stretching it. Stop mashing it. Stop whatever you’re doing to it, because you’re probably making it worse. The treatment for shoulder blade pain is actually counterintuitive, so what is the shoulder blade pain where is it coming from and why is smashing foam rollers, lacrosse balls, and door frames all up against it not helping?

What is Causes Shoulder Blade Pain?

Because it’s mostly caused by a pinched nerve in your neck, the pain tends to be continuous and nagging. This pinched nerve originates in your neck and travels down into your shoulder blade, where it throbs and aches. The discomfort is exacerbated while individuals are at work or engage in other sedentary activities such as reading, writing, desk work, and looking down at their phones. It gets worse in people who exercise and lift weights overhead or do pull-ups. The pain can be exacerbated by a variety of factors, depending on the individual. Some patients whom I see have a stiff neck and are unable to move their heads when they wake up. The issue, however, is the same across the board.

The Neck Stretches You Need To Stop

If any of these stretches is causing your symptoms to bother you, stop doing them. The first thing you must quit doing is this one – it’s known as an upper trap stretch, where you pull your head to the side. It’s straining that nerve root and causing your pain to get worse, even if it feels good in the moment. The levator scapulae stretch is the other stretch you need to stop. You look down, pull your head down and to the side, then repeat. It will pull into your neck as you do this. We don’t stretch nerves; we stretch muscles. So if we think we’re stretching a nerve, it’ll feel better in the moment, but I assure you that it’s doing more harm than good.

Do This For Shoulder Blade Pain Relief

The greatest thing you can do if you have neck discomfort is to lie down on your back and attempt to flatten out the curve in your neck. This will aid in the reduction of symptoms and the improvement of your condition over time. If this doesn’t work, or if your problems get worse, go see a physical therapist who specializes in treating neck pain.


Shoulder blade pain is a common problem that is often caused by a pinched nerve in your neck. There are several things you should avoid or stop doing because they will worsen your condition. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional if your symptoms persist or worsen.

I hope this article helped provide some relief for your neck and shoulder blade pain. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I’ll be happy to answer them as best I can. If you are struggling with neck pain and are not quite sure what to do, contact us for a free phone consultation!

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