• Foraminal stenosis. Cervical foraminal stenosis may radiate pain from the lower neck down into the shoulder blade region. This pain can range from mild to burning or electric-like, and may be accompanied by tingling, numbness, and/or weakness.
  • Vertebral compression fracture. Spinal compression fractures may be felt in the middle or on both sides of the spine. If the spinal nerve on the left side becomes pinched or inflamed, the pain may be felt more on the left side.
  • Overuse. When performing repetitive activities, such as painting or rowing, muscles in the shoulders and upper back may become strained from overuse.
  • Poor posture. Sitting hunched forward or to one side adds stress to the spine and muscles. Poor posture can lead to muscle strain, which may be more painful on one side of the back than the other.
  • Collision. High-impact collisions, common in activities such as football or hockey, may cause muscle injury and pain in the upper back.
  • Heart attack. Most heart attacks involve chest pain, but it is possible for heart attack symptoms to be felt as a one-sided pain in the arm, shoulder, and/or upper back.
  • Lung cancer. While the initial symptoms typically involve coughing, hoarseness, or chest pain, it is possible for back pain to be the first noticeable symptom of lung cancer.

This information is not intended or implied as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images or other information provided is intended for general information purposes only. Always consult with your physician for diagnosis or treatment.