Burning Sensation in Upper Back Shoulder Blades – Causes and Management

No matter what you try to do to avoid it, often times it is hard to escape the feeling of burning sensation in upper back shoulder blades. Whether you are a person who does manual labor or you have to sit at a computer for work every day, the chances are very good that you will suffer from back issues at some point in life.

This is a clinical condition in which the individual experiences a painful sensation described as a burning sensation. This pain is usually uncomfortable and might have many different characteristics depending on the individual. The pain could be gradual in origin, acute to chronic, getting worse over time or aggravated by certain positions or activities.

It could be constant or intermittent or radiates from one area of the back to another like the lumbar region. It could also radiate to other parts of the body such as the shoulders, arms or leg and could be associated with other sensations like tingling, weakness or numbness.

However, when you find that burning back pain starts to become a daily occurrence, you will want to look for ways to help you feel better and fast. Before resorting to seeing a specialist, there are a few things that you can try yourself.


Causes of Burning Sensation in Upper Back Shoulder Blades

Back pain, especially burning back pain is one of mankind’s most frequent complaints and is one of the commonest pain complaints that patients bring to the physician. Most adults complain of back pain or similar symptoms at one point or the other in their lives and most working adults have at least one episode of back pain a year.

There are many causes of burning back pain/back pain and some are elaborated on below:

Muscle Fatigue

Often times, people will end up suffering from a burning sensation in their back due to muscle fatigue. If you have muscles that have been in the same position for a length of time or you have overworked them, they will often become tight and tired. When you put your muscles through such strain, you are bound to feel a nagging burning feeling that can often be difficult to relieve without proper rest or topical treatments.

Muscle Strain

This is a common cause of burning back pain and cuts across all age groups. It could occur following the repetitive use of the back muscles, for example during exercise (you are probably assuming a bad form) especially when lifting heavy objects but employing wrong lifting techniques. It is very important to ask for help when lifting heavy objects rather than lifting it alone.

It puts undue stress on your back muscles and continued improper use will result in tightness and muscle spasm and eventually muscle fatigue. Proper treatment, in this case, will involve taking a break from the exercise or work you are doing and resting your aching muscles. The pain could become chronic leading to more complications down the road if precautions are not taken.


When you are a person who finds that burning back pain seems to stem from your posture throughout the day, you can help to remedy the feeling by using sprays, creams, and rubs that penetrate and soothe the skin.

In addition to that, there are a number of pain relievers today that are made to target the back to help give you relief from the pain that you suffer from. When you have the time to unwind at the end of the day, try to take either a hot shower or a hot bath to help you soothe your aching muscles and get your back feeling better again.

Trauma or Injury

When you have pain that seems to have been caused by some sort of an event or trauma to your back, you might have a pinched nerve or even a pulled muscle in your back. Sometimes, people will develop sciatica caused by nerve impingement which can be both painful and cause the burning back pain that has been described.

If this is the case, you will want to see a chiropractor or physician see about potential treatments that you can try to alleviate your pain.

Slipped or Herniated Disc

While often considered to be much more severe, a slipped or herniated disc can often cause burning sensations along with sharp pains in the back. Sometimes, the pain that comes along with this particular condition will be in the lower region of the back. Whenever you are suffering from these issues, proper precautions must be taken to rest and take it easy while visiting a physician to see if there is any cause for surgical correction.

Congenital Defects

These are conditions of the spine, and in some case, the actual extent of the defect starts to make a difference as the individual approaches adulthood.

Some examples of such irregularities of the spine include scoliosis and Spondylolisthesis, which describes the anterior displacement of a vertebra or the vertebral column in relation to the vertebrae below.

The patient might be able to live with the condition until they get to adulthood and then start experiencing all types of pain and discomfort.

These conditions can be uncovered using x -rays and MRI and then appropriate management therapy will then be constituted.

Advanced age

Old age is not a medical condition, but as we move on in age some of the body functions have undergone wear and tear over the years and could then start to malfunction resulting in one discomfort or the other.

This could be a cause of back pain in which the joints or bones are losing calcium and therefore provide adequate support with some stress and difficulty. Being bedridden as a result of other illnesses, lack of movement or having a sedentary job and bad posture could all lead to back pain.

Managing Burning Upper Back Pain

The trick to managing burning back pain is to identify the cause of the pain and then find and treat the underlying cause. It could be a bit tricky to identify the exact cause of the pain, but once it is identified finding ways to relieve it become easier.

For example back pain from misuse of the back muscles, injury or strain resulting in fatigue and pain could be relieved by a few days of rest, ice compression, and heat compression and over the counter pain medication. Misalignment of the spine could be solved by visiting a chiropractor.

However, across all age groups, burning back pain could be a result of other complications. Diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, sciatica etc could all result in back pain especially a burning sensation in the lower back.

No matter what you think is the cause of your back pain, endeavor to talk to your physician as soon as the pain starts to enable him or her make an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment.


All in all, you could suffer from mild to moderate burning back pain. Depending on your symptoms, you may be able to find some natural remedies or even schedule a visit to a massage therapist to help you work out the kinks. Think of repositioning your posture during the day and taking regular breaks in order to give your back a rest as well.

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