In the past year I've had 4 people tell me that shoulder blade pain was their first symptom of lung cancer. It's not something you would think of first. Most people associate lung cancer with a chronic cough and shortness of breath.
But while lung cancer is on the list of things that can cause shoulder blade pain, it's certainly not first. Nor is it second or third. Most people with this kind of pain have nothing to worry about. The most common cause of shoulder blade pain (or as doctors call it scapular pain) is muscle strains caused by things such as sleeping in the wrong position or working on your golf stroke.
So why would I even take the time to write about this?
Because shoulder blade pain - as noted by these 4 people - can be a sign of something much more serious than playing tennis too hard. Not just lung cancer, but things such as heart conditions can "declare" themselves with a symptom of shoulder blade pain.
How can you tell the difference between shoulder blade pain that's just a nuisance and pain that is more serious? Unfortunately it's not that easy. If you've been experiencing this kind of pain it's important to make an appointment to see your doctor. And as a quick reminder - if you don't get answers there, seek out a second opinion. Pain is a signal from your body that something is wrong. But pain doesn't tell you if it's a minor nuisance or something more serious. Listen to your body and make sure your doctor does as well.
Read more about the symptom and possible causes of shoulder blade pain: