Shoulder blade pain due to weightlifting

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The shoulder region works hard throughout the day especially if the individual engages in any form of upper-body weightlifting exercise that might involve flexing or keeping the upper body in a motionless state during a workout. This can cause the shoulder and shoulder blade to be at risk for injury while weightlifting. Since it can oftentimes indicate a serious injury, it is vital to fully understand the potential pain triggers in the right shoulder blade during or after a weightlifting session and how it can be remedied.

Signs and symptoms

The pain in the right shoulder blade due to weightlifting can range from mild to intense. This can manifest abruptly when the individual is weightlifting, when moving the arm from side to side or even while at rest.

Other symptoms can include swelling, stiffness and tenderness, radiating pain from the shoulder to the side of the arm, diminished strength as well as loss of motion and throbbing. In most cases, the pain can make it hard for the individual to move the arms or lift objects such as weights over the head.

Shoulder pain
The pain in the right shoulder blade due to weightlifting can range from mild to intense.


The weightlifting-related shoulder blade pain can transpire if the individual overuses the shoulder blade or neighboring ligaments, muscles and tendons with unwarranted weightlifting, using heavy weights or not taking enough breaks from a workout routine. The pain can also develop if the individual drops a weight or object on the shoulder or falls while weightlifting.

Abrupt changes in directions or dropping the weight load forcefully instead of a controlled manner can sprain or strain on the muscles and ligaments in the shoulder region. Certain conditions such as tendinitis, bursitis and impingement can also trigger shoulder blade pain during or after weightlifting.


It is recommended to rest the affected shoulder and avoid weightlifting for about 48 hours. You can apply an ice pack on the shoulder blade for 20 minutes at a time up to 5 days. The shoulder should be elevated to promote drainage of fluid and blood away from the site of injury to reduce the inflammation and pain.

An anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can be given to reduce the shoulder blade pain. The doctor can also administer corticosteroid injections for severe cases to hasten the healing process or surgically repair the injury if needed.

Considerations to bear in mind

Even though the shoulder blade pain due to weightlifting is not considered dangerous, it is best to consult a doctor if the pain is incapacitating, sharp or lasts longer than 2 weeks or accompanied by fever, severe swelling, bruising, rash or redness. Remember that these might be indications of a serious condition or even infection that requires treatment with a doctor.

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