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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Can the Bulging Intervertabral Disc Cause Pain Between the Shoulder Blades?

10/30/2008

Question:

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and my doctor told me that it does not effect the spine. I also have a bulging intervertebral disc in my lower back that has not caused any trouble. Now I have pain in my lower back from my waist down. As soon as I take a few steps it get extremely tight to the point where I can bearly move my legs to walk. It is stiff like my RA in the morning. I also have pain and stiffness in my between my shoulder blades. Can the bulging intervertabral disc in my lower back cause pain and stiffness between my shoulder blades? I never had an pain from the bulge disc before so I just thinking that what it is. Could this be something else?

Answer:

A bulging intervertebral disc in the lumbar spine region will not cause pain between the shoulder blades. Potential causes of the pain between your shoulder blades are numerous and may not be isolated to musculoskeletal causes. Therefore, appropriate evaluation by a healthcare professional is recommended to find the source of the pain.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University