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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What does sharp pain below the shoulder blade indicate?

I have a sharp pain at the bottom of my left shoulder blade, that comes and goes during the day, but has been constant and worsening during the past 2 months. It is especially intense when I lay down at night to go to bed. Any suggestions? A chest xray two weeks ago indicated mild emphysema, and I have an appointment with a pulmonologist next week. I don t know if my sharp pain relates to that or not?
Thu, 7 Jun 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service. I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.


Emphysema does not usually cause pain in the chest. It would more commonly affect breathing.

It is possible that the pain is muscular or neurological (neuropathic pain).

Neuropathic pain can be temporary or permanent and there are different possible causes.
Some causes include- low levels of vitamin B12 and folate, diabetes, trauma, thyroid disease, liver or kidney disease

Physical examination and blood tests would be needed to determine the cause.

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