GERD does not directly cause pain between your shoulder blades, but the pain between your shoulder blades can be a result of GERD.

It can also mean a heart problem.

So if you’re experiencing unexplained pain or aching between your shoulder blades, this warrants a visit to a doctor.

The GERD and Pain Between Shoulder Blades Connection

GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. It’s a term that applies to a chronic form of acid reflux.

“GERD is not causing pain between the shoulder blades,” begins Hugh Mai, MD, a gastroenterology and internal medicine specialist in Baltimore, MD.

“It is actually called referred pain. The reason?

“Sensory nerves from the esophagus may share the same afferent path to the brain with the phrenic nerves.

“The phrenic nerves supply the diaphragm and can really cause pain in the mid-back such as a gallstones attack or pancreatitis.

“However, if the nerves from the esophagus are using the same path as the phrenic nerves, it can feel as though GERD is causing pain between the shoulder blades.”

Hugh Mai, MD, has 35+ years of experience and is well-versed in the endoscopic treatment of GERD. His areas of focus include interventional endoscopy, metabolic endoscopy and gut health.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
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