What is it?

Notalgia paresthetica (NP) is a condition characterized by intense pain and itching in the back, typically the area below one of the shoulder blades. The reason for NP is not fully understood, but some think it is caused due to an entrapment of the nerves by muscles or bones. Causes may include back injury, diabetes, herniated disc, spinal cord disease and shingles. This condition lasts from months to years.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Notalgia paresthetica

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include itching below the shoulder blades, pain, tingling, numbness, cold or burning sensation, pins and needles feeling, and tenderness.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include imaging tests of the back.


There is no cure for NP. Treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms and may include gabapentin, capsaicin cream, local pain relievers, and corticosteroids creams. Other treatments may include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, physical therapy, acupuncture, ultraviolet B light therapy and osteopathic manipulation.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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