Pain Between the Shoulder Blades.

7 effective remedies for this common condition.


Tired of that annoying pain you just can't seem to fix? The one that's next to your shoulder blade. The one you can't reach with your hand and is driving you crazy.


That nagging pain next to your shoulder blade could be coming from your rhomboid muscles.


These muscles (rhomboid major and rhomboid minor) attach from the scapula (shoulder blade) to the spine in your mid and upper back. The rhomboids are important for arm movement and stability of both the shoulder girdle and scapula.

As a chiropractor, it is very common for me to see patients who complain of dull, achy, nagging pain in one of these muscles. Many times, the patient will complain that “the pain is always there” or “keeps coming back”. When palpated, these muscles are usually tight, tender, and may even have a trigger point or knot.


Fortunately, with the right approach and some at-home care, these common complaints can be easily resolved.

When looking to fix that nagging pain in your back, you first have to eliminate the possible causes.


The most common cause of irritation to the rhomboid muscles is poor posture. Things like sitting in front of a computer for too long, constantly looking down at your cell phone, always carrying your bag or briefcase on the same side, and having the wrong size pillow can all contribute to poor posture. I have written a few articles to address these issues (Waking up with neck pain? It might be your pillow. , Look taller, thinner, and totally confident by changing this one thing. and When the Computer is Causing Your Back Pain: 4 work space changes to save your spine.). The key will be to try and identify all of the possible offenders and eliminate them the best you can.


Stress also plays a role in the frequency, intensity, and duration of these muscular problems. So, stress reduction techniques should also be a part of your approach.

Once you have made the necessary changes to improve your posture and have taken your stress level down a notch or two, here are 7 things you can do to start feeling better:


  • Heat

  • Self massage with a Theracane, tennis ball, or golf ball

  • Using a foam roller

  • Shoulder stretches

  • Rowing exercises and shoulder stabilization exercises

  • Neck range of motion exercises

  • Spinal stability exercises

Done regularly, these recommendations should help to decrease pain and improve the tone of your rhomboid muscles. If your pain stays the same or worsens, it is important that you have it evaluated by a chiropractor. Spinal dysfunction can also cause these muscles to become problematic. If it is not addressed, the condition may not get better.


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Wishing you good health.

Dr. Hagman



DR. JASON HAGMAN

For questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hagman, please call: (973) 564-7676

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