Ever get a nagging pain between the shoulder blades that just won’t go away? I think we have all experienced this at one time or another. It’s hard to avoid this type of pain in our modern life. We are chained to our desks hunched over our computers or if we are up and walking around we are hunched over our phones. This round shoulder posture overloads the rhomboid muscles resulting in the formation of trigger points or damage to the muscle where it attaches to the edge of the shoulder blade. There are two rhomboid muscles. The rhomboid minor is smaller and runs on an angle from the spine of the 7th cervical and 1st thoracic vertebrae to the upper edge of the scapula. The wider rhomboid major attaches below the rhomboid minor from the 2nd to 5th thoracic vertabrae to the lower portion of the scapula. When the rhomboids are involved it feels like you just want to keep rubbing that area between the shoulder blades to make it go away. The photo below shows the rhomboid muscles outlined in red. The black X’s show trigger points and likely areas of muscle strain.
I recently worked with a young cross fit athlete who had injured her rhomboid minor muscle in a competition while carrying a heavy barrel. She pushed through the pain and continued the competition but was in severe pain the next day. By the time she made her appointment with me several years had passed. She had tried chiropractic, physical therapy, massage and foam rolling with out success. She had difficulty lifting even 10 pounds and had severe debilitating pain by the end of the day. She was very tender to the touch right where the rhomboid minor attaches to the shoulder blade. After 3 treatments with precision placed needles she is now pain free.
Rowers, musicians, weight lifters, tennis players and even backpack carrying every day desk jockeys are susceptible to this type of injury. If you are experiencing this type of pain you don’t have to live with it. Several well placed needles may be all you need for it to go away.