Rhomboid muscle pain is a common issue that can occur from a variety of reasons, including poor posture, rowing motions, pulling motions, repetitive motions, throwing motions, pushups, working out your shoulders and back with weights, and injury. Yea, thats a-lot.
The rhomboids are a group of muscles located in the upper back and shoulders that help support the spine and assists in movement in the shoulder blades. When your rhomboids become tight or strained, it can lead to pain and discomfort that can make everyday activities extremely difficult to perform.
Fortunately, there are simple stretches that can help to relieve rhomboid muscle pain and improve mobility in the upper back and shoulders. Here are five stretches that you can do anytime-anyplace to help release tension and improve your mobility in your rhomboids.
The doorway stretch is a simple and effective stretch that targets the rhomboids and other muscles in the upper back and shoulders.
To perform this stretch, stand in a doorway and place your arms on either side of the door at shoulder height. Slowly lean forward, keeping your arms straight, until you feel a stretch in your upper back and shoulders.
Hold the stretch for about 15-20 seconds, then release and repeat. Make sure you are taking deep breathes as you stretch, to allow your muscles to fully lengthen.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
The shoulder blade squeeze is another great stretch that targets rhomboid muscle pain.
For this stretch, sit or stand with your shoulders relaxed and your arms at your sides. Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together, as if you were trying to touch them together behind your back. Hold the squeeze for 15-20 seconds, then release and repeat.
Engage your core so your back remains in a vertical position to promote proper posture.
The sky stretch is another effective movement that targets the rhomboids and other muscles in the upper back and shoulders.
To do this stretch, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Slowly raise your arms above your head, with your palms facing forward.
Imagine you’re sending energy through your finger tips and reaching towards the sky as far as you can go. Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds, then release and repeat.
The cat-cow stretch is a yoga—originated stretch that targets rhomboid muscle pain.
To achieve this stretch, start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Slowly take a deep inhale as you expand your back, sending your head in-between your collarbone and your glutes towards the floor. Hold for about 5 seconds.
Then, exhale as you collapse your back, sending your head and glutes to the sky and your belly-button to the floor. Hold for about 5 seconds. Then repeat this pattern to your desired preference.
Child’s pose is another yoga-inspired stretch that targets the rhomboids and other muscles in the upper back and shoulders.
When you perform this stretch, start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
Slowly send your glutes towards your heels, bringing your forehead to the floor or mat and lengthening your arms out in-front of you.
Hold this stretch for 15-20 seconds, then release and repeat.
What else can I do?
So we addressed that rhomboid muscle pain can be caused by a number of factors, including poor posture, overuse, and injury.
If you’re experiencing chronic rhomboid pain, it’s important to identify the underlying cause so that you can take steps to alleviate it.
For example, if poor posture is contributing to your pain, focus on correcting your posture throughout the day.
Sit up straight, engage your core, and retract your shoulders to help maintain a vertical position in your spine. Additionally, make sure that your workstation is set up ergonomically, with your computer at eye level and your keyboard and mouse within easy reach.
The best way to achieve this is to get yourself a standing desk.
If you feel like overuse is causing your pain, it’s important to take regular breaks and update your recovery routine, if you even have one.
Try to avoid repetitive motions, and incorporate different types of exercises into your workout routine to train different muscle groups, allowing your rhomboids some reprieve.
Injuries can also cause rhomboid muscle pain. If you have an injury, it’s important to seek medical attention and get the best recommendations by your primary care physician or licensed clinician.
In addition to the stretches we just went over, there are other effective methods that can help to relieve your rhomboid muscle pain.
Taking time to apply heat or cold to your rhomboids will reduce inflammation and ease your pain. You can either use ice packs or a hot towel.
Massage therapy is a more pleasurable way to loosen up tight muscles and improve blood flow. You can massage yourself with a foam roller or try a professional masseuse.
Being mindful of your overall health can play a beneficial role in aiding your rhomboid muscle pain.
—Making sure you’re getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy diet that is protein-dense, is essential for an optimized quality of life.
What we went over
Rhomboid muscle pain can be a frustrating thing to deal with, but there are several ways that can help combat such discomfort and improve mobility in the upper back and shoulders.
Remember to speak with a licensed medical doctor, physical therapist or a certified personal trainer before starting a new exercise routine, and to identify any underlying cause/s of your pain, to determine the most appropriate steps to take.
And, as always, listen to your body and stop if you feel any severe pain or discomfort.
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No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other licensed clinician.
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