The Best Ways to Relieve Rhomboid Muscle Pain

Best Ways to Treat Rhomboid Pain

If you are one of the many people who suffer from rhomboid muscle pain, then you know how debilitating it can be. This pain can make it difficult to do even the simplest tasks.

Fortunately, there are several ways that you can relieve rhomboid muscle pain. This blog post will discuss the best ways to relieve rhomboid muscle pain. 

What are the symptoms of rhomboid muscle pain?

The symptoms of rhomboid muscle pain can vary depending on the severity of the condition. The symptoms of rhomboid muscle pain can vary depending on the severity of the condition. For some people, the pain is mild and only causes slight discomfort.

However, the pain can be much more severe and debilitating for others. In extreme cases, the pain may radiate down the arm and into the fingers.

However, some common symptoms include:

  • Pain that radiates from the neck to the shoulder
  • A dull ache between the shoulder blades
  • Sharp pain when moving your shoulders or head
  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle spasms

Rhomboid pain can be from a nerve entrapment

It is essential to understand that musculoskeletal pain, such as rhomboid pain, can vary from person to person. Common symptoms are just that – expected but not exclusive. Therefore, it is essential for an evaluation by a physician to rule out other sources of pain.

Causes of rhomboid muscle pain?

Several different factors can contribute to rhomboid muscle pain. Over time, I have seen more and more rhomboid pain in the office due to our transition from moving to sitting for much of the day.

The pain is often due to poor posture or repetitive motions. Poor posture usually takes the blame for all sorts of pain; however, it is essential to understand that posture is just a snapshot of our function. It may point to where the problem lies, but in and of itself, it isn’t the main issue. Instead, it is a product of the underlying problem.

Repetitive motions can be sedentary repetitive motions or movement-based repetitive motions. For example, sitting at a computer for an extended period is a repetitive process, and the body will adapt accordingly.

These activities strain the muscles unnecessarily and can lead to inflammation and pain. Other common causes include:

  • Degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis
  • Muscle strains or tears
  • Nerve compression
  • Injury to the shoulder or neck

Rhomboid pain is also joint in chronic inflammatory myofascial pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, post-covid muscle pain, and other conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system.

Treatment options for painful rhomboid muscles

Identify the cause of rhomboid pain

The good news is that several different treatment options are available for rhomboid muscle pain. In many cases, the pain can be relieved with simple home remedies. However, in some cases, more aggressive treatment may be necessary.

Manual therapy

If you’re looking for rhomboid pain relief, you may be wondering whether to see a physical therapist or a chiropractor.

Both professions can provide evidence-based care that can help improve your symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Physical therapy for rhomboid pain often includes myofascial release and mobilization of the thoracic and cervical spine. These techniques can help improve mobility and reduce pain.

Chiropractic care for rhomboid pain often includes manual manipulation of the spine as well as exercises and stretches. A combination of these approaches can be effective in relieving pain and restoring normal function.

Talk to your doctor to see if physical therapy or chiropractic care is proper for you.


Injections for rhomboid pain relief are more aggressive, but they may be necessary to help you find a replacement. In addition, rhomboid muscle injections can help to reduce inflammation and pain in the affected area.

They can also help to improve the range of motion and prevent further injury. If you’re considering rhomboid injections, it’s essential to consult with a doctor to see if they’re right for you.

There are a few different rhomboid injections, including corticosteroid injections or lidocaine injections, so your doctor can help you choose the best option for your needs.

Massage therapy

Massage therapy may be an excellent option for alleviating rhomboid pain. A well-trained massage therapist will have numerous types of techniques to help comprehensively address muscle pain. In addition, because massage therapy addresses the muscles and soft tissues, it can effectively provide rhomboid pain relief.

In addition, massage can help improve range of motion and flexibility, which are often affected by rhomboid pain.

Exercises for rhomboid pain

Exercises for rhomboid pain include both strengthening and mobility work. It is common for the pain to arise from tight muscles and joint restrictions due to chronic movement (or under movement).

Here are some basic exercises that you can do with minimal equipment. Our favorite is the TRX resistance training system for strengthening, which can be replaced with physio bands or weight lifting machines.

Mid-back fly exercise

Rhomboid strengthening exercise

One of the best ways to relieve rhomboid muscle pain is by doing the mid-back fly exercise with a band. This exercise helps strengthen and stretch the muscles in your back, which can alleviate pain.

You will need a resistance band and a chair to do this exercise. This exercise can also be done standing.

  1. Start by sitting in the chair with your feet on the floor and your back straight. If standing, stand straight with the band looped around both hands.
  2. Start with your hands in front of you with a little slack in the band.
  3. Tighten your core, relax your shoulders, and slowly pull your arms out to the side, squeezing your shoulder blades back and down.
  4. Slowly return your hands to the front. Repeat this motion for 12-15 repetitions.
  5. You can increase the number of repetitions as you get stronger.

Pro Tip – Keep your core engaged and focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together. There should not be any tension in your neck.

Lat pull-down exercise

Lat pull down exercise

One of the best exercises you can do to relieve rhomboid muscle pain is the lat pull-down. This exercise works by strengthening the muscles in your back and shoulders, which takes the pressure off your rhomboids.

The lat pull-down machine is one of the best machines at the gym, and adding this to your regular exercise routine will help alleviate the pain in rhomboids.

  1. To do the lat pull-down, sit at a lat pull-down machine with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.
  2. Grip the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and pull it down to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  3. Pause for a count of two, then slowly return the bar to the starting position.
  4. Do three sets of eight to twelve repetitions.

Pro Tip – Do not add too much weight. You should be able to control the weight for the full range of motion.

Chest openers

Doorway pec stretch exercise

Opening up the front of the chest will help take the tension off of the back.

  1. Start by standing in a doorway with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place your forearms on the door frame at about chest height.
  3. Lean into the stretch until you feel a gentle pull in your chest and shoulders.
  4. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, then release and repeat on the other side.

Pro Tip: This can be done multiple times a day as needed. It is easy to do in the office and at home.

Thoracic mobilization exercise

Thoracic mobilization exercise

Mobilization through the thoracic spine is key to alleviating tension through the rhomboids and shoulder blades. You will need a physioball or a chair for this exercise.

  1. Start kneeling on the floor with your arms in front of you on the chair or on the physioball.
  2. Slowly open your hands and drop your mid back towards the floor. Think of the area in between your shoulder blades as “sagging” towards the floor. Keep your neck neutral with little strain.
  3. Lift the area in between your shoulder blades up towards the ceiling.
  4. Slowly, again, allow the space between your shoulder blades to fall toward the floor.
  5. Repeat 10-15 times.

Pro Tip – this exercise should be done with a rhythm. It is a mobilization exercise, not a stretching exercise.

Home remedies to get rid of shoulder blade pain

Massage guns

Massage guns have become increasingly popular in recent years. Massage guns are handheld devices that use percussion to deliver a deep massage.

They can help temporarily relieve tension and pain; some people find them more effective than traditional methods like heat or ice.

If you’re considering buying a massage gun, be sure to do your research to find one that best suits your needs. Working the muscles of the neck and shoulder such as:

  • levator scapular muscle
  • upper trapezius muscle
  • rhomboid major muscle
  • rhomboid minor muscle

You may also want to consult a doctor or physical therapist to see if a massage gun is right for you. 

Pain relief creams

Pain relief creams are a popular choice for those looking for a quick and easy way to alleviate tension and pain. While they will not work for everyone, they can be a useful option for those suffering from rhomboid pain.

Rhomboid pain is caused by the muscles in the upper back and shoulders becoming tight and contracted, leading to a sharp, shooting pain that can make it difficult to move.

Pain relief creams work by helping to relax the muscles and ease the tension. As a result, they can provide temporary relief from the pain. Key ingredients to look for include:

  • CBD
  • Arnica
  • Magnesium
  • Capsaicin
  • Menthol

It is important to note that pain relief creams should only be a short-term solution. If you are experiencing chronic pain, you must see a doctor for treatment.

Ergonomic work stations

Many office workers spend most of their day sitting at a desk, often hunched over a computer. This can lead to tension and pain in the neck and shoulders, headaches, and fatigue.

Ergonomic workstations can help to alleviate muscular pain through the shoulder blades. By adjusting the height of your chair and monitor and the position of your keyboard, you can help reduce strain on your body.

Critical steps for an ergonomic workstation:

  • Keep knees at 90 degrees
  • Place a small stool under your feet if your feet do not comfortably touch the floor
  • Keep elbows at 90 degrees
  • Wrists neutral
  • The screen should be at eye level

In addition, regular breaks to stretch and move around will also help to relieve tension. While ergonomic workstations cannot completely eliminate all discomfort, they can significantly reduce pain and fatigue.

When to call your doctor about pain in the shoulder blades

Treating rhomboid pain PT

You must see a doctor immediately if you are experiencing severe, sudden pain accompanied by other symptoms like numbness, tingling, or weakness. These could be signs of a more severe condition and should be evaluated by a medical professional.

Additionally, if the pain does not improve with home treatment or if it is interfering with your daily activities, it is also essential to see a doctor. They can provide additional treatment options and help you find relief.

If you are struggling with rhomboid muscle pain, there are several things you can do to find relief. From exercises and stretches to home remedies and ergonomic workstations, there are several options available to you.

If the pain is severe or does not improve with home treatment, see a doctor for additional help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a rhomboid strain feel like?

A rhomboid strain is a muscle injury that can cause pain, stiffness, and tenderness in the upper back and shoulders. The pain is often worse when moving the arms or when trying to touch the affected area.

What is the best way to treat a rhomboid strain?

The best way to treat a mild rhomboid strain is:

  • rest
  • ice
  • gentle massage therapy

You can also take over-the-counter pain medication to help relieve the pain. However, you may need to see a doctor for additional treatment options if the pain is severe.

Why does my rhomboid muscle hurt?

There are several reasons why your rhomboid muscle might be hurting. Some common causes include:

  • poor posture
  • injury or rhomboid muscle strain
  • muscle tension
  • nerve entrapment

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, be sure to see a doctor to rule out any severe underlying conditions such as myofascial pain syndrome.

How do you release a tight rhomboid?

You can do several things to release tight rhomboid muscle and shoulder pain. Some options include:

  • stretching/mobilization
  • gentle massage therapy
  • ice
  • physical therapy
  • exercises to strengthen – rhomboid major, serratus anterior, latissimus dorsi

You may need to see a doctor for additional treatment options if the pain is severe.

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This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein should not be used to diagnose or treat any health condition or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.