Dull Ache Between Shoulder Blades?
Ever noticed that at the end of a long stressful day of working at your computer, that there seems to be this dull aching pain or tightness radiating somewhere between your shoulder blades? Sometimes it even moves up to the top of your neck?
This is one of the most common presenting conditions I see with clients that are office workers and it is usually due to the postural stresses that we put on our bodies from holding prolonged positions.
There are two muscles in the Rhomboid group – Rhomboid Major and Minor. Their primary movement is shoulder/scapula retraction (Pulling your shoulder blades together).
When you are sitting in rounded shoulder position like when your arms are out in front of you while you are working on your computer, or the long drive to and from work then your shoulder/scapula is protracted (Rounded Forward).
Because you are holding this rounded position for a long period of time (it’s like you trying to hold and outstretched hand all day) something has got to give. So think of that dull ache as your Rhomboids saying “Hey! Enough! I’m Done!”.
The other muscle I always look to treat in conjunction with the Rhomboids is the Pectoralis Minor (Pec Minor) in your chest.
Well the Pec Minor’s prime movement is Shoulder/Scapula Protraction (the opposite to the Rhomboids). As you are already in that rounded position, over time the Pec Minor muscle ‘shortens’. You tend not to feel any pain her but when we begin to start stretching it out you will realise how tight it is. Now there are a few other muscles I would also look to treat, but these are the two major culprits in my opinion.
Stretches & Strengthening:
As I have said above, this dull ache usually comes from prolonged postural stress, so it wouldn’t be enough to just give you a treatment and have you on your merry way. Our goal is to empower your well-being. So here are two recommendations I give my clients on for stretching the Pec Minor and the other for engaging and strengthening your Rhomboid group.