Why Do My Rhomboid Muscles Feel So Painful?

Your rhomboid muscles or simply rhomboids are muscles located in the upper part of your back, specifically between the shoulder blades on either side. They connect your shoulder blades’ edges to the spine.

These muscles are among the most susceptible to pain, and this pain could be a result of many different things like a spasm, strain or sprain.

Risk Factors and Potential Causes of Rhomboid Pain

You could strain or sprain your rhomboids by performing any activity that overexerts your upper back, arms, and shoulders, such as the following:

  • Carrying heavy things such as a backpack or boxes for work.
  • Repetitive movements like in sports – rowing, swinging golf clubs, serving a volleyball or tennis ball, shooting a basketball.
  • Poor posture while working on your desk.

Also, individuals may have an increased risk of spraining or straining their rhomboids if:

  • Their muscles are overtired.
  • They have weak muscles because they have not played or exercised in an extended period.
  • They fail to warm up and cool down before and after working out or playing sports.

Symptoms of Rhomboid Pain

Rhomboid pain is typically localized in the upper back, particularly in between the shoulder blades, and may worsen when you breathe or move. Strains and sprains in the rhomboids could likewise result in difficulty moving the affected site, bruising, swelling, a lump forming underneath the skin.

You may also feel a spasm characterized by muscle tightness and sharp pains.

Treating Rhomboid Pain at Home

First things first – stop doing whatever it is that resulted in rhomboid pain. To alleviate your symptoms, try the following self-care strategies at home:

  • Take OTC pain meds like acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
  • Use your hands or a foam roller to massage your rhomboids and smooth out any kinks in knots. You can also use your Inada Dreamwave massage chair if you’re too tired or sore for a self-massage.
  • Apply a cold pack on your rhomboids every two hours or so, keeping it in the affected site for at least 15 minutes. Cold packs work best during the initial days of your injury since these will numb the pain and reduce inflammation.
  • If your rhomboids still feel tight after a day or two, or are experiencing spasms, place a heating pad or warm washcloth for at least 15 minutes every two hours or so.

While time and these self-care strategies will help you recover, you might need to see a physical therapist afterward for a professional treatment plan, especially if you have a more serious rhomboid injury.

Other Vital Things to Keep in Mind

Rhomboid Muscles

The amount of time it will take for your rhomboid pain to recover will significantly depend on how severe it is. Usually, mild injuries health within several days, while more severe ones could take a couple of weeks or months to heal completely.

If your rhomboid pain is not going away or is getting worse after two days, visit your doctor. This so that your injury can be evaluated and treated by a professional. You might need a surgical procedure and other interventions for a safe and full recovery.

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