Rhomboid Muscle Strain

Rhomboid Muscle Strain

February 20, 2014


What Is A Rhomboid Muscle Strain?

Two separate muscles make up what is collectively referred to as the rhomboid muscles: rhomboid major and rhomboid minor. These vaguely diamond-shaped muscles connect your spine to the shoulder blade. While these muscles are technically in the upper back, they are extremely important in moving the arm and shoulder, especially for more aggressive and forcible motion. These muscles also help stabilize the shoulders and back and maintain correct posture. When either or both of these muscles are inflamed or slightly torn, it is a rhomboid muscle strain.

What Are The Major Symptoms?

As with a lot of sprains and strains, pain is a major symptom, and in this case is primarily located around the shoulder blades and spine, and the general upper back. A general feeling of tightness and increased sensitivity in this area may also be present. Pain and tenderness will generally feel worse with movement, or any activity that stretches this area of the shoulders and back – even breathing deeply.  Knots are often common with rhomboid muscle strains, and someone feeling the back, say during a massage, will be able to feel the tension.

What Causes a Rhomboid Muscle Strain?

Participating in sports that involve the upper arms, shoulders, and back, and especially anything involving a throwing or swinging motion, can cause this type of muscle strain. Tennis players are often especially susceptible. Poor posture can also be a contributing factor, as can not warm up properly or neglect to thoroughly stretch before physical activity.

What Are The Treatment Options?

Provided that the condition is not the result of a severe tear, relatively conservative means of treatment tend to be very effective for rhomboid muscle strains. Avoiding activities that cause pain, such as sports and rigorous physical activity, is recommended to allow the injured muscles to rest. Application of both heat and cold can be very effective, through hot showers or laying back on an icepack. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs will help reduce swelling and pain, and massage can loosen knots. Once the pain has been reduced, a course of stretches and home exercise therapy will fully restore the back and upper shoulders to their normal, full range of motion.

Primary source: http://www.mmarmedical.com/Rhomboid_Muscle_Strain_s/301.htm

Your Journey to Pain Relief

App tracks progress. Step by step guide to pain relief and prevention.

Show results

Free Newsletter

Stay in the know. Our blogs are written by orthopaedic surgeons.