Rhomboid muscle strain usually occurs when muscle fibers of the rhomboid muscles are either torn or over stressed. The rhomboid muscles are responsible for connecting the spine with the edges of the shoulder blades that helps in the movement of the arms and shoulders as well as providing with the stability of the shoulder blades. It also helps with maintaining the correct upper body posture.
It has been reported that overuse of or too much stressing on the rhomboid muscles, especially due to carrying a heavy weight on one’s shoulders or having a bad sitting posture while using the computer as well as while participating in sports like rowing or while playing tennis; can end up giving a person a case of Rhomboid muscle strain that needs to be treated accordingly in order to get relief.
Avoid all activity that might make the problem worse. If the condition was caused as a result of playing some sport, consider giving it a break for a few days while taking up something that does not involve working the rhomboid muscles.
Hot and Cold Compression
Applying an ice pack on the affected area will not just relieve the inflammation but will work on reducing the pain as well. Apply every couple of hours for the first few days till the pain subsides. Also make sure to keep the ice pack in position on the affected area as long as comfortable to have maximum effect.
Consult Doctor for NSAIDs
Consulting the doctor for anti-inflammatory drugs that would help if the pain and the inflammation gets worse is necessary. You can also take over-the-counter NSAIDs like Ibuprofen, Naproxen as well as Aspirins.
Massage and Therapy
Massage has also been known to provide a lot of relief in case of rhomboid pain. Physical therapy in terms of exercises is also highly recommended as these can be easily performed in the comfort of your home.
There are a lot of exercises that you might want to try to keep the rhomboid muscle pains in check in future. Also remember to properly warm up when you start with each exercise session.
This exercise entails stretching your arms in front, with one clasped over the top of the other and reaching slowly forward. This exercise will give your muscles a gentle stretch that will ease the pain quite a lot if you keep at it for a few days. While you are reaching forward with your clasped hands, try bending your head forward as well and hold this position for 15-30 seconds. Do not bend downwards as that might stretch the rhomboid muscles too much. This exercise helps in stretching the arm and shoulder blade muscles and gives you the necessary flexibility but be careful not to overstretch your already stressed muscles. Repeat 2-4 times.
Exercise Band Stretch
Exercising using an exercise band like a Thera-band or surgical tubing also helps a lot with the rhomboid pain in the long run. For this exercise, place an exercise band around a bedpost almost waist high and while facing the post at an arm’s length pull onto the ends of the band in such a way that your elbows are at your sides at a 90 degrees forming the angle of the letter “L” and your shoulder blades move towards each other and then return to the position you started with. Repeat a maximum of 12 times.
Neck Muscle Stretch
This is a neck stretch which helps in easing the muscles of your back thereby helping with the rhomboid pain. For this you need to keep an erect posture and look straight ahead, letting your head tip from your left shoulder towards your right shoulder. Always remember to keep your shoulders down while doing this exercise as this works better when your shoulders are in the relaxed position. Hold the positions for 15-30 seconds and work your neck again in the opposite direction i.e from your right shoulder to your left shoulder. Repeat 3 sets each.
Rotating your neck is another good way of easing your neck and upper back muscles and will help with the pain as well. For this exercise, you need to keep your chin at a perpendicular level with your chest and then start rotating your head from side to side making a half circle but remember not to strain your neck and back muscles at any point during this exercise since that might aggravate the pain by stressing the rhomboid muscles more. Hold the position for 15-30 seconds after each rotation and repeat 3 sets on either side.