Pain between the shoulder blades is seldom rhomboids unless the client has trapped the rhomboid muscle against a hard surface or they have extremely imbalanced extrinsic back and extrinsic chest muscle. When the problem is postural, the shoulders and upper back are notably rounded or the upper back is very straight and shoulder blades are winged out.
First, know your shoulder patterns. If this is not rhomboid muscles, don’t waste your time diligently digging through the upper back, especially if they have rounded shoulders.
Rhomboids produce achy trigger points just along the border of the scapula. They are often too sensitive to get a good release without using ice, heat, MET or working the joints first.
This is one of those life lessons like the one that I talk about in The Godfather of Organized Pain. I’ve witnessed Dr. Pruitt, reach out and press those sensitive rhomboid trigger points, mobilize the upper thoracic vertebrae and then press on the same spots with little or no tenderness. Rhomboid muscles will not release with any lasting effect unless the facet joints and costovertebral joints along the upper thoracic vertebrae are addressed.
This NMT protocol is great for mobilizing vertebrae and melting down the lamina. It starts with the sub-occipital area, which helps with Forward-Head Posture.
If you are doing additional structural work to correct posture, do that before you treat the local area.
Next, treat the rhomboids with this protocol to get rid of local trigger points and further mobilize local joints.
This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began changing the format of the posts to include more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We’d love your feedback. We are adding posts and converting the old posts as quickly as time permits.
Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.
*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make it easier to read, more accessible, and
to include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there will be inconsistency in formatting, content, and readability until we get the old posts updated. Please excuse our mess.