Trigger Points – Pain inside shoulder blade when slouching while seated

Client’s Description


People complain of aching along the inside of the shoulder blade that is annoyingly tender when pressed. It begins to ache when they are slumped forward at a desk so that the shoulder blades are spread and the chest is closed. It is sharper and more painful when they press the inside edge of their shoulder blade into a hard surface, like a wooden chair.

When you look at their back, these people have shoulder blades that are either close together and wing out or their shoulder blades are spread far apart and lay close to the ribs. There is a real imbalance between the chest and back muscle so that one has overpowered the other.

The onset of this problem is usually slow, over a long period. It may have suddenly gotten worse after an unusual period of reaching up and forward. This might occur while painting  overhead with a short brush or stocking a high shelf.

I have had chronic problems with these trigger points over the years, even though I have very upright posture. They only bother me when a seat presses into them or they are overworked by an inexperienced therapist. These trigger points do produce weakness in back exercises where the shoulder blades are pulled together.

Pain between the shoulder blades is usually some other trigger point that refers into the rhomboid muscles.

Rhomboids get over-treated because the pain is there. Take a serious look at these other posts for the right pattern and associated self-care so you can get relief.

Get Relief.

This post has stretching and exercises so that you can get relief at home.

Sharpen your skills.

This post has notes for the bodyworker as well as routines from The Workbook of Classical Neuromuscular Therapy.

and some related posts…

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.

Question? Comment? Typo?
(404) 226-1363