Rhomboid muscle pain is a common complaint among those who engage in activities that involve repetitive motions or poor posture. To understand the causes of rhomboid muscle pain and how to treat it, it's important to first understand the anatomy. The rhomboid muscle is located in the upper back and is responsible for connecting the shoulder blades to the spine. It works with other muscles, such as the serratus anterior, trapezius, and rhomboid major and minor, to anchor the scapula and shoulder joint and prevent them from moving.
Rhomboid muscle pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including excessive muscle tension in the pectoralis major muscle, poor posture, overloading of the back, shoulders, and arms, and recurrent bursitis. In some cases, a tear of the serrata anterior and rhomboid junctions may occur. The treatment of rhomboid muscle pain typically involves conservative (non-surgical) methods. The first step is to stop any activity that worsens the condition.
This should be followed by focusing on strengthening activities, muscle activation, and range of motion to maintain blood flow in the area and teach the body that it's safe to move. In some cases, a spinal specialist or neurologist may be consulted to evaluate and treat any underlying conditions that may be causing the pain. In severe cases where there is a large tear in the rhomboid muscle, surgery may be necessary. During this procedure, the rhomboid muscle is reattached to the dorsal scapula below the infraspinosus through sutures placed through the medial row of perforated holes before the serratum is repaired.
The insertion of the rhomboid major is also reattached to the dorsal side of the medial scapula further away than in index surgery (2-2.5 cm). Surgery is considered to be a permanent solution for treating rhomboid muscle pain as it helps treat the root cause of the problem. However, it should only be considered as a last resort after all other conservative treatments have been exhausted.