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Fusion-Southport offers an impressive range of specialist remedial massage treatments.

Lisa has been qualified in massage since 1993 and over the years has treated hundreds of injuries and painful conditions, in addition to lecturing and training holistic, beauty and sports therapists in her techniques.

To explore the possibilities of regaining control over painful conditions book online or message to arrange a free consultation (you can visit the clinic or opt for a telephone consultation).


Your rhomboid muscles, when damaged, are responsible for a lot of upper back problems. The most common symptom of rhomboid issues is discomfort between the shoulder blades or just above, towards the top of the back.

There are four rhomboid muscles, two on each side of your spine, between your shoulder blades. They extend from your spine to the edge of your shoulder blades.

What do the rhomboid muscles do?

When you tense these muscles they draw your shoulder blades towards each other, pulling your shoulders backwards, so they play a part in supporting the posture in your upper back.

Take a look at friends and family and notice who slouches and has rounded shoulders. They will likely have weak rhomboids and be more likely to develop problems in these muscles.


Causes of rhomboid muscle problems

  • Slouching

  • Sitting for too long

  • Sleeping on your side

  • Movements that require you to extend your arms over the head for a long time, especially if you are holding or pushing heavy objects

  • Lifting heavy objects

  • Carrying a heavy backpack

  • Repeatedly overstretching the muscles in movements such as throwing a ball, serving a tennis ball, swinging a golf club, or rowing


Symptoms of a rhomboid imbalance

If you damage a rhomboid muscle you can expect any of the following:

  • Pain in the muscle itself

  • Tightness, tenderness, swelling and knots in the surrounding muscles of the upper back

  • Shooting pain if the muscle becomes so inflamed that it affects surrounding nerves

  • Popping or grinding noises when you move your shoulder blade

  • Difficulty moving your shoulder blade especially reaching forward or upwards

  • Pain when breathing


Home treatment

  • Rest your arms and shoulders as much as possible. Refrain from any activities that use these muscles. The more you can rest the muscles the faster they will heal. Every time you move a damaged muscle microtears reoccur

  • Ice the affected muscle for up to 20 minutes at a time several times each day if there is swelling / inflammation. This is especially important immediately after a strain or injury. If you have had pain in these muscles for a long time use heat (e.g. heat pad or hot water bottle) rather than cold to treat the muscle

  • Compression - Wrap the area in a compression bandage to reduce swelling.

  • Consider taking over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories if you don’t mind taking meds. If you don’t like taking tablets you could consider a topical pain killing gel such as ibuleve

  • Ask your therapist for some essential oils that are anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic – to massage into the affected area yourself


Muscles not healing?

If you’ve followed advice but not seeing improvement you will need some form of intervention and you may benefit from seeing a physical (massage) therapist or a physiotherapist. Fusion offers  treatment for both acute and long-term issues where stubborn conditions that need a nudge to get healing can really benefit. Book in for a free consultation or book a massage service to get started.


Exercises to strengthen and prevent future rhomboid injury

Use exercise once your symptoms of injury are easing.

Take it easy at first and build repetitions and intensity as your muscles regain their strength. The most important thing is to keep your muscles moving.

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