One of the most common pain complaints we see in the clinic is rhomboid pain with associated pain running down the back of the arm. We have compiled a list of the top 3 treatments for this type of pain:
- Book in and see your Soft Tissue Occupational Therapist.
There are a number of reasons why you may be experiencing this type of pain. Is it your rhomboid causing the pain, or is it your scalene muscle creating a referral pattern or have you had an acute injury such as tearing a muscle etc etc etc. It is always best to book in with your Soft Tissue Occupational Therapist and get their opinion so that you can get out of pain faster and back into all the things you love doing. Soft Tissue Occupational Therapists focus on treating the person as well as the problem which means that they focus on the sport, job, family activities that you want to get back to and make that a priority for treatment. Occupational Therapists treat with a variety of hands on neuromuscular techniques as well as providing recommendations for pain management at home including, but not limited to stretching, strengthening and hot/cold therapies.
Majority of patients we see in the clinic who have rhomboid muscle pain running down their arms are the result of muscle spasming or referred muscle pain. As a first port-of-call apply heat to your rhomboids, scalenes, levator scapulae, splenius cervicus and lower trapezius. Heat is best delivered as a heat pack, hot water bottle or with eagle balm. Unfortunately deep heat and rock sauce both are not strong enough to heat further than the skin level and therefore there is no change to the muscle quality following use. The effects of Deep Heat and Rock Sauce are purely psychological. Apply heat for 15 minutes every hour for approximately 4 hours to reduce muscle spasming, bring blood flow to the area and to bring healing properties and assist with the removal of toxins.
Stretch the common muscles that can cause this sort of pain or can refer to pain over the rhomboids and down the arm. These muscles are: rhomboids, scalenes, levator scapulae, splenius cervicus and lower trapezius.
To stretch the rhomboids, hold your hands out straight in front of you, grasp your hands together and sink your sternum towards your spine, feel as though your scapula are stretching away from the midline. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
To stretch levator scapulae and scalene tilt your chin towards your armpit, use gentle pressure with the same side hand on your head to increase this stretch. Make sure both your shoulders are set down and don’t creep up towards your ears. Hold for 30 seconds.
To stretch splenius cervicus rest your chin down to your chest, make sure your shoulders stay down and don’t creep up to your ears. If you would like to increase this stretch add gentle pressure with your hands. Hold for 30 seconds.
To stretch your lower trapezius, go onto your hands and knees. Thread one hand through the opposite hand and knee and rest that shoulder onto the ground. Either hold this position for 30 seconds or complete a dynamic stretch by slowly moving in and out of this position and reaching with the same arm up to the roof.