Trigger Point Therapy for Mid-back Pain or Pain Between the Shoulder Blades


The common “rounded-shoulder and sunken-chest” posture.

Mid-back pain, or pain between the shoulder blades, is a commonly experienced pain disorder by people who spend long hours at a computer or desk. This pain disorder is perpetuated by a sunken chest-head forward posture.


What is interesting about mid-back pain is that the muscle groups of the chest region play an such an important role in the development and re-development of this pain disorder. The tension in the chest muscles overload the muscles of the mid-back region, causing them to develop trigger points. This occurs so often that, even if you release the trigger points in the mid-back muscles, if you fail to address the trigger points in the chest muscles, the mid-back trigger points will be quickly reactivated.

Three muscle groups can contain trigger points that refer pain to the region in between the shoulder blades:

  • The Rhomboids

  • The Middle Trapezius

  • The Pectoralis Major

The Rhomboid Trigger Points that Cause Pain Between the Shoulder Blades

The Rhomboid muscle group is found in the mid-back region, between the shoulder blades. These muscles attach along the spine and run diagonally downward to attach to the inside edge of the shoulder blade.


Contraction of this muscles causes the shoulder blades to retract and rotate.


There are three trigger points that develop in this muscle group. Unlike most trigger points, these trigger points refer pain only only locally in the region of the muscle group. They will often make the region and tips of the spine very tender, and the pain might be described as a burning sensation at times.


Rhomboid Trigger Point Symptoms

Clients with active Rhomboid trigger points complain of a superficial aching pain between the shoulder blades that they will try to rub with their hand to get relief.


If the pain is intense it may extend upward to the shoulder area above the shoulder blade. The client may hear or feel crunching and snapping sounds as they move their shoulder blades.


The common “rounded-shoulder and sunken-chest” posture (that your mother warned you about) is nearly always present in clients with these trigger points.