If you are suffering from bain between your shoulder blades, then you should try to do some simple massage work and exercises to relieve pain.
The first thing that you need to figure out is why your shoulder blades are stiff and painful. It could be that some muscles have been stuck in tension for too long and that they have developed what massage specialists call “habituated tension”, and trigger points. These are things that can be hard to get rid of, and that can persist for a long time – sometimes even years as you will sit in strange ways to try to relieve the tension, which will simply cause more problems in the long run.
It is important that you treat tension early on to avoid issues that become chronic. Some people will need to see a physical therapist or get massage treatments from an expert, but you can often manage and remedy the pain yourself.
Self-Massage to Relieve Pain
You can ‘knead out’ a lot of the knots and trigger points in your muscles. If you decide to try doing this then you should remember the following:
– You need to massage yourself every day until the pain is totally gone. If you do not do this then the pain will just come back.
– You should focus on the tender muscle areas, because tenderness is a sign that muscle is too tight and that it needs to be released.
– If you are massaging muscle and it is not painful, this means that the muscle is healthy.
Self-Massage For Your Upper Back
There are several muscles in the upper back, and if any of them are not operating in good balance then it can cause pain between your shoulder blades. One of the best ways to relieve pain in that area is to use a massage ball.
Place the massage ball on your back, and roll it over each of the areas of your upper back, starting at the upper and inner area of your shoulder blade, and then working on the scapulae, and the lower area of the shoulder blade. Roll against a wall to control the pressure.
If you hit a painful area, then this is an area that you should be putting particular focus on. If you are able to reach the area that is painful with your hands, then you can use your fingers for a more targeted massage. Dig deep, and press hard, to ensure you get deep into the tissue.
Exercises to Relieve Pain Between The Shoulder Blades
Massage is great for relaxing your muscles, but sometimes it is useful to stretch them out as well. Having strong, balanced and supple muscles can be very helpful in terms of reducing pain.
Massage is one of the best starting points because it offers short-term relief. Once you have gotten rid of that short-term pain, though, you should consider longer term treatments, including:
One of the most common causes of pain between the shoulder blades is poor posture. If you spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer then you have probably struggled with shoulder pain at times, or even worse, pain in your upper back.
The Doorway Stretch is a great stretch for loosening the muscles in your chest and thereby helping to improve your posture and to stop pain from coming back. It is a good idea to do this stretch several times per day:
Stand in a doorway, with your feet wide apart. Place your forearms on either side of the doorway, with your elbows raised up to shoulder height. Lean forwards, so that you feel a stretch in the front of your chest. Stretch so that you can feel it, but not so much that it is painful. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and then release and repeat it three times.
You can repeat the stretch with your elbows raised slightly more, or lowered slightly so that you can target different muscles.
The Shoulder Squeeze
Shoulder squeezes are good for strengthening the muscles around your shoulder blade, to help you maintain good posture even subconsciously.
To perform a shoulder squeeze, sit up straight in your chair, and bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle. Squeeze your shoulder blades downwards and try to force them together. Take care to make sure that your shoulders don’t shrug up at the same time. Hold this pose for 5 seconds, and then relax. Repeat this 10 times. Aim to get comfortable doing three sets of this exercise in a row.
There are some great yoga poses that can help with pain between your shoulder blades. One well-known exercise is the cat/cow. In this exercise, you will flow between two postures. One where you arch your back like a cow, and the other where you curve it like a cat. You begin the exercise on your hands and knees, with your hands in line with your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips.
Keep your arms straight, and aim to arch your back upwards, as far as you can get into the cat stretch – like a cat that is jumping away from a bath of water. Then after holding that stretch for 5 seconds, straighten your back and hold a neutral pose for a second or two, then let your belly sink to the floor, while you look up towards the ceiling, in the ‘cow’ pose. Hold that for 5 seconds. Repeat this flow five to ten times. Hopefully, the stretches should feel a little easier each time.
As you can see there are many things that you can do to relieve pain between your shoulder blades. In the long term according to the folks at, you should be aiming to have good posture at all times, and to become pain-free. It will take some time to get used to holding good posture, but it will be worth it in the long term to protect your musculoskeletal health.