If I were to ask you what causes the pain between your shoulder blades, what would you say?
Would you tell me the cause was stress? Overwork? Old age? Arthritis? Or from your nerves or bones?
Would you be surprised if I told you that the cause was most likely…in most cases…muscles?
But not any old muscles.
Overstretched muscles cause most back pain, especially pain between the shoulder blades.
Pain between your shoulder blades and spine can be on both sides or just one side, depending on how you use your body. Some people only get pain on the dominant side, which means if they are right-handed, the right side of their back will hurt.
When our muscles are continually overstretched, like our back muscles are when we have “forward head” posture, they have to react. If they did not react, the muscles would tear and we would be unable to function.
So, instead of tearing, the muscles “splint” themselves.
They become taut and protect themselves from being damaged or ripping off the bone. (Although that can happen in extreme cases.)
When your muscles become taut (think of a rope being pulled from both ends that can’t relax because no one will let go) they become less able to function fully.
They also become crabby.
The overstretched muscles are working way too hard. They are not working the way they were designed to work. Muscles are supposed to help us move. They let us flex and bend and stretch.
Bones are supposed to support us. We are not supposed to use our muscles as bones.
You can stop your muscles from being overstretched!
You can get your muscles back to being the way they used to be, but it will take some time and effort and you’re the only one who can do it. Well, you could get some help to loosen up from a knowledgeable massage therapist, but basically you are in charge.
(The reason I said a knowledgeable massage therapist is because many of them only work where it hurts–your back, in this situation–and your back pain is the symptom, not the cause. He or she will also need to loosen the muscles in front of your body.)
- You need to eliminate your forward head or forward arm posture to stop overstretching your back muscles.
- You need to strengthen your back.
- You will have to practice lifting your shoulder blades and rolling them backward, so they will become more movable.
- Practice squeezing your shoulder blades toward your spine.
- Read the rest of the simple strengthening articles here.
“Because You Deserve to Feel Better!”