Rhomboid Spasm : Diagnosis , Symptoms , Treatment

Did you know that rhomboid muscles are a cluster of muscles found in your upper spine? So, these are positioned on either side of your backbone that connects your shoulder blades to your backbone. Sometimes these muscles can hurt due to your negligence or lifestyle changes. Hence, this article will give a detailed overview of rhomboid spasms.

Why Do Rhomboid Muscles Hurt?

Your muscles can ache due to several reasons:

  • Sprain

Stretching or tearing your ligament or tendon (thick tissues that connect bones) may cause pain.

  • Spasms

An unexpected and intense muscle contraction can cause rhomboid spasms.

What are the Symptoms?

The ache of a rhomboid injury is focused in your upper spine among your shoulder blades. So, muscle spasms and shoulder blades may intensify as you move or inhale. Besides, the upper back spasm or upper back muscle spasms can cause inflammation, swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the problematic region.

The muscle spasm in the upper back comes quickly, and you will feel intense pain and muscle stiffness in your spine. You might also witness a lump beneath your skin.

How to Diagnose?

If you feel a problem in your spine, you should consult a specialist. They are likely to examine you and inquire about your symptoms, activities, and medical history. They may recommend pain reliever medicines. However, they might ask you to get imaging tests done if it does not work.

What are the Causes and Risk Factors?

If you overwork your backbone, shoulders, or arms, you may strain or sprain your muscles. It may lead to rhomboid muscle spasms. Some of the possible reasons for this are:

  • Repetitive movements during sports activities like playing baseball, tennis ball, volleyball, golf, or rowing. 
  • Lifting a heavy backpack or weight 
  • Improper posture like slouching all day while working on a computer 

However, you can particularly strain your rhomboid muscles if:

  • If you don’t warm up the right way before exercising or playing sports 
  • You have weak muscles as you never exercise or exert your muscles 
  • You have overtired muscles 

Some causes of muscle spasms may include:

  • Remaining in the same stance for prolonged periods 
  • Overexerting your muscles 
  • Reduced consumption of fluid may cause dehydration in your body 
  • Reduced consumption of fluid may cause dehydration in your body due to which you might face the problem of constipation and back pain

What is the Treatment?’

If you have lower back pain and can’t straighten up or lumbosacral strain, then the first thing you need to do is halt the activity that has caused the injury or damage. Resting and relaxing can help your muscles heal. Next, you should seek a doctor’s advice before resuming the activities.

Another great way to deal with psoas muscle spasm symptoms is to visit a physiotherapist who can suggest some valuable exercises that can help regain your muscle strength. And you will be able to move your problematic muscles again. You may also use a foam roller in your home to massage or do gentle exercises to regain muscle strength.

  • Self-Care

To elevate your rhomboid muscle problems, you may try the following self-care measures:

  • Consume an over-the-counter (OTC) pain killer or NSAID. You may consider applying an NSAID gel to the affected area to ease the pain. Research suggests that topical application has fewer side effects than pills consumption. The best way is to consult your primary care physician. 
  • Try ice therapy by placing an ice pack below your upper spine every few hours. Place the ice pack on your muscles for at least 15 minutes at the moment. Ice therapy is the best remedy on the first day or immediately after the injury, as it helps soothe inflammation or pain. 
  • If ice therapy is ineffective and your muscle ache continues, you may try heat therapy. For this, you may place a warm damp washcloth or moist heating pad on your spine for 20 minutes at a time. 

However, if your muscle stiffness does not heal after trying these remedies, or you are suffering from a spinal infection from drug use, you may immediately see a doctor. Also, if you feel numbness and tingling along with dorsalgia and weakness, you might have a herniated disc problem. For this, you must schedule a visit to the best spine specialist in town.

  • The Recovery

How swiftly you heal from a rhomboid sprain or strain depends on the intensity of your injury. A mild injury might heal within a couple of days. However, if the problem is critical, it can take weeks or months to recover fully.

How to Prevent Rhomboid Problems?

If you desire to keep your spine healthy and posterior spinal artery safe, you should follow these tips:

  • Always warm up your muscles before you work out or start a sports episode. Warming up for a few minutes before and stretching for some time afterwards is highly recommended. 
  • Take frequent breaks when you play or exercise for long hours, as it will save you from muscle overuse or damage. 
  • Adopt the right way. Never play sports or exercise without the supervision or consultancy of an expert. You may engage a pro to ensure that you are doing it the proper way. 
  • Consume ample water and fluids to save your body from dehydration. And if you play sports or exercise, you need to be extra careful. 
  • If you have a desk-bound job, and you have to sit in front of the computer for long hours, you should sit up straight. If you have a habit of slouching, use an ergonomic chair and adjust your posture to the chair. It will help keep your back straight and save you from several spinal issues, like spinal stenosis. 

What are the Complications?

If you feel rhomboid-related pain, you should immediately cease any strenuous activity. The reason is that continuing to work out or play sports can aggravate your condition.


Rhomboid problems are likely to heal with time if you rest properly. However, considering the severity of the injury, it might take several days or weeks to heal completely. And if you have damaged your muscles, and the discomfort is not easing through home remedies, it is imperative to consult your primary care physician or an orthopedic specialist. More severe injuries may require surgical treatment or other interventions to recover.