Shoulder blade pain is usually caused by tight muscles and trigger points in the region of the shoulder girdle.
A self-massage of the affected muscles often relieves the pain within days and eventually leads to its elimination.
On this page, you will find out which muscles are likely responsible for this kind of pain and how you can massage those muscles yourself.
Pain in this area is a “widespread disease” and is often perceived as tensional or burning pain.
The causes are usually “poor posture”, the lack of exercise or even too much sports.
Follow the instructions below and inspect the muscles or areas of the body presented.
A massage is only necessary if the affected muscle or the affected area is tense, painful or tender.
Why? Healthy muscles do not respond to pressure that is not excessive with pain or hypersensitivity.
Your task now is to find out which muscles are tense or painful and then massage them.
In your case, it may be that you will feel pain in all, or just one of the muscles described below.
This varies from individual to individual.
The most important information upfront:
Muscles: Infraspinatus, supraspinatus, teres major, teres minor, latissimus dorsi, deltoids
For this area, I recommend using a massage ball.
With a ball you can comfortably and effectively work on the shoulder blade region.
Begin your massage on the lower, outer edge of the shoulder blade.
You can feel it when you insert your opposite hand under your arm and place it on your shoulder blade.
Here you will be massaging the latissimus dorsi, teres major and teres minor muscles.
Once you’ve found it, press on the muscle directly above it.
Muscles: Trapezius, serratus posterior superior, levator scapula
Here you will be massaging the entire area of the inside of your shoulder blade(margo medialis). From the bottom to the upper tip.
I will be showing you two positions for this.
First, the neutral position and, second, the position in which your shoulder is rotated.
The latter is important for reaching the muscles located underneath the shoulder blade.
To work on those muscles I recommend a massage ball.
In this position, you will be massaging the middle and lower part of your trapezius as well as the levator scapula.
It is not unusual for this whole area to be sensitive to the point where it is difficult to actually find individual spots that are painful.
In this case, simply work, slowly but surely the entire inside of the scapula upwards until you reach all the way to the tip.
Do not forget to massage it, too.
Now, in order to massage the serratus posterior superior, you must rotate your shoulder balde. This is the only way you get on its fibres.
Always keep this muscle in mind because it is almost always involved in shoulder pain.
Muscle: Levator scapula
Once you have massaged the areas on and near your shoulder blade, focus on the areas on the side and rear of your neck.
The technique I recommend is the pressure-motion technique. For this, the Trigger Fairy is the tool of choice, but you can also use your fingers.
If you decide to use your fingers, make sure not to overwork them— especially if they are not very strong.
Muscle: Triceps brachii
For this area again, I recommend using a hard massage ball.
Finally, let’s have a look at the area of the inside of your armpit.
Sit on a chair and let the arm of the affected shoulder hang loosely.
Use your thumb to gently press deep into your shoulder towards the shoulder blade.
Important: Make sure that you are staying on the muscle during the massage since many nerve plexuses run in your shoulder region.
Advance slowly and stop your massage as soon as you feel a burning or tingling sensation beneath your fingers.
This is usually a sign that you have touched a nerve and should get back to the muscle.
In addition to the pain in the shoulder blade, it may be that you experience problems or pain whenever you rotate your shoulder or raise your arm.
These symptoms, however, disappear as soon as the tension or trigger points in the muscles mentioned above are eliminated, i.e. have been “massaged away”.
Provided, of course, that these problems were of muscular origin.