T Nation

Pulled Rhomboid, Help?!


#1

I did partial deads today and my right rhomboid region started feeling a little strained. I did some band pull-aparts the horizontal variety and the vertical variety. I felt better so I kept on going. Now the border on my medial scapula hurts like crazy (lower trap or rhomboid?)

It hurts the most when i try and retract and depress into a straighter posture. It also hurts when i protract the opposite (non-injured) scapula. The pain is a throbbing. Any help will give you mucho karma because I hurt a lot. Thanks.


#2

Modok, appreciate the info as I too have been dealing w/ rib pain described as similar to above. I have never really had sufficient relief of the problem (my chiro always adjusts my neck for my complaint of upper back pain). My understaning is that the tendency is to adjust above the referral site as the muscles attach lower? Just curious how they adjust you for your rib and what I should expect. The other thing I was wondering is, if I have been dealing with this since lifting for college sports (7 YEARS AGO!), have the muscles, etc, adapted to the point where it will be virtually impossible to keep the readjusted rib in place? *I know - questions I should’ve asked the chiro or PT guy I worked with.


#3

It is not uncommon for a rib to be displaced when a rhomboid/lower trap strain occurs. The spasming and tension increase from the injury can cause the displacement or the mechanism of injury itself can cause the displacement. Regardless, I always feel that a visit to a qualified chiro can help the situation, especially if they also have a soft tissue manipulation certification (Graston, ART, etc) to use in conjuction with the spinal/rib manipulation.

As for immediate recovery, thoracic extensions on a foam roller can provide a benefit and may cause you to relocate the rib on its out. Opening up the T-spine will also help with freeing up the scapula and helping decrease the spasm. In terms of SMR of the T-spine area, feel it out. If it is unbearably painful, back off and don’t do it. If it isn’t too bad, it may help decrease spasm and increase bloodflow to facilitate healing. Just adjust the amount of pressure you are displacing into the foam roller as needed.

In terms of your question of whether it will get to a point where it will be impossible to relocate/readjust the rib, I don’t believe that to be true. You almost certainly have some kind of mild technique flaw or muscle imbalance that is causing the rib to repeatedly sublux during the deadlifting/rack pulls/other activities. When I worked with competative swimmers, they frequently had T-spine tightness and rib subluxations where adjustments made a world of difference. The repetative motion they went through when swimming, combined with an upper cross syndrome of tight pecs/kyphotic posture/poor scapular stability was a large contributing factor to the rib/t-spine issues. Check your t-spine mobility and scapular stability and address those weaknesses and it should help prevent future issues from occurring.


#4

Whenever you strain/sprain muscle fibers, you should ice the area ASAP and wrap it with a compression wrap. Take ibuprofen or naproxen ASAP as well, and take at the time schedule directed on the bottle till the injury has healed.

Yes, that’s the classic RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation, though you can’t always elevate), but IT WORKS. Add an I for ibuprofen and you have RIICE. There’s nothing better to do for it, or cheaper.

I have sprained a lot of things over the years, and I have learned that RIICE ASAP after noticing the pain makes a HUGE difference.

RIICE is so basic, everybody seems to know about it, but not do it. DO IT.


#5

Sounds like could have scar tissue or nodule at the Dorsal Scapular Nerve through the Rhomboid Muscle. The will cause major discomfort and will become worse if the muscle is approximated or contracted.

Find a practitiner that has a background in soft tissue manipulation like Active Release and/or graston. Remember, prevention is always better then reaction, even if never injured, continue to get constant work, get on a good foam rolling (SMFR) and activation program for prior to exercise and on off days.

Also, good for inflammation is Fish Oils and Arnica. I have all my patients and athletes take 8g of fish oil (depending on athlete, size, etc, etc) and 3 tablets of 30cc of arnica 3x per day.


#6

3 tablets of 30cc of arnica, is that homeopathy?