Relieve Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Relieve pain between shoulder blades with a simple, yet extremely effective self-massage. I am not talking about uncoordinated rubbing around your muscles, which won't bring the desired results. I am talking about tackling the very primary troublemakers in your musculature that leave you in pain.

When the area between your shoulder blades is stiff, painful, tight, etc., it is mostly because a couple of key muscles developed too much “habituated tension” and trigger points, respectively.



... Of Your Upper Back

... Of Your Ribcage

... Of Your Neck

Potentially Responsible Muscles

On this page I will guide you step by step through your self-massage and offer you a video and written instructions. Practicing self-massage is not as hard as many imagine, and you can do it too. You can relieve yourself from your pains, no matter how bad they are. In over 90% of the cases it's possible. All you have to do, is taking consistent action. You can start right now.

If you have any problems using this website, questions or suggestions for improvement, please use the contact form and let me know!

Relieve Pain Between Shoulder Blades: Your Self-Massage

Why self-massage? Trigger points and too much muscle tension don't vanish over night. If you do not treat them, they can persist over years and give you more or less constant trouble. Via the mechanical forces you apply through self-massage on your muscles, you communicate with your nervous system – control station of your body – and tell it to let go of unnecessary muscle tension. Furthermore, you can “knead out” the trigger points.

- Massage yourself on a daily basis until the pain between your shoulder blades is gone.

- Only focus on tender muscle tissue, as tenderness is a sign that the muscle is too tight and needs to be released.

- Healthy muscle tissue is not painful when pressed on!

In the following video and the written instructions I will show you what areas you have to work in order to achieve relief. Still, at the end of the day you probably won't have to massage all the presented muscles/areas. You just have to do some upfront work and inspect all of them for tenderness. Afterwards you massage only the painful ones.

You could not follow along my video? Then you might want to read through the written instructions.

You had any issues finding and massaging a particular muscle? Then you might want to go to the section “Potentially Responsible Muscles”, where you can review each of them in detail

Relieve Pain Between Shoulder Blades: Description Of Your Self-Massage

There are numerous muscles that can cause pain between shoulder blades. I divided the massage in three simple steps, namely massage of your upper back, your ribcage and your neck.

1. Relieve Pain Between Shoulder Blades: Self-Massage Of Your Upper Back

Muscles: Erector Spinae, Infraspinatus, Latissimus Dorsi, Levator Scapulae, Rhomboids, Serratus Posterior Superior, Trapezius

All the muscles named above are located at your upper back. For now that is all you need to know. What you will be doing here, is the following: Take a tennis ball or something similar, place it on your back, and roll over every one of the following areas in order to check them for tender and painful points. As soon as you hit one, stay in this area and roll only over this particular point for a maximum of 15 times. Roll very slow and always try to hit a point on its most painful spot. Do this with every of the locations described below.

Start your massage at the upper and inner border of your shoulder blade. Here is your levator scapulae and your trapezius located. You can feel the upper border, which is also called angulus superior, by placing your opposite hand on your s pine and then moving it to the side until you hit a bony landmark.

Afterwards, massage the whole area between the inner border of your shoulder blade, also called margo medialis, and your spine. The muscles that you are going to work here, are your erector spinae, your rhomboids and your trapezius.

Feeling The Angulus Superior

Tennis Ball Massage Positions

When you are done with that area, you want to concentrate exclusively on the upper half of the inner border of your shoulder blade. But this time you will cross the arm of the affected side in front of your body and keep it there. This way, your shoulder blade will rotate and set free the fibers of your serratus posterior superior, which are usually hidden underneath your shoulder blade.

Serratus Posterior Superior Massage Position

Serratus Posterior Superior Tennis Ball Massage

Now we proceed with the area on the shoulder blade itself, right below your spine of scapula. You can feel this spine by simply putting your hand over your shoulder and feeling the bony horizontal line on your scapulae. Here is your infraspinatus located.

Feeling The Spine Of Scapula

Infraspinatus Tennis Ball Massage

Now there is only one area left, which is directly on the lower border/angle of your shoulder blade. Here, some fibers of your latissimus dorsi attach. Also inspect that area throughly in order to relieve your pain between shoulder blades.

Latissimus Dorsi Tennis Ball Massage

2. Relieve Pain Between Shoulder Blades: Self Massage Of Your Ribcage

Muscle: Serratus Anterior

The muscle we are going to massage here, is your serratus anterior, which is located at the side of your ribcage. It's a very thin and superficial muscle and I recommend massaging it with the tennis ball massage or the finger-technique. This muscles attaches directly at your scapulae and is often involved in pain between shoulder blades. So, make sure to inspect this one too.

Place a ball or your fingers on the side of your ribcage and palpate this area in order to search for tender spots. When you hit one, massage it with max. 15 very slow and precise strokes.

In case you use your fingers for massage, I would support them with my free hand in order to safe my finger joints.

Serratus Anterior Finger Technique

3. Relieve Pain Between Shoulder Blades: Self-Massage Of Your Neck

Muscles: Scalenes

The scalenes consist of three little muscles that are located at the side of your neck. They often contribute to pain between the shoulder blades. Their massage is a little bit more complex, why I would like to refer you here to their own page.

Relieve Pain Between Shoulder Blades: Potentially Responsible Muscles

All the muscles listed below got already discussed in the self-massage instructions above. Still, in case you want to learn more about them, just click on the corresponding link. There, I will tell you about their pain zones, areas of trigger points, overload movements, palpation, self-massage, attachment points and functions.

Erector spinae!


   Latissimus dorsi!

Levator scapulae



Serratus anterior!

   Serratus posterior superior!


Thanks a lot for reading. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

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