The middle trapezius and rhomboid muscles are often to blame. Here is the second of two releases for these muscles. Go here for the first release.
Working at a desk, driving a car or any static position with your arms in front of you for an extended period can draw the shoulder blades forward leading to long, weak muscles. These muscles try to hold their position by tightening up. As a result, they become achy and painful. Read on to fix this issue.
About the muscles
The middle section of the trapezius is on the surface of the muscular system. It runs from the spine to the far end of the shoulder blade. The rhomboids are underneath the trapezius and run from the spine to the inner edge of the shoulder blade. These muscles forcefully bring the shoulder blades together and stabilize the shoulder girdle.
Causes of tightness
Bad posture makes these muscles statically contract to protect the ligaments of the spine and the discs. Shortened chest muscles can place demands on these muscles that surpass their capability. To see if you have tight chest muscles, take the pencil test here.
Stand with your back against a wall.
Take a tennis ball, lacrosse ball or softball and place it between your shoulder blades on one side of your spine.
Keep tension on the ball as you step away from the wall about 6 to 10 inches or until you feel a pain threshold of between 5 to 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, ten being excruciating.
Raise your arm at the shoulder out to the side like you are doing a snow angel. Hold for 2 seconds at the top and return to the starting position.
Perform 8 to 15 repetitions or until there is a release in the muscle.
Note: during the first few movements, if you come to a sticking point where the arm just will not go up any further, do not push past that point. Go up to that point, hold, then return. It should get easier to do as the set progresses.