I work in corporate fitness and over the past six months I have developed chronic trigger points in my rhomboids, upper trap and levator on both sides of my body. In those months, I've tried adjustments, electric stim, massage, one round of trigger point injections, PNF techniques, foam rolling and physical therapy, without seeing long-term progress. I do have slight upper-crossed syndrome with a hiked left shoulder and slight lordosis, but despite the hours I invest in yoga and static stretching, I haven't felt much release. Any light weight training I try to open the chest and retract the scapula causes increased pain and tightness. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
Many times symptoms such as these may not be as straight forward as we would like to think. The first key is to recognize that the mid-scapular trigger points are just a symptom relating to underlying muscular imbalances that exist elsewhere in the body. The fact that exercise and foam rolling have not helped and have actually caused an increase in symptoms is an indicator that the painful area is not the problem but a result of increased stress relating to a problem somewhere else in the kinetic chain. Many times we make assumptions relative to weakness and tightness due to our subjective evaluations (i.e., upper cross syndrome and lordosis). We must recognize that subjective evaluations such as these can lead us in the wrong direction in that the cause of the problem never gets addressed. These subjective evaluations must be followed up with an objective evaluation to confirm what we think is wrong. Many times the results of these two evaluations do not match. This makes it vital that a thorough objective evaluation of ROM limitations and strength deficits is performed. Since all other forms of therapy and exercise has failed, I believe that your next step would be to seek out a Muscle Activation Techniques certified therapist. The MAT therapist can thoroughly assess for isolated ROM limitations and muscle weaknesses that specifically relate to your problem. MAT is unique in that it balances the muscular system in a manner that can not be accomplished through any other stretching or exercise procedure. MAT helps to get to the root of the problem by balancing the muscular system and providing an environment for healing. The MAT procedure is unique to any other form of exercise or therapy in the market and, in cases like yours, can be the missing link to your healing process. For more information about MAT and to find a therapist in your area, check out our website at www.muscleactivation.com.