Self Care – Neck Pain with Sore Shoulder

Clinical experience reveals that a neck pain with a shoulder pain usually comes from other trigger points. The sore shoulder usually comes from the middle trapezius trigger point. The trigger points activated by a displaced atlas, as a part of forward head posture, commonly create upper neck pain. Look at these posts to see if they are a better description of your pattern.

If you’ve had an acute injury to this muscle, like a dog pulled you with the leash, this stretch will help to lengthen out the lower trapezius.

If you can get some help, have a friend rub along the edge of the lower trapezius with ice before doing the stretch shown above. That edge runs in a line from the top corner of the shoulder to the spine at the base of your ribs where I’ve highlighted in pink. There is usually a tough little ridge there when this trigger point is active.

This pain pattern can be a tougher one to resolve on your own when the trigger point has become chronic. Your bodyworker can help you with more complete releases, postural corrections, and guidance on home exercises.

Electromyographical studies show that lower trapezius doesn’t contract to retract the shoulders, but contracts to stabilize the shoulder girdle during movements when of reaching up and forward.

These doorway stretches are usually a great help for opening the chest and letting the tension off of lower trapezius when you have tight pecs and rounded shoulders. Exercises to strengthen spinal erectors help support the lower trapezius.

This, and some bodywork, are usually the ticket for lasting relief.

If you’d like stronger relief place a vapocoolant patch like IcyHot on the spot. It will offer a lot of relief, even though your pain is usually above the spot of the trigger point. Putting over the pain will offer some relief but won’t work as well as covering the trigger point. You can get these on Amazon.

Even though this will offer nice relief, stay with those chest stretches to fix the long term problem.

and some related posts…

Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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