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Self Care – Pain at the Base of the Head and Under Shoulder Blade

Here, you can find relief on your own from pain at the base of the head and under the shoulder blade. You can read more about how people describe this pattern and the activities that create the problem in this post.

Activities To Avoid or Change:

Avoid sleeping in awkward positions or, especially, under a draft. Chill aggravates this pain at the base of the head and under the shoulder blade more than the awkward position.

This muscle is often over-powered by short, strong muscles on the front of the neck. Specifically, the anterior scalene attaches to the front of the 3rd cervical, where this trigger point lives. This is one of the many muscles that may develop problems from craning your neck forward to drive, look at the computer, lean in to listen, watch television from the couch, etc.

Do You Have Forward-Head Posture?

This muscle is often overstretched and over-powered by Forward-Head Posture. As the head moves forward, the opposing muscles become short and strong. Consequently, this muscle becomes overstretched and tight. Once the head has become imbalanced over the torso, this muscle fights to rebalance posture.

If you have Forward-Head Posture, review this collection, especially the self-care suggestions for changing your environment and the exercise Tuck, Tilt, Turn, and Lift.

Set up a better work
environment for your neck
at your home or office desk.

This post discusses how to choose a seated posture that supports you to have less pain and and soreness.

For Temporary Relief:

Place one of the small Salonpas patches centered on the green dot in the picture. This should be centered between the base of your head and the top of your shoulders. They’re available at every drugstore and even cheaper on Amazon.

After it has been on for a few minutes, try stretch #2 and #3 listed below. The topical patch makes it particularly easy to release with a stretch.

These self-care activities, like over-the-counter drugs, are not intended to replace appropriate medical attention. If you have concerns about these self-care activities, get help from a professional. Use these suggestions and strategies with discretion and at your own risk. See your doctor when your pain is severe, persistent, or doesn’t respond to these simple suggestions.

Stretches and Exercises for Longer-Lasting Relief:

This post has a great stretching exercise for the neck. Start with the top of the neck as the post suggests.

Sometimes, you will feel it under the shoulder blade or at the top of the neck when the mid-neck shifts. This usually creates an immediate and notable relief of pain and tension.

Do the whole series in The Box but pay particular attention to lifting your head as you do stretches #2 and #3 shown below. Use a little extra Ice along the mid-neck to facilitate the release.

Quick, Posture Correcting Exercise

This post has a more intense protocol than The Box but is better at correcting the Forward-Head posture’s structural problems.

It is worth doing every day to make faster, longer-lasting changes in how FHP perpetuates this pattern.

Is Your Neck Extra Stiff and Painful?

Sometimes, turning your head is strongly limited by pain. This indicates that more than one of the muscles that creates a “stiff neck” is involved. Check out these posts on a stiff neck.

In this case, if the problem does not resolve with home care, consider professional help from your bodyworker. They will offer quicker relief, have longer-lasting results, and keep you focused on effective self-care.

I’d love your feedback on how this works for you
and any suggestions you might have.
Email me at [email protected].

Yoga Corner

There are many yoga routines for stretching your neck. It is important to release the upper neck first. Then, this stretch often opens the facet joints in the mid-neck that release this trigger point.

The pain under the shoulder is seldom from this trigger point. It is most often released with those little clicks at the base of the neck that releases the serratus posterior superior.

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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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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistencies in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.