Understanding Neck Pain/Sore Shoulder caused by Trigger Points:

Do you currently have neck and shoulder pain? It’s highly likely you have a number of trigger points in these areas. Neck pain is generally activated by poor posture i.e. forward head posture. And the sore shoulder, well that’s usually trigger points in the middle trapezius from the forward head position.

A client will complain that they have pain in the top of their neck as well as a sore shoulder, which is usually secondary pain to the neck. When touched or rubbed, they describe it as being tender.

Clients can administer some self care to try alleviate pain in these areas by performing some stretches. One stretch is stretching the arm forward, as if reaching to the back of a tall shelf. If it helps, use the door frame to get a better stretch, as if you are reaching for the ceiling above your shoulder.

A good therapist understand that the Trapezius is a complex muscle and will release easy if the mid thoracic vertebrae has been worked first. Other muscles that produce similar patterns and should not be overlooked and worked on include: rhomboids, middle and lower trapezius, serrated posterior superior, thoracic multifidi, cervical multifidi and iliocostalis thoracis.

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muscle knots

Muscle knots! What causes them?

Muscle knots! What causes them? Whilst it’s not entirely clear what causes them researchers believe that these muscle ‘knots’ or adhesions (known as myofascial trigger points) are the result from continual tension and overuse in a specific area. Common areas for tightness are the neck, shoulders, and back. Holding tension and stress as well as clenching your muscles can create these ‘knots’. But they can also develop due to an injury, poor posture, or long periods of inactivity.

It is well known that massage is one of the best ways to release this tension or stress. If a massage isn’t an option for you, then you can DYI by placing firm pressure on the area, either by lying on a foam roller, a tennis or cricket ball and hold for about a 60 secs while taking deep breathes. Using heat or cooling the area may also help ease the contraction and reduce any associated pain. As always, if the pain or discomfort doesn’t go away, please see your doctor or physiotherapist.

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