Long days at work often lead to a sore tired aching neck. Stretches are frequently prescribed to relieve this neck pain. And yes when we sit an apply a stretch it does feel nice.... for a little bit at least.
A common scenario is the persistent soreness down the side of your neck into your shoulder blade region. This is often pretty sore when you try to turn tour neck. Try this simple test lean on your desk so that your shoulders are passively put into a shrugged position. Now try to turn your neck - does it move better?
When we take tension off the levator scapulae muscle this will often result in significant pain relief. Lets talk about this muscle. The levator scapulae muscle is a long muscle of the shoulder girdle that connects to the side of our neck, and its main function is to lift the shoulder blade.
Levator Scapulae & neck pain.
So often our Levator scapulae muscle is being held in a lengthened position due to the position of our shoulder blade. This is related to our posture. Once we establish with our testing that pain is relieved when we remove tension from the muscle then we need to work on improving the strength around our shoulder blade to maintain this change.
Try these simple exercises to aimed at strengthening the shoulder blade region and changing our neck pain:
It can be tricky to get the shoulder blade in a position in order to alleviate the pain - Physiotherapy intervention will often focus on getting you to understand where your shoulder blade is, and how to achieve the optimal position to remove constant tension on the levator scapulae. Sometimes we may use taping techniques to help achieve this.
So try the passive shrug test on your desk, and if your head rotates easier with less pain, give the strengthening exercises a go.
So don't get yourself tied in knots if you have neck pain, give us a call