Modern technology has had a great impact on our jobs and, consequently, has affected our physical health. The majority of adults now have desk jobs so upper back, neck and shoulder problems are much more common. So a back, neck and shoulder massage is just what we need right? Well partly right, because it feels good, but actually the real focus should be on the pectorals major and minor. When you get that slouchy feeling in your shoulders and they begin to internally rotate this is because your pecs are pulling the humorous in-ward, which in turn, is elongating your upper back muscles.
Ways you can tell if this pertains to you:
1. When you lay on your back both shoulders are far from touching the table or whatever you are laying on.
2. You have upper back, shoulder and neck pain.
3. You have restricted Range of Motion (ROM) when pulling your arm straight back horizontally or straight up vertically.
4. If you just simply feel slouchy.
Now you’re probably thinking "ok great so now I am just going to continue being in pain and slowly become more hunched over as I continue on with my career and age". I’ve got some good news for you! Whether this is a new or long existing problem THERE IS HOPE for you!
What a massage therapist can do for YOU:
1. Analyze- is one shoulder more internally rotated than the other? Is one of the shoulders higher than the other?
2. ROM- Can you raise your arm up to a comfortable 180-degree angle? Can the arm stretch by adducting the shoulder blades to 110-120-degree angle?
3. Pin and Stretch- by doing this technique the pecs will let go of the tension and in turn relieve the aching in your back and neck and the humorous will be externally rotated into is proper position.
4. Muscle stripping and Cross fiber friction applied to the upper Trapezius will relax that muscle and if your shoulders become raised or one was higher than the other, voila! Your more evened out.
Keep in mind your massage therapist is not a miracle worker. So yes, you are going to want to keep coming back, utilizing your treatment plan, until you can make it between sessions with little to no pain. A great way to help with getting better fast is to do your own stretching and homework at home. These steps will help increase your ROM, and minimize your pain which in turn will increase your overall well being.
What YOU can do for YOURSELF between sessions:
1. Do pec stretches daily- reach your right arm straight back and using your left hand grab the right wrist and really stretch that right arm back, and upward. Then repeat on the other side.
2. Do neck stretches daily- when you first wake up in the morning sit up in bed and do some simple neck stretches. Slowly tilt your head left then right a couple times. Then do full head circles back-side front-side. Then look down-forward-back. ( repeat for 3-5 minutes)
3. Raise or lower your computer monitor or keyboard, make adjustments to your chair. The idea is for you to sit up as straight as possible without having to look down too much.
4. ICE! ICE! ICE! if you’re in pain, especially after the massage. After stretching and massaging, your already tired muscles are going to be a little bit ticked-off. Contraindication: If you have been diagnosed by a doctor with Rheumatoid arthritis, only use heat.
So you see, it is NOT just "it is what it is" because here at Elements Massage we want to help you live better!
If you are experiencing back, neck or shoulder pain book your next massage today! Call 414.455.2715 to speak with our agents and we will match you to a great therapist.