One of the most common pain complaints I hear as a massage therapist is that of pain in the neck and shoulder area. I often share that this common complaint is because the modern world we’ve created was not built with our body’s needs in mind. No one knew that creating a world where everything is at our fingertips could wreak so much havoc on the body. Most everything we deal with is directly in front of us: our keyboards, steering wheels, remote controls, kitchen counters, books and Nooks, etc. We’ve eliminated other ranges of motion such as reaching upward, squatting down, or climbing from and hanging off of things that would otherwise regularly stretch our muscles throughout our day. Let’s take a closer look at the upper chest muscles called the pectoral muscle group. The pectorals remain in static contraction, short, and tight given today’s common posture and its associated modern daily demands.  These strong muscles pull our shoulder blades forward all day, causing the many muscles attached from our shoulder blades to our spine to be under duress. Their way of telling us that they aren’t happy and need some assistance is pain, spasm, and stiffness.

Why then don’t the pectorals themselves hurt if they are the ones causing all the problems? The pectorals don’t always complain because they are strong muscles that simply adapt to being in a contracted, shortened condition. Their lack of direct pain signaling causes one to be quite surprised how much discomfort they feel the first time their pectoral muscles are massaged. Despite the discomfort from the massage treatment, they are amazed at how much better they can stand up and for how much longer they can do so without succumbing to hunching forward. I recommend these links where you can learn more about how your neck and shoulders work in a modern society and learn some stretches to help you stay pain and injury free in a modern society:

Sore Neck And Painful Shoulders

Understanding Computer Neck

Video: Chest Pectoral Muscle Stretch

 Happy Health,

Barbara Gilly

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Hands On Health Massage Therapy And Wellness
7980 Chapel Hill Road, Ste 125
Cary NC 27513