This common problem is difficult to fully solve using conventional methods such as self-massage, stretching or just pulling the shoulders back. These may provide temporary relief but the problem soon returns.
This can go on for years and the knots in the shoulders and pain in the upper back become a permanent feature in your life.
The root of the problem is not the shoulders. Rather, it is because your head is too far forward on your body.
Just pulling your shoulders back does nothing to help! To resolve the issue, your entire spine needs to be moved into a more upright position.
Most people can hold good posture for a few minutes. But the minute you stop thinking about it, down you go into the same slumped posture as before.
The reason? Thin, weak, and chronically over-stretched muscles in your back coupled with an inflexible spine.
The back muscles simply cannot hold correct posture before they fatigue and your head, shoulders, and spine fail into a forward position.
Did you know your head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds? It is held in place by the smallest vertebra in the spine, using some of the smallest muscles in the body!
Another contributing factor is muscle imbalance. Often, the chest muscles are stronger than back muscles creating a constant, strong pull forward against weak back muscles.
Additionally, this forward head position affects not only the vertebra in the neck, but also in the thoracic spine. Years of having your head and upper back like this can cause the vertebra to become mis-shaped and the problem becomes permanent.
We see many patients who are unable to lay on their backs without using a pillow. This is not only because of pain, but because the vertebra are actually stuck in a flexed forward position.
Without doing something about your posture, slouching becomes your "normal" and can even lead to a Buffalo Hump.
GOOD POSTURE IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE THORACIC SPINE.
NOT THE NECK OR SHOULDERS.
The thoracic spine is the most inflexible area of the back. Ribs attached to the vertebra give protection and support to vital body organs. Because of the inflexibility, and weak muscles, knots are prone to built up.
It makes sense that increasing flexibility, especially in the thoracic spine, will help. Also, building strong back muscles to hold the head and back in correct position can solve the problem.
Exercises like these DO NOT FIX the problem
The first two stretches reinforce the CAUSE of the knots. The roll stretches the chest and anterior shoulders, but does NOT ADDRESS THE SPINAL ISSUES!
IT FEELS LIKE MY SHOULDER BLADES ARE STUCK TO MY BACK!
The main purposes of a shoulder blade (scapula) is to attach the back of the body to the front - a strut. Functionally, the scapula's purpose is to move the arm.
When you lift your arm, the top of the shoulder blade should rotate toward the spinewhile the bottom of the shoulder blade should rotate away from the spine. This motion is called SCAPTION - an abbreviation for Scapular Plane Elevation.
When these muscles get tight, they pull the shoulder blade forward INtoward the chest not allowing for proper motion of either the shoulder blade or the arm.
Given their location and function you can see how all three muscles cause pain.
Sitting at a computer for hours every day, constantly looking down at your mobile device cause the muscles to thin and weaken. They respond by building muscle knots for stability. The root cause is inflexibility of the thoracic spine. Lost is the NORMAL give-and- take motion in the back.
LOSS OF MOTION IN THE SHOULDER BLADES IS CAUSED BY A CHRONIC FORWARD HEAD AND INFLEXIBILITY OF THE THORACIC SPINE.
IT CAN ALSO CAUSE REAL PROBLEMS FOR YOUR SHOULDERS.
THERE ARE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP THE PROBLEM
Stand against a wall. Head, torso, sacrum and heels all touching the wall.
Arms about 8" from your sides, palms forward.
Slide your arms up the wall to shoulder height while maintaining contact on the wall with all the body parts.
Arms at shoulder height, squeeze the shoulder blades together. Repeat....
Hold this posture and step away from the wall. This is how your posture should be at all times. You CAN change your posture!
PurePosture Can Help, even the first time!
BETTER THAN THESE EXERCISES, FASTER TOO...
Aligns the spine, increases flexibility, solves neck and back pain. Immediate changes.
By lengthening spinal ligaments and putting the spine in correct alignment, this starts breaking up the knots, even the first time you try PurePosture.
PurePosture builds the right muscles in your back. Repeated use, and muscle memory, holds your there!