Pectoralis: A Major Complaint
Sometimes, when a client comes to me with pain between their shoulder blades, I might have them start their session face-up on the massage table. Why is this?
Your body is an intricate system of levers and pulleys. One easy way to see this is if you use one of those artists’ model figures. Play with it a little, and keep this law from Newton in mind: “For every action, there is an equal, and opposite, reaction.” When you pull on a leg of that figure, for example, what else happens? The hips and back react. When you, say, bend the knee of the figure, you’re shortening the muscles in the back of the leg (the hamstrings), but you’re lengthening the quads on the front of the leg. You can also see this if you use an exercise band and hold it at the front of your leg – as you flex and extend, you can feel the band lengthen and shorten.
The same is true for your upper back. Many of us complain about this pain between our shoulder blades. One frequent culprit of this pain is extended work at a keyboard or on a phone – hunched over, looking down. Think of what that movement does to your shoulders. You’re actually rolling your shoulders forward, which is lengthening the muscles in your upper back … and shortening the muscles that create that forward-rolling movement, namely your pectoralis major and minor. One way to alleviate that pain is to stretch out those pec muscles, which helps bring your shoulders back to where they’re meant to be, and which takes strain off your upper back.
If you’re feeling this upper back and neck pain, it might be time for a massage. Book online or call/text 720-432-8664 to learn more!
Be well, healthy, and whole,