CAN SHOULDER TENSION CAUSE NECK PAIN?
When someone comes to me complaining of neck and shoulder pain, they are usually rubbing their upper shoulder/neck area which are known as the trapezius muscle. This muscle, on the surface seem to be the number cause for neck and shoulder pain but in my experience they are getting a bad wrap, and it’s actually the chest muscles that are to blame.
There are two postures that I share with them that 9/10 times provides immediate and long lasting release. One posture is Wild Thing, and the other is a Neck and Shoulders Release which I consider to be Wild Thing at the wall. The question is why do these postures receive neck pain?
What most people don’t realize is how connected the neck and shoulders really are. At this point I am sure you have heard about Fascia and how it wraps all of our muscles creating a unified – 1 muscle body. Have you ever opened up an orange and seen all the fibers between the sugary orange nectar? This is like fascia in a fruit, our muscles are the same way. However, we don’t need to get “NEW AGEY” to see that the neck is completely connected to the shoulders. Let’s just take a quick peak at the anatomy, shall we?
Shoulders Anatomy: What You Need To Know
There are 3 bones that make up the shoulders
- Collar bone “Clavicle”
- Arm Bone “Humerus”
- Shoulder Blade “Scapula”
There are multiple muscles that attach to one or more of these bones that also connect to your neck and/or head. One Muscle for example is called the Sternocleidomastoid and it runs from the top of your chest to the back of your neck and skull. This muscle when tight will pull the head forward and down toward your chest.
The Pectorals Major and Minor Muscles attach to the chest, the arm bone, the shoulder blade, and the collar bone and these are our focus for today along with the Trapezius muscle. The Trapezius not only attaches to the neck, spine, skull and shoulder blade but they also attach to the collar bone.
THE BIG SECRET
Truth is there are multiple causes for neck and shoulder pain, but the common everyday “rub your upper shoulders and neck” kind of pain is typically caused by tight or short pectoral muscles causing the collar bones to be pulled downward and the shoulder blades to rise up and be pulled forward towards the checks. The Trapezius which is often blamed then gets in a tug of war and tries to pull the shoulders back into place. AND WHAT DO YOU DO? You start rubbing the trapezius – asking it to relax. The Problem with that is, it is trying to help – it’s the chest muscles that need to relax. Release the Pectoral muscles and more often than not your neck and shoulder pain will go away.
SO CAN SHOULDER TENSION CAUSE NECK PAIN? Absolutely! when we look at all the different muscles that attach to both the neck and shoulders, it’s obvious.
In the September Immersion we worked through the 3 primary shoulder actions through out a 75 minute class and then we learned how to apply them directly to wild thing! Each immersion practice focuses on a different yoga pose in order to develop a greater understanding of our body. Join the next livestream immersion and get lifetime access to all videos when you sign up today!
SOLUTION TO NECK AND SHOULDER PAIN
If you have have neck and shoulder pain on a regular basis, or if you simply want to prevent chronic discomfort than I suggest including at least 1 pectoral stretch in your daily yoga practice. What if you can’t get on your mat each day? That is no problem, you can stretch your Pectoralis muscles anywhere so long as you have a wall to put your hand on!
Right now as you read this your arms are probably in front of you correct? They are for more of our day – this causes the shoulders to pull forward, the simple soloution is we just need to pull our shoulders back. In the video Below I will share with you the 3 Steps to Releasing your Neck and Shoulder Pain!
THE 3 STEP RELEASE
The pictures below are from the blog on Wild Thing, The actions are exactly the same at the wall as they are on the ground but each posture provides a slightly different benefits. The benefit at the wall is that you do not need a yoga mat or to get down on the ground, you can do it right at work or wherever you are. The Benefit to Wild Thing on the ground is that it adds a layer of required strength to the back body – this will further support a release of the neck since the back body muscles tend to be weak for most of us.
Step 1 - Elevate the shoulder
Step 1 is to lift your shoulder up toward the ear – this is vital in range of motion and helping your pectoralis muscles to lengthen and to initiate strength from your trapezius.
Step 2: retract shoulder blade
Next, move your shoulder back (retract the shoulder blade toward the spine) this will recruit your back muscles and stretch the Pectoralis major muscle in particular.
Step 3: Rotate Shoulder Outward
Externally rotate the arm bone – this will pull the top of the shoulder back stretching pec minor. It also will help to release a muscle called sub scapulars which tends to cause neck pain.
WILD THING CLASS
The September Immersion includes the full length class to Wild Thing Pose as well as other peak poses with a heavy emphasis on Shoulder Bio-Mechanics! In this package you will get 12, 75 minute Yoga Classes, 4 of which include guided meditations! So, If you want to get to know your shoulders than this is THE immersion to practice!
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THE LIVE IMMERSION EXPERIENCE
Are you interested in developing your practice, and taking it to the next level? Do you want learn the techniques that maximize your potential in advancing your practice while minimizing risk of injury? This immersion is for you. Take a deep dive into the heart of yoga both body and mind. With 12 Live Yoga Practices and a dedicated private facebook group to get all your questions answered about any yoga pose, this immersion is sure to meet your expectations and go well beyond. Can’t practice at the live times? NO Problem, you get lifetime, anytime, anywhere access. After the class goes live, you will be able to tune in and watch as much as you would like!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
When you sign up for the immersion you will gain access to an exclusive members area of theyogimatt.com. When you are logged in your will have access and be able to watch the livestream that day, and any previously aired livestreams from that month.
ARE THERE RECURRING PAYMENTS?
NO. You are paying for access to one month of classes, after that you will be provided a discounted rate should you want to continue practicing regularly. You will NOT be automatically billed, THIS IS A ONE TIME PAYMENT that gives you access to the classes in the respective month that you purchase.
WHAT IF I CAN'T MAKE THE LIVE TIME?
NO PROBLEM AT ALL! The Immersion consists of yogis worldwide in various time zones. This is why you have LIFETIME and UNLIMITED access. You can practice when it is convenient for you. You will receive emails throughout the week to keep you on track and keep you inspired to practice. There is a facebook group where you will here from other members, be able to ask questions and stay connected. Both the emails from me and the group will keep you committed to your practice, even if you cannot practice live.
IS THIS TOO ADVANCED FOR ME?
Matt specializes in teaching ALL Levels yoga practices, providing modifications, and options throughout each class. These immersions are suitable for anyone with as little as 1-3 months yoga practice or more. You do not need to have a regular practice, nor do you need to be flexibly or strong. First time yogis are welcomed so long as you have no major injuries. Each class focuses on a different yoga pose in order to gain a greater understanding of our body within the asana practice.
WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT THE LIVE IMMERISONS
Matt‘s classes are phenomenal- if you ever have the ability to practice with him, make use of it!! He has a very unique talent of combining anatomy, yoga philosophy and his own perspective into a super intense package of knowledge which is fun AND easy to understand. I enjoyed the April immersion a lot as it was a great way of deepening my own practice and broadening my horizon, especially as the lifetime access allows you to take classes
as often as you want- trust me, you will want to take them again! I cant wait for next month’s classes and highly recommend everyone to take the May pass and joining in on the journey.
Covid_19 bought Matt into my home and my yoga practice. This last month I have learn’t so much it has deepened my practice and my understanding of the anatomy & biomechanics and how we use both in every asana we practice. He has also helped in my teaching, ie asking my students to think about the foot as a tripod “big toe, pinkie toe, heel ” I never imagined I would learn so much from the immersion.
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