Do you have one of the pesky shoulder blade knots or shoulder blade pain that can sometimes go up your neck? Cool! Well not cool, but you are in the right place! Most people experience these nagging pests and get all sorts of explanations on what is causing these and how to treat them; rhomboid strain, pulled muscle, and/or your rib is out. Most likely what is happening is something called a Cloward Sign. With this symptom the root starts with an irritation with a disc in your neck. So everything you are trying to do to get to that point or knot, just will not seem to make it go away.
Where Do Shoulder Blade Knots Come From?
With shoulder blade pain or shoulder knots, the pain generator is actually coming from your neck. The disc levels with this type of issue are C4, C5, and C6; and these refer pain away from the neck and into that mid-back region. There are instances where you can have neck pain and this shoulder blade discomfort, but both are not mutually exclusive. So in summary the symptom may be in another spot than the actual problem. So treating the symptom can lead to temporary relief, but not fixing the problem leads to it recurring.
How Do We Get Rid Of Them?
How we treat this lower neck issue is by utilizing some hands on techniques to get things moving a little better, some mobility work, and then of course some progressive overloading of the upper back musculature. We do these in combination, while continually assessing for further irritation in order to get you back to doing things you love. One piece alone may take way longer to solve your shoulder blade pain overall, but we have to be strategic on how and when we implement them.
Where Should I Start?
Some of the exercises we start people on are very simple and do not require much equipment. The simplest one is the cervical retraction, also known as a “chin tuck.” This can be done laying down on your back or sitting. Starting with good posture you are going to draw you head/chin backwards, NOT DOWN. Pretend there is a dog trying to lick your face and you do not want it to; that is the same motion, just not as stressful! This moves those lower neck joints and muscle, so you may feel this radiate into that shoulder blade region Doing a few more should demonstrate if this will help as the discomfort in the shoulder blade may dissipate. If it hurts more and you are sitting, try lying on your back and doing the same movement. We recommend starting with three sets of five to ten reps per day.
Are You Struggling With Shoulder Blade Knots?
If this exercise helped your shoulder blade knots or if this may have been an answer to your problem, reach out so we can get you back to moving with a lot less pain and discomfort. We also have a free downloadable ebook called 7 Ways To Ease Neck and Shoulder Pain which provides to alleviate symptoms as well!