Let’s start by saying that not all injuries require invasive treatment and surgery. It is possible to treat work-related or sports injuries, neck and shoulder pain with conservative therapies that achieve better and faster results.
In today’s article, let’s focus on a more commonly encountered neck and shoulder pain or tightness. I’d like to share with you some basic movements that you can use on your patients which amazingly they can also easily follow through at home.
Let me start with treating neck pathologies by working through the pectoral fibers and accessory tissue with techniques called myofascial release techniques. Others call it as active range movements also applying some glide techniques that will open up the joints associated with the shoulder. This also addresses clavicular tightness or restricted movement which then addresses the scapula positions and movement.
The collarbone, also known as the clavicle, extends from the shoulder to the breastbone.
The scapula, better known as the shoulder blade, is a triangular bone that serves as a joining force between the clavicle and the humerus.
Improving the resting positions of the shoulder, clavicle and attached soft tissue local to the site will improve your patient’s scapular position. This can improve his or her overall neck ranges in movement.
Before doing the following treatment, check first your patient’s neck range.
- Ask your patient to be seated
- Place your fingers to rest on the anterior fibers of the upper trap.
- Instruct your patient to turn his or her head to the right
- Direct your patient now to also turn to his or her left
- Ask your patient to hold their hand up
- Direct his or her head as he or she moves his/her hand from horizontal flexion to extension
- Try to palpate the tissue attachments along the underside of the clavicle
- Turn your patient’s head again as you glide or slide your fingers along the fibers to promote elongation
- Reapply your fingers slightly lower down the edge of the sternum to focus on his/her sternalis and the sternal pec fibers
- Glide them all the way along until you get to the pectoralis tendon attachments near the shoulder, as well as the anterior attachments of the bicep brachii and medial deltoid muscles.
Repeat these two to four times to get a general idea of the movement and quality before you apply the next technique.
As I have mentioned earlier, you can ask your patient to do this at home by asking them to get their fingers right at the chest and do the glide themselves.
Watch to learn more on neck and shoulder treatment
Here’s a short video I have recorded to show you how exactly you can do this from your clinic and your patient from their homes.
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