It is almost summer! The warmer weather brings happiness and…..yard work! The increase of outdoor activities is an assault on your muscles that are used to doing very little over the winter months. Gardening, yard work, golfing, baseball, ATV/camping, fishing, etc. can all wreak havoc on your body if you aren’t careful.
Almost every activity you do uses your upper body or arms, in front of your body. The shoulders are always involved, and they are a complex area, with many muscles comprising these important joints. The pectoral muscles are most often really tight (strong) and pull the shoulders forward, causing ’rounded’ shoulders. This alone will cause dysfunction of the upper back muscles (particularly the upper trapezius and levator scapula muscles) because they constantly fire in attempts to ‘pull’ the shoulder girdle back into alignment (centered, on top of the rib cage). Unfortunately, this is usually a futile attempt from these determined back muscles, as the pectoral muscles usually dominate due to the sheer strength of these muscles, and the chronic nature of the dysfunction.
The common misconception is to strengthen pectoral muscles when working out, but that would be strengthening muscles that are already overly tight and restrictive. It exacerbates the existing problem! What needs to happen is the chronically tight pec muscles need to be STRETCHED (to loosen the pull on the shoulders) and the back muscles (trapezius, rhomboids and latissimus dorsi) need to be STRENGTHENED. This will eventually correct the imbalance between the front and back of the body, which will eliminate or prevent neck and back pain. The neck is like an extension of the torso, so imbalances present in the torso will eventually show up in the neck. Often clients are initially perplexed as to why the massage therapist is also massaging their pectoral muscles, when their back muscles and neck are the areas that hurt!
Another method that will help prevent or correct this postural imbalance is RAPID Adhesion Release therapy. Melissa, a Registered Massage Therapist, was certified in this technique earlier this year. It is a soft tissue, movement-based massage technique that can loosen your tissues that are causing you pain and suffering. It is done with the clothes on (which is opposite of regular massage therapy), and is only a half hour in length. It is an extremely effective way of realigning the muscles and ligaments by activating your central nervous system to release tension.
Here are some of the conditions that can be quickly resolved with RAPID Adhesion Release technique:
tennis elbow/golfer’s elbow
Book an appointment with Melissa today to get back to being and feeling like the best version of you!