How is this muscle injured?
- Activities that encourage poor posture, where the chin sticks forward creating a deep curve in the neck. E.g. hunched over paperwork, poor computer screen positioning, driving and slouching whilst watching TV.
- Incorrect breathing patterns
What would I feel if there was a problem?
- Localised neck pain
- Referred pain into the shoulder and arm: tight scalene muscles place pressure on the brachial plexus (a bundle of nerves) and the subclavian artery which supplies the arm
- Nerve pain/burning or numbness down the arm/tingling in fingers often causing thoracic outlet syndrome
- Chest pain
What are the benefits of this stretch?
- Reduced neck pain
- Increased range of motion/flexibility
- Released tension from the front of the neck, allowing neck to realign and therefore improving
- Reduced pressure on the nerve bundle, helping to alleviate symptoms mentioned above
1. Find a bake bean can (or any other handy can)
2. Hold it in one hand and stretch your neck away from that arm.
3. Repeat on opposite side.
- Try doing this stretch at your desk by placing your hand underneath your chair and holding onto the seat or in the shower allowing the warm water to run
down your neck at the same time!
- Practice the first few times in the mirror to make sure the shoulder doesn’t rise or roll forward.
NB: Each Stretch should be held for 30 seconds. You need to ‘feel’ the stretch but not to the point of experiencing any pain…all stretches should be PAIN-FREE!