This week a woman came to my office complaining of shoulder and neck pain. While talking about her history she told me that 20 years ago she had two rear-end car accidents within a very short period of time. She went to the chiropractor at the time, and she’s still going to a chiropractor now.
Since one of her complaints was her shoulder I had her lie face down on the table and I began to look at the levator scapulae muscle that goes from your cervical vertebrae, over your shoulder, and inserts into the top of your shoulder blade. The nickname for this muscle is “the shrug muscle” because it will lift up your shoulder when you shrug. Through the years I’ve come to realize that if it is tight it will also pull your cervical vertebrae to the side and down. This movement will put pressure on your spinal cord directly at the brain and cause headaches.
Sure enough, it was in multiple spasms, in fact it felt like she had stuck a bunch of golf balls into her shoulder. So, here was one of the causes of her current shoulder pain. When I treat this muscle I will always check out the cervical vertebrae of my client because if the muscles are tight the odds are high that the neck bones will be out of alignment. They weren’t only out of alignment, her neck felt like it was filled with marbles because her bones were all over the place.
I started to work on the levator scapulae at her shoulder, and then I would go up and squeeze her posterior neck. Back and forth several times, each time her neck felt better and better. Then she turned over onto her back and I could really work on her neck muscles.
It’s always so rewarding when someone feels relief, and when it’s something that has been going on for 20 years, it’s even more rewarding. Her neck bones felt perfect by the time we were finished, and she promised me she would go straight to her chiropractor to have him top this treatment off by doing a good spinal adjustment.
When she got up she was amazed at the range-of-motion she had in her neck, and her shoulder also felt much better because of releasing this muscle. I LOVE my work, it’s so fulfilling!
She bought a copy of my book, Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living and now she’s able to continue her sessions at home. When a muscle has been tight for 20 years it’s going to take several treatments to get it to reverse, but I know she can do it!
There are other muscles involved and we spoke about each of them. She found the treatments in the book and off she went, feeling empowered that she can self treat.
Wishing you well,