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06.07.2013

Upper back under shoulder blade pain, get abs in a month - Try Out

Author: admin
Sometimes it's the Lower Trapezius and lower fibers of the Serratus Anterior that are too strong and short (Lower Trap dominance) while the Upper Trapezius is elongated and weak. Improve Shoulder Blade Stabilization to Thoracic Spine by strengthening Rhomboids, and Lower and Middle Trapezius. Don't just strengthen the muscles seen in frontal view such as those of the chest, front of shoulder, the abdominal 6-pack area, fronts of thighs (quadriceps) and upper arms (biceps); that stretches and weakens the opposing muscles in back, which are responsible for keeping us erect and in good posture alignment. If a workout causes pain around a joint, figure out why (or get an expert to help) before continuing. When lifting, pulling or pushing weight, concentrate on keeping shoulder blade movement controlled.
With all four groups of muscles in balance, the pelvis is held in neutral position, giving the lower back a slightly lordotic (anterior) curve.
Sway Back: Short, tight Hamstrings pull down on posterior pelvis, tilting it backward and flattening the normal lordotic curve.
Also notice whether one's body weight is evenly distributed over the soles of both feet, from side to side, and front to back. Accordingly, the first step is to really look at oneself from the front, back and side, and preferable while performing daily activities.
In some ways, weak, stretched-out postural muscles are like the elastic waistbands of old underwear.
Include Upper Body Alignment: Keep the mid back straight and chest lifted without excessively arching the back (in both sitting and standing) by elongating spine from hips to chest. Fix the Shoulder Blade Exercise to improve forward head, pull shoulders back, strengthen shoulder blade anchoring, and free up neck motion.
Sway back: stiffen and hyper-extend the knees, throw the hips forward and feel the mid to upper body shift backwards to balance, while the chest caves in and the very top of the back and head curve forward. Flat back: Tilt pelvis backward and note the flattening of the lordotic curve of the lower back.
Strengthen Thoracic Spine Extensors and Reduce Kyphosis with Fix the Shoulder Blades exercise and Upper Back Extension exercises. Upper Trap Dominant: Stretch upper trapezius and strengthen lower trapezius with Pull Down part of Fix the Shoulder Blade exercise.
Strengthen Low Back Extensors (Flat Back and Sway Back): see Back Extension, Multifidus and Transversus Abdominis exercises.
Stretch Low Back Extensors with Posterior Pelvic tilts (Kyphotic-Lordotic only) On a firm padded floor surface, lie on the back with bent knees and have feet flat on the floor. B) Isometric Abdominal Bracing Exercises: In a neutral spine position, stiffen the abdominal wall by tightening abs, gluts, back etc. The muscles that anchor the shoulder blades to the spine, the rhomboids, and middle and lower trapezius are normal length and strength. This quote was a first clue, but I couldn't understand it at the time, and even if I had, my shoulder blades seemed impossible to control, like wiggling one's ears. If very tight and short, the pectoralis minor may need to be stretched first to allow the shoulder blades to tilt back up. An exception to use of part one of Fix the Shoulder Blades Exercise is a condition called Depressed or Droopy Shoulders Syndrome that is often present in women with low set, steeply sloping shoulders and long necks. A more detailed look at Fix the Shoulder Blades Exercise: It helps to think of the shoulder blades as two rigid, triangular, curved plates lying on and fitting the contour of the posterior rib cage. And #2—to pull the shoulder blades closer together (only needed if they are usually held more than 4 inches apart in one's usual posture).
Thus the front neck flexors weaken and atrophy from disuse (not enough work) rather than from overwork like the back neck extensors.
These are the two muscles that suspend the shoulder blades from the cervical (neck) spine, and they become increasingly more important stabilizers of the shoulder blades when the upper body is hunched over and shoulders are rounded forward; and the stretched, weakened Rhomboids, and Middle and Lower Trapezius, no longer firmly anchor the shoulder blades to the more sturdy thoracic spine. With good stabilization of shoulder blades by these larger muscles, very little force is transmitted to the more delicate cervical (neck) spine by the upper trapezius and levator scapula, even when heavy loads are lifted.
Sometimes an inciting incident such as one-sided spasm of the lower back leads over time to postural asymmetry between right and left sides. In right-handed persons, the right lateral trunk muscles may be compressed between a low shoulder and a raised hip. Sometimes the head and neck will also tilt down to the right, resulting in pain and tightness of the left lateral neck muscles, which are under increased stress as they try to support the off-balance head (Asymmetric Upper Body-B). Shoulder shrugs with weights can be used to strengthen upper trapezius, but do not allow shoulder(s) to drop all the way down before or after the shrug in order to decrease downward range of motion. Give posterior muscles such as back extensors, gluts and triceps at least equal time, if not more, to compensate for the way we customarily use our bodies. If backs of the hands usually face forward, then the side of the arm is actually twisted to the front, and the head of the upper arm bone is internally rotated forward in the shoulder socket.
In brief: Lie prone (face down) on floor, place arms in one of the four positions, have thumbs pointing up and keep shoulders down away from ears, squeeze the shoulder blades together while lifting arms and chest (but do not lift the chest more than 1 or 2 inches off ground to avoid hyper-extension of lower back and excessive load that may damage delicate facet joints. But if hip or back muscles are tight, changing pelvic tilt may seem impossible or may cause muscle tingling or soreness.
It helps if one has strong belief, backed up by reasons and evidence, that posture improvement is important and necessary. For tight chest muscles and upper abdominals, do Thumbs-Up and Bruegger Exercises, Wall Angels or Wall Standing Exercise, also Pectoralis Minor Stretch (note precautions), and frequently remind oneself to keep the chest lifted.
For tight chest muscles and upper abdominals, do Thumbs-Up and Bruegger Exercises, Wall Angels or Wall Standing Exercise, also Pectoralis Minor Stretch (note precautions), and frequently remind oneself to keep the chest lifted, by lengthening spine from top of pelvis to ribcage.


A background with vertical lines, such as wallpaper or a fence, helps to show forward or side leaning tendencies. Tilt pelvis forward and note increased lordotic curve in the lower back and pouching out of the entire abdominal area.
Keep chest high by elongating the trunk instead of arching the back, as part of improving posture in standing and sitting.
May be caused by weakness or paralysis of serratus anterior, especially after traumatic injury to upper shoulder and lower neck area (e.g. But these two muscles aren't adequate for the extra load* and in response they become hyperactive and remain tight, always trying to pull the shoulders up toward the ears. Half of that weight is transmitted to the spinal column in back via the Rhomboids and Trapezius. The usual therapeutic exercises for shoulders, such as seated rows and pull downs that use the arms in pulling or lifting weights, can be painful unless there's already some degree of shoulder blade stabilization.
A correction strategy is to have the patient move the coracoid upward and the acromion backwards [which simply means to rotate or tilt the shoulder blade upward so it's more vertical and lies flat on the back. It strengthened the muscles that anchor the shoulder blades to the thoracic spine, thus insuring that the weight of the arms and the forces generated by the arms in weight-bearing exercise would be transferred to the sturdier spinal column of the back, rather than hanging off the more delicate cervical spine of the neck. Do not do part one, the pull down, of Fix the Shoulder Blades exercise because pain and nerve impingement may result.
Similarly, those of us with poor shoulder blade position and function need to be able to see our backs to figure out how to correct the problem. Check slope of collarbones - depressed or horizontal collarbones indicate that the shoulder blades are already set too low in back. The effort should be felt in the mid to lower back, where muscles from below — the lower trapezius and perhaps lower fibers of serratus anterior (see last illustration below) contract and pull down on the shoulder blades. Effort should come from between the shoulder blades, not from moving or twisting arms or hands. An over-stretched upper trapezius causes depressed shoulders, which is a potential source of neck pain.
The weakness of front neck muscles is why many chronic neck pain sufferers are unable to lift their heads when lying on their backs. The brachial plexus becomes compressed by the coracoid process of the shoulder blade when it is pulled forward and down by a tight pectoralis minor. The best clue to depressed shoulder is that the collar bones are horizontal or slope down toward the shoulder joint; and in the back, the shoulder blades are held too low.
Sit with back straight and both feet on the floor, not one leg folded under the butt or one leg crossed over the other.
The External Oblique abdominal is elongated and weakened from accommodating to the backward sway of the upper trunk.
On the side with the lower hip, core muscles between upper body and lower body are stretched. No wonder I couldn't easily bring my head to touch the wall behind me and later would have neck pain from trying. So instead, one must arrange for a two mirror set-up that shows side and back views (see such a set-up here); and then be completely honest with oneself in front of the mirror (tougher than you'd think). Those reasons may include: 1) reducing chronic musculo-skeletal pain, 2) delaying age-related spinal changes, 3) helping to prevent injuries, 4) improving appearance, and 5) changing one's life for the better. Chest sunken, muscles between the ribs (intercostals), upper abdominals and accessory muscles of respiration such as pectorals are shortened and tight; shallow breathing is the norm.
The mirrors are also used to monitor shoulder blade stabilization and correct activation of back muscles during the Fix the Shoulder Blades exercise and dumb bell lifts.
Note the long kephotic curve (the sway) from top of lumbar spine through mid to upper back. Hunch mid to upper back to accentuate thoracic curve; and usually the lordotic curve of neck automatically increases to compensate (except in anatomical flattening of the cervical spine).
Tilt the pelvis backwards to flatten low back on the surface by tightening abdominals† (a pulling up towards the upper body, and in with lower abdominals). Tilt pelvis back to flatten low back against the wall by pulling up and inward with the lower abdominal muscles. The shoulder blades are held wider apart because the muscles between them (Rhomboids, Middle and Lower Trapezius) must stretch for the kyphotic spinal curve to bulge out. The shoulders come back to a more normal position, which allows the chest to expand, and stretches the pectoral muscles underlying the breast area and the intercostal muscles between the ribs, so that they return to a normal length. Use of the arms in weight bearing activity such as in lifting or pulling adds to the load, and may cause the upper traps and levator scapula to spasm. If Rhomboids and Trapezius are weak the weight is borne by Levator Scapula and Upper Trapezius (Darn Uncomfortable!).
Otherwise, spasm and pain prevents the effort from going into strengthening the rhomboids, and middle and lower traps, instead of the over-worked default muscles—the upper traps and levator scapula.
Sit straight on the butt, not on the lower back, and maintain the lumbar curve by sitting back in a chair with a lumbar support. The weight of the arms transfers entirely to the shoulder blade, which houses the shoulder joint.
Most of us, in our whole lives, have rarely see our backs and have no mind map of what the structures look like or how they move.
The pinching together of shoulder blades helps strengthen the rhomboids, while lifting the shoulders activates and shortens the upper trapezius.


It is responsible for pulling on and tilting the top of the shoulder blade down, toward the front of the body. The Unilateral Corner Stretch is reported to yield the best pec minor stretch, but there is a risk that the anterior shoulder capsule will be over-stretched.
And the bathroom mirror only provides a front view, which doesn't show a forward head or a hunched back, especially when we're focused on blemishes, bags under the eyes, beard hair or wrinkles (and for women, applying make-up to hide them). For a single depressed shoulder do shrugs only on the affected side, until shoulders are evened out.
While keeping low back flat, slide heels down to straighten knees as much as possible with back held flat against the floor. But the upper trapezius is unable to keep up with the extra load, especially if the arms are lifting, pulling or pushing against resistance.
Focal points of hyperactivity are felt as tender knots at the levator scapulas' points of attachment to the shoulder blade (red X in illustration above and at left). I wasn't able to activate the correct muscles during my 4 plus courses of Physical Therapy for neck and shoulders.
At the shoulder joint, the upper arm bone (the humerus) inserts into the glenoid cavity of the shoulder blade. Both the rhomboids and upper trapezius are over-stretched when shoulder blades are depressed, and the lower trapezius is too short and tight.
The results should be that the kephotic curve of the thoracic spine flattens (if flexible), and the neck and head come back into line with the spinal column.) Very importantly, the movement takes place in back and not directly on top of the shoulders. Unfortunately the pair can't avoid their anatomical role of suspending the shoulder blades, so both muscles end up being pulled down by the weight of the shoulder blades plus the arms that hang from the upper outside corners (shoulder blade houses the shoulder joint). Observe your back in a 2-mirror set-up and notice the movement of the shoulder blades as you lift your arms to the sides and up. Tight Low Back Extensors pull upward on the posterior pelvis and weak Hip Extensors cannot counter the pull.
Sometimes the motivation needs to be more immediate such as reduction in existing chronic pain or desire to improve appearance.
If slouched posture is habitual, the Rhomboids, and Upper and Lower Trapezius muscles, which anchor the shoulder blades to the long thoracic spinal column of the back, stay elongated and weaken (stretch weakness and atrophy).
Eventually the upper traps tend to spasm from overwork and take longer to recover each time until they spasm no matter how light the load unless muscle balance is restored.
Unfortunately in slouched posture, the levator scapula and the upper trapezius are also stretched—their points of attachment on the shoulder blade having moved further away.
I knew the effort was supposed to be coming from the shoulder blades area and not the arms, but that was next to impossible when one's back and shoulder blades are like an unknown territory.
Doing a high shrug with shoulders up as high as they will go, also stretches the lower trapezius and helps the shoulder blades rise higher.
Currently, with my neck pain resolved, I may do one rep a day in the course of correcting my posture, especially when sitting. This constant traction produces irritation and hyperactivity of the Upper Trapezius and Levator; they keep trying to raise the shoulders up toward the ears. For example, to close the elbow, the biceps in front of upper arm contracts, while triceps at back of arm lengthens; and to open, the triceps contracts, while biceps lengthens). If you use a light weight, you might notice how particular back muscles strain to stabilize the shoulder blades as they pivot apart and glide to the sides.
If the pelvis tilts backward, the sacrum and lower spine back are pulled backward, which results in straightening of the lumbar curve as seen in Flat Back Posture. What is obvious, though, is that when they correct their sway back posture and stop hyperextending hips and knees, the appearance of their bow legs is much improved.
Without a good way to see what should be activated, there is lack of innate body feel for what is really going on back there.
I absolutely needed them; the touch of the physical therapist guiding me through the shoulder blade pull-down exercise was not enough, neither was someone telling me what my shoulder blades were doing. If a person with Flat Back hyper-extends his or her knees, and relaxes the external obliques, the rest of Sway Back posture is a natural consequence. Over time, habitual Forward Head causes the back neck extensors to weaken and atrophy from chronic tightness and spasm, which squeezes out oxygen and nutrient–rich blood, thus starving the muscle.
It was much later that I discovered that it was possible to learn to contract and strengthen the muscles that control shoulder blade movements without using the arms, but mirrors were needed for visual feedback.
In the long term, areas of muscle attachment on cervical vertebra and nearby joints, such as facet joints, become inflamed and sore; facet joint pain from pre-existing arthritic degeneration may worsen.
In some cases (like mine) neck muscle and joint inflammation become so severe that joint mobilization and therapeutic massage, rather than relaxing the neck, cause worse pain. Part 2, Pinch the Shoulder Blades is still useful for depressed shoulders if the shoulder blades with arms at sides are held more than 5 inches apart. However, if you have the common problem of *Upper Trapezius Dominant with weak lower trapezius, upward sloping collar bones, and shoulder blades that ride too high on the back and tilt forward to to the front of body, then Olderman's book won't help as much.




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