Is Your Levator Scapula To Blame?

Levator Scapula Pain Relief

Do you have shoulder pain?

Were you told that it might be coming from your levator scapula?

Do you know what your levator scapula is?

It can commonly cause neck, upper back, and shoulder pain.
The levator scapula is the muscle you are trying to reach and rub when you put your hand behind your
back, from the top, and the top of your shoulder blade. It is the area between the top of the
shoulder blade and the spine.

The levator scapula is a muscle that attaches the top medial portion of the shoulder blade to the neck.
It raises your shoulder blades. This muscle helps you to shrug.
If you keep your shoulders raised high and up by your ears, you can cause your levator scapula to
spasm. Once your levator scapula goes into spasm, it will be painful to lower your shoulders and
do many other motions with your shoulders.
The primary irritant for our shoulders these days are computer work, driving, and looking down at your
phone.

These actions cause us to hunch our shoulders.
When we hunch our shoulders while looking down, our shoulder blades come up to our ears. This will
cause our shoulders, upper back, and neck to all tighten up.
Throw some stress on top, causing us to clench our teeth or clench in other areas, and this motion can
easily cause a flare of the levator scapula and the surrounding areas.

The subscapularis is one of the main muscles that move our shoulders up to our ears.
You’ll recognize the muscle if you’ve read any of my other blogs.
It is the big rotator cuff muscle between your shoulder blade and your spine.
This muscle causes you to shrug your shoulders.

When you are sitting in front of a computer for hours, getting stressed out, these muscles will tighten up.
When driving for long distances, even over 30 minutes, hunching over the steering wheel and
having a death grip on the steering wheel can cause these muscles to spasm.
When you are sitting at home, scrolling on your phone, and looking down at it, then your shoulder
blades will be coming up your back and tightening up.
All of these motions can cause your levator scapula to go into spasm.
How do you calm down the levator scapula?

This involves stretching the hips into the upper back, shoulders, and even the neck.
On my website, https://cohentriggerpoint.com/courses/, you’ll find stretches and exercises for all
these areas. I recommend starting at level 1. Under the blog section of my website, you can find videos
explaining and demonstrating how to trigger point and foam roll your achy and painful muscles at home
and calm down these inflamed and irritated muscles.

Please keep in mind that a tight muscle will be a weak muscle. Even if the muscle feels weak, you want
Start by stretching it and loosening it up before you try to strengthen it.
You must work out the entire neck, upper back, and shoulder complex.
Trigger-point therapy is one of the best ways to get this worked out.
Trigger point therapy can treat all of the affected shoulder, upper back and neck, and even jaw
muscles that can contribute to the pain complex.
An excellent soft tissue chiropractor will be able to work out the trigger points to get the muscles to move the
the way they were designed to move.

Then, a good physical therapist will help reinforce healthy movement patterns and get the shoulder to
move how it was designed. Allowing for positive movement hygiene.
Deep tissue laser therapy is also a great addition to help speed up the healing process.
We can treat and relieve your muscle and joint pain at Cohen Chiropractic Trigger Point Center.
If you are suffering from levator scapula pain, come in and see us.
We will get the pain out.

Have a Pain Free Day.

Levator Scapula Pain Relief

Pain Between The Shoulders

In our modern society, we are all overusing our hands and all the muscles and joints attached to them. That includes the forearms, elbows, upper arms, shoulders, upper back, and neck, and possibly even the jaw. Kids these days call that a kinetic chain. It is how our muscles are attached and work together. You never have one muscle moving separately from everything else.

All of the muscles in our bodies work together. Physical therapists call it regional interdependence. It’s how one area of our body affects another location and another area. I like the saying that you never have a chance to do a bench press in the real world. We are never just using our pec muscles. We use them with other muscles to move our shoulders and arms. This is a long-winded way of saying that pain between your shoulder blades probably does not come from the rhomboids.

Cell phones are ubiquitous. Everyone has one, and everyone uses them. Whether you are in front of the computer or steering wheel or looking down at your phone, we are all hunching over and looking down way too much. We are doing it so much that it is reshaping our skeletons. Before the pandemic, there was a study that caused people to get upset. The study showed that kids were growing horns on the back of their heads from looking down at their screens so much.

Kids were growing bone spurs on the back of their heads, at the base of the skull, from the pressure of leaning their heads over and looking down for hours on end. We are all hunching over and looking down way too much. This causes our shoulder blades to come up to our ears and tightens the entire kinetic chain from our neck into our hands. Where you get pain along that chain is anyone’s guess.

Areas of previous injury are much more likely to flare again. If you injured your arm or shoulder, looking down on your lap or doing too much computer work can bring back that old injury. If you have pain between your shoulder blades, the rhomboid will be involved, but other muscles will also contribute to it. The subscapularis is the primary muscle that causes pain between the shoulder blades. The subscapularis is a rotator cuff muscle inside the shoulder blade, between the shoulder blade and ribs underneath it. The primary motion of the subscapularis is shoulder retraction. The muscle pulls your shoulder blades back and down. When you are hunching, your shoulder blades come up to your ears and will pinch and pull on most muscles in the shoulder, upper back, and arm. The subscapularis can pull on the ribs between the shoulder blades and cause pinching pain or prevent rib movement, which can cause pain when breathing in.

How do you prevent this pinching and pulling of the shoulder blades?

-Watch how you sit:

Sit with a small, rounded pillow in the small of your back, and lean backward. You can roll up a towel into a cylinder form and put some tape or rubber bands around it to hold it in place, then set it in the small of your back whenever you are sitting. Lean back so that your upper back is touching the chair. This will keep you in an excellent neutral position by maintaining the curvature of the spine. You should be able to sit comfortably like this for a while. But I wouldn’t sit for longer than an hour without getting up.

-Stretch

A good stretch for this area is to start standing up. You take your painful arm (right side for explanation) and put it behind your back, palm out. Try to touch the bottom of your left shoulder blade with your right fingers, palm still pointing backward. Once you get it as high up your back as you can comfortably (no pushing or jerking), lean back against a wall. It is one of the best stretches for our upper back and shoulders that I have seen. If you try this stretch and try to change how you sit, and you are still having pain between your shoulder blades, then I would seek out a chiropractor who specializes in soft tissue/ muscle injuries. The Nimmo/ receptor Tonus Technique is a significant soft tissue technique for reducing and healing muscle injuries. Deep Tissue Therapy lasers also treat shoulder and rotator cuff muscle injuries well. If you have shoulder pain, come in for a treatment, I can help.

Have a Pain Free Day.

Do You Have Shoulder Pain?

Do you have shoulder pain?

Were you told that your infraspinatus was causing the pain?

Did you even know that you had an infraspinatus?

If you are like most people who are not trained in health care, then chances are, you have no idea of what an infraspinatus is, or what it does, and even more importantly,
Why is it causing this much pain? Your infraspinatus is one of four rotator cuff muscles that we all have. The rotator cuff muscles are four small muscles that hold your arm bone (humerus) in your shoulder joint (the A-C joint). In our modern society, where everyone uses their phones and in front of computers all day, we use our shoulder and rotator cuff muscles way too much and in bad ways. Every minute we are hunching over our phone, keyboard or steering wheel, our shoulders are tightening up.

What is tightening up in our shoulders?

The shoulder and rotator cuff muscles. Muscles can get so tight that they can tear on a microscopic level and go into spasm.
This is what a sprain or, train or muscle pull is. But once you tear a muscle, no matter how small of a tear, you will not just stretch it out.
When muscles go into spasm, they are like steel cables. You aren’t going to stretch them out once and be done with it.
The muscle pull will get wired into your system and become a neurological problem.

How do you treat rotator cuff injuries?

Trigger point therapy is one of the best ways to break muscles out of the neurological patterns of spasms and inflammation that they can fall into.
Good trigger point therapy (Nimmo Receptor Tonus) will help to break up the neurological patterning that perpetuates the pain muscle spasm. It will activate the muscles and get them to loosen up and move normally. This will prime you to do physical therapy and strengthen the injured muscles, further stabilizing the area.
If you try to strengthen injured muscles without releasing and healing them, you will be driving that pain and dysfunction deeper into your system, making it harder to work out.
The saying that I like is that you don’t want to add strength on top of instability. Another tool that I utilize to speed up healing and reduce inflammation is cold laser therapy.
Cold laser therapy is a red light that is produced by a laser. The laser is hot but not hot enough to burn through anything it touches, like a surgical laser.
A cold laser will penetrate the muscle an inch deep and produce healing. It helps to speed up the healing process by strengthening the cell walls of the muscle cells.
It also reduces inflammation.

Red light works well on muscle and joint and arthritis pain. It is one of the few ways to get into stenotic vertebral joints and reduce deep nerve root inflammation.
Trigger point therapy, combined with cold laser therapy, is one of the best ways, and fastest ways to reduce joint pain and muscle pain and speed up healing.
If you have a rotator cuff issue, infraspinatus tendonitis, or injury, come see me for pain relief.

Have a Pain Free Day!

Getting Your Body Ready for Winter

Winter is fast approaching.

Just like we need to get our furnaces ready to handle the impending cold, we need to get ourselves ready for the demands that the cold weather puts on our bodies.

Continue reading “Getting Your Body Ready for Winter”

Aging Doesn’t Equal Pain

“If I had known I was going to live this long then I would have taken better care of myself.”

“Getting old isn’t for sissies.”

“This pain is just due to getting old.”

These are all common sayings I hear around my office.

I am here to tell you that just because you are aging, doesn’t mean that you have to be in pain. Aging doesn’t equal pain.

Continue reading “Aging Doesn’t Equal Pain”

The Obesity Paradox

Our overall health is related to how we take care of ourselves rather than related to how big or small our waistlines are.

Pain Free Lifestyle exercise and nutrition programs are designed around the principle that it is more important to take care of yourself, be healthy and feel well than it is to lose weight and be thin. The program is designed around the belief that it is more important to be healthy than it is to look healthy. The program is comprised of exercises that are designed to make you feel better, rather than to get skinny. Pain-Free Lifestyle is not a get-thin-quick scheme.

A new, anti-diet book came out that reinforces this approach to exercise and nutrition. It is called “The Obesity Paradox,” and it is written by Cardiologist Carl J. Lavie. Lavie, who is a cardiologist at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, said it very succinctly: “Looks can be deceiving.”

Continue reading “The Obesity Paradox”

Can Obesity Really Shorten Your Life

A study out of McGill University of Canada concluded that obesity not only shortens one’s lifespan, but it also shortens the quality of one’s lifespan as well.

Western society has been suffering from an epidemic of obesity. More than one-third of all Americans, or 78.6 million people, are overweight or obese.

The research out of McGill University proved that being obese will shorten your life expectancy by 8 years. Being obese will also reduce the quality of the last two decades of your life, primarily due to managing the health effects of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoarthritis (the long-term health effects of being obese).

Continue reading “Can Obesity Really Shorten Your Life”

Vitamins & Nutritional Supplements

As anyone who reads my articles can attest, I am a big fan of vitamins and supplements.

I believe that when they are taken as designed, as a supplement to a healthy lifestyle, they have a positive effect on our health.

People get in trouble when they take vitamins and supplements as a replacement for a healthy lifestyle. I have heard the mindset of “I don’t have to exercise or watch what I eat since I take vitamins.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

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Faux Nutrition & Fitness Fads

It is easy to scare people with the unknown. Even if you have training in exercise or nutrition, they can be confusing, intimidating and create a sense of the unknown.

To complicate matters, there are many charlatans and snake oil salesmen who create misinformation to sell people their usually worthless products.

Continue reading “Faux Nutrition & Fitness Fads”