One of the most common things I hear from my clients is they are dealing with pain between the shoulder blades and are asking me what they can do to relieve it.
With the way we are moving in today's life, we are definitely helping to create this upper back tension along with the things we are not doing as well, so here I want to be able to provide you with a few things you can do in your everyday life to help alleviate the pain, and some things you can do to help moving your body more so that you don't continue to have the pain.
It is always my goal to help you find ways to do these exercises in your day to day life because who truly has time to spend an hour working on corrective exercises in addition to everything else you have going on. So we will start with things you can do in your car to help alleviate the pain.
- Practice tucking chin slightly down towards chest and think about straightening your back (like someone is pulling a string connected to the spine and the back of your head) until the back of your head touches the head rest. This will help with text neck (forward head posture) which helps to create tension in the upper back and shoulders.
- Alleviate and release the tension spots near your shoulder blades by keeping a tennis ball in the car. Place the tennis ball in between your back and the seat and gently press into it until you find the tension spots (you may have to move the tennis ball around a bit to find those tight spots). Once you find a tight spot, just press into the area and breathe to relax and release the tension. Do note that if you feel numbing or tingling down the arm or in the hand you have hit a nerve, so just move the ball as nerves don't like be pressed on like that.
- Lastly, practice back breathing which will help to alleviate some of the tension that occurs from breathing high up in our chest. Just rest back into your seat and take a deep breath, thinking about expanding the back ribs into the seat.
- First make sure to practice some extension throughout your day, since when we sit we tend to round our shoulders forward creating a lot of tension in our chest. So take your hands and place them behind your head, and then bring your elbows out to the side and lean back, extending your chest up towards the ceiling. If you are able to lean back into the back of the chair to allow for some gravity to pull your upper body back, even better.
- Second, make sure to take a couple of minutes throughout your day to reach from side to side, rotationally reaching back behind you, and even stretching your neck from side to side. Honestly, any type of stretching you can do is great and if you are able to stand up and stretch moving around through different positions even better!
- Lastly, try to move through different positions while you are sitting at your desk. Try bringing a knee up towards your chest and rest your foot on the chair if you are flexible enough, or even grab something like a stool to place under your desk so that you are changing the position of your legs if you aren't as flexible. Also think about standing for a bit, sitting for a bit, grab a stability ball and use that, or if you have a laptop-take it down to a short stool or table and sit on the floor so that your body is moving through different positions.
Now here is the thing. IF you have been a rounded forward posture, I DO NOT recommend going and grabbing heavy weights to start lugging around as that will probably create more problems than good; but if you go slow and work with someone to help you to start working on adding weight slowly while also ensuring you are doing this without compromising form than you will begin to see a drastic difference.