Shoulder blade pain

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June Blog

Whenever I hear someone say “I have this spot under my shoulder blade…” I automatically think one thing. Rotated rib head. There are 66 Joints in the thoracic spine including the intervertebral “disk” joints. All of these faceted and Demi faceted synovial joints have the ability to become fixated and immobile. One of the most annoying nagging fixations is a rotated rib head. Another piece of the puzzle is poor shoulder mechanics. Most people who spend long periods seated have adapted their posture to accommodate their job instead of adapting the ergonomics of their furniture to suit them. Forward head postures flex the thoracic spine to support the weight of the head. The next compensation is that the shoulders become rounded and drag the inferior angle of shoulder blade out laterally and forward (upwardly rotated and abducted or protracted) The tissues around the scapula surround and insert on the ribs. Muscle tissue adapts by taking up the slack when things are loose and left in a shortened position like slouching (Davis’ law) to support the appendage. The problem is the wrong tissues tighten and they wind up furthering the scapular drift by pulling the scapular angle forward. Now, every time the arm is moved any direction but backward (which becomes more difficult due to neuromuscular inhibition) there is a tug on the ribcage instead of a gliding and these ribs eventually get pulled or adaptively slide out of place. When they become fixated the soft tissues often hold the position to support the structurally weakened link in the kinetic chain, and sometimes don’t respond to usually effective manual treatments such as high velocity thrust most commonly utilized by a chiropractor. Only techniques aimed at releasing the fibrous connective tissue of the joint capsules and articular receptors will release the joint enough to create the joint play necessary to restore function. I have worked with a chiropractor on many such cases and often resolve such issues without having the chiropractor re adjust the fixation. Just by restoring joint mobility in these cases, the joint can even release with stretching or gentle movement.
Since studying Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques and The Hesch Method, I have been able to get the stubborn pieces of the puzzle I had missed when it comes to the postural distortion that bones “get dragged into”. Bones to our mostly fluid (water) connective tissue bodies are like pieces of fruit in a jello mold. Unless a direct trauma or congenital issues distort and prevent functional movement of these bones via the joints, slow postural adaptation via gravity’s influence (about 14.7 lbs of pressure per square inch at sea level) is to blame for their dysfunctional position. Using bones as a levers to pass the therapeutic energy of the treatment through the kinetic chain to the joints, lasting pain relief in regards to simple activities of daily life as well as improved athletic performance are possible. Don’t live with pain and discomfort. It’s not normal even if you get used to living with it.
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