SELF CARE TREATMENT - REMEDIAL BODYWORK MASSAGE
For Neck and Shoulder Pain
1. Post Whiplash
• If you have a whiplash injury it is important to keep your neck moving. Research has shown that collars that immobilise the neck are counterproductive. If your injury is recent, the good news is that most cases of whiplash make a full recovery within a few weeks.
• Aim to keep your neck moving as normally as possible. The key here is to listen to your body. You need a happy balance between ‘pushing through’ pain and making things worse and avoiding movement altogether. Be gentle with yourself but aim to gradually increase neck movements.
• Make sure you are not avoiding moving the neck by compensating with other body parts. For example, moving the trunk to see behind you.
Simple Mobilisation Exercises
• Do these simple exercises several times a day.
• Aim to gradually increase the range of motion each time.
• You are not causing further damage to your body with movement; gentle and progressive movement is a natural part of healing from injury.
• Nod your head up and down.
• Tune into your body and take the movement at a speed that feels OK for you.
• Now turn your head from side to side as if saying no.
2. Other Neck and Shoulder Pain – Trigger Point Treatment
Scalenes- they run from behind and below the ear down to under the collar bone to the first and second rib. To find the Scalenes first find the thick rope muscle that goes down the neck, that is the SCM, you are wanting to work behind that one. Start at the top of the scalene muscle, behind sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle.
gently with the pads of your fingers work slowly, calmly and sink into the muscle, hold firmly, if you feel any sore knots - these are called trigger points, hold for 8-12 seconds. then move on, only move 1 cm at a time. Follow down the muscle three times, there is a front, middle and rear scalene muscle, so work three times, each time go towards the back of the neck by 1cm, so you reach all the muscle. At the bottom make sure you press down under the collar bone to reach the low attachment point.
Another way to work these muscles fascially is to look right, sink the pads of the right fingers into the left side of the neck and then slowly move the head to the left whilst maintaining contact with the muscle and skin with the finger pads, the fingers will move slowly to the front of the neck, working across all the scalenes. This is not an easy move to do, you have to work with breath, move very slowly and visualise the muscle you are trying to work on. with both of these, repeat on other side.
See picture. Feel for the top of the shoulder blade, there is a horizontal top part of the shoulder blade and the supraspinatus muscle lives just in front of that. sink the pads of your fingers into the muscle, work slowly with breath and stop whenever you feel a knot (trigger point), hold for 8-12 seconds. Move over the muscle from the inside to the outside 1 cm at a time. Work within tolerance, if it is too painful always ease off or stop. Never create pain that is over 6/10. repeat on other side.
With your head in a neutral position, place your left fingertips on the right scalenes at the right side of the neck and press in gently, feel your fingers sink in through the skin to the muscle, make contact with the scalenes muscles.
Hold for 10 seconds, then bring left ear to the left shoulder. The fingers remain in contact with the muscle and have a slight downward motion towards the clavicle as the head moves over to the left. Move the fingers to the clavicle and press in and down towards the 1st and 2nd rib, under the clavicle, do not press too hard. Remain within tolerance. The pain should be an exquisite pain and should only go up to 6/10. Do on both sides.
Put a tennis ball in a sock, find a corner wall or door frame. Place the tennis ball on the top of the shoulder/supraspinatus and lean forward at 90 degrees to the wall/door frame. Press the ball between your muscle and the wall. When you feel a sore spot/ trigger point hold for 8-12 seconds or roll over the sore spot very slowly 10 times, as you move you should apply pressure in one direction only and have only very light pressure on the return. do on both sides.
Stand up, reach up and to the side with your left hand, as if to pick an apple from a tree, then place the apple in your back pocket on the right side. Keep your hand down in that pocket and with the right hand hold the left wrist and pull over towards the right, behind the body. To increase the stretch, bring the right ear to the right shoulder. Keep shoulders low and square to the front. Hold for 10-30 seconds. repeat on the other side
Right ear to the right shoulder, stretch left scalenes, pull left shoulder down to increase the stretch, bring, right hand overhead to pull head further to the right. keep both shoulders down, slowly and gently look upwards and hold, then look downwards and hold. Hold for 10-30 seconds. repeat on the other side.
4. Acupressure Release and Shoulders
Find Gall Bladder 21 which is on the shoulder, halfway between the neck and end of the shoulder. Press and hold with the middle finger for 2-3 minutes. Visualise the pain leaving the area, draining away. Deep, slow breaths. make sure you do both sides to maintain balance.
Shoulder and Arm Pain
1. Massage Brachioradialis
The big chunky muscle in your forearm with a tennis ball against a wall.
Press the body towards the forearm, press the forearm onto the tennis ball, press the tennis ball against the wall. You can make small movements to find trigger points.
Hold trigger point / sore spot for 8-12 seconds. Repeat on both sides.
2. Brachioradialis Stretch
Hold straight arms out in front of you, cross left arm over the right. Put the palms together and now pull hands over to the right to feel stretch in the right forearm on outer/lateral of the arm. Then bring the hands over to the left to feel stretch in the left forearm. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds.