A common complaint is neck pain and pain between the shoulder blades. Sometimes we get a massage and get temporary relief, and then it comes right back. Getting to the source of the problem takes some determination and commitment, because sitting and standing differently aren’t all that easy to do. And, the payoff is long term relief and comfort – so that can and should be a huge motivator.
We call the way that gravity runs through the body, the “plumb line”. Look at the two postures above. One is upright and the line of gravity runs mostly through the bones. The other has a pelvic tilt, with the hips slightly in front of the heels and the ribs moving back to compensate. This second posture also often comes with one or both hyper extended knees, plantar fasciitis or tight calves and feet, and a forward head. And there we have it – neck and shoulder pain, are often the primary complaint, but not the source of the problem!
Fixing this sort of pelvic tilt posture
takes longer term work, but is totally worth every moment. Coming back into your correct plumb line means that your bones are taking your weight, and thus naturally maintaining their strength and density, and the joints, ligaments, and muscles are doing the work of moving your body. Otherwise, our soft tisues (ligaments, fascia, and muscles) begin to do the work of holding us up. And we feel sore and uncomfortable. Who wants that?
The first thing you can work on is backing your hips up over your ankles and dropping your ribs. We talk a lot about this in the studio. Take it seriously for the health of your spine and hips and feet! If you aren’t quite sure what we mean, then book in a private session and get some really concrete ideas you can use during your week.
To address the neck and shoulders right away, stretch the pectoralis muscles, and remind your mid back muscles to move by squeezing your shoulder blades together and then letting go. While this treatment alone won’t fix the problem without correcting your stance, it can certainly help you feel some relief. For the neck, gently slide the nose back towards the back of your skull, retracting the head so it is better placed over the spine. Doing this often during the day, in combination with improving your sitting or standing stance can really help to reset overstretched and weak muscles, and stretch the tighter ones.