Neck Pain and the Shoulder Blade
So it’s neck pain….but let’s check the shoulder blade as well.
Neck pain can be a disabling problem. For patients with ongoing or recurrent neck pain there is often several contributing factors ranging from poor postural habits, muscle weakness, reduced flexibility and interestingly, poor control of the shoulder blade.
Shoulder blade muscles such as levator scapulae and upper trapezius above the shoulder have attachments to both the spine and the shoulder blade and can thus affect the neck. Specific assessment of position of the shoulder blade and muscle function allows Physiotherapy management to address all the contributing factors to the neck pain and allows for treatment to be tailored.
Problems with the position of the shoulder blade can result in a forward shoulder posture, a forward head posture and often a dropped or depressed shoulder. These positional or postural issues often occur slowly over time and often precede the neck pain developing.
These positional problems need to be corrected in order to reduce the load on the neck from the shoulder blade muscles. Once your Physiotherapist has assessed the neck and the shoulder blade, specific postural advice can be given and specific exercises to address these issues in addition to treatment of the neck. Your Physiotherapist may also use postural taping and photography to improve your postural awareness.