The Guru links Marina’s shoulder pain with her tight thoracic spine

December 22, 2015


I’ve had on and off quite severe pain in my right shoulder blade, which also goes up through my neck and down my arm. I’ve seen various chiropractors and osteopaths who’ve all given me a treatment and say that should cure it, but it absolutely hasn’t.

I feel like a lot of my strength has gone and am wary of lifting even moderately heavy things. I like doing sports but am wary that my strength has depleted and I will injure myself further by doing something like climbing which I like doing. I really want to try and sort it out and strengthen so that I can return to my normal activities and am thinking perhaps physic and strengthening exercises might be a new route to try.

Just wondered your take on this and if there are any particular physios working at Six that would specialise in backs?

Thanks for your time,


December 22, 2015

Hi Marina

Your weakness may well be “true” – as in you feel it and we could measure it being weak rather than you just feel it – either way it all sounds pretty nervey.

You’ve got an issue with your neck, due to having a really stiff thoracic spine. You overload your neck – and poke your chin out as a compensation for having a (relatively) tight middle back….and hear in lies the issue.

So, your pain is referred from your neck because it moves too much without enough control – the movement is joint play, not necessarily range. Your tight thoracic spine doesn’t contribute to the pain, because it doesn’t move enough. You need to get your thoracic spine moving more so your neck moves less….so not stretching your neck. Ever. Really!

You need to be able to lift you chest to keep your neck in good nick – that’s when your sitting, standing, walking, chopping onions, working etc. Lifting your chest is not the same as becoming a sergeant major – you need to do the right amount of “getting taller” not just sticking your chest out.

You won’t feel any immediate improvement as you’ve been loading the joints in your neck poorly for a while – think of like a bruise. The more your poke the bruise, the longer it will stay bruised. Stop poking it and it will start to improve over the next few weeks.

This, as always,  is THE stretch to do #worldsgreateststretch

….you’ll then need to do some active, rehab work to learn to control the joint play of your neck, muscles around your shoulder and “core”……but work on your active thoracic movement and use it!! Work stations needs to be a la this video

Hope this helps – we rock at things like this, let me know which is your nearest clinic and set you up with the right Physio…they’re all pretty handy actually and this shouldn’t be too taxing. Sorry it for you though 🙁

The Guru

Six Physio

Guru Responded

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