The Guru relates Victoria’s neck pain to her mid back

March 7, 2016


Every so often I get episodes of neck pain that last a few hours to a couple of days.  The pain doesn’t feel like a tight or pulled muscle, and it isn’t a continuous pain, more a fleeting but extremely sharp pain.  During an “episode” taking a deep breath causes the pain to flare unless I push my shoulders right back and down.

Turning my head is usually fine, but occasionally not, and I find myself trying to hold a fairly stiff bolt-upright posture to avoid the pain .Sometimes it starts after carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder for a long period; at other times there’s no obvious reason for it to start,

For the last two years I’ve done yoga at least twice a week and nothing during the class seems to trigger it, even inversions.  (However I have to admit that outside of class my posture is fairly poor).

This isn’t a major impact on my life–at this point.  But it has been occurring for a few years, and I’m beginning to think I should address it before it gets worse or more serious.

What would you suggest?  Thank you.

March 7, 2016

Hi Victoria

Prevention is always the best cure, and if you think you should be, then you must!

What I think is occurring is that you’ve got a really tight middle bit of your back. This will not only lead to lack of motion but also a lack of rib excursion. So when you take a deep breath in, your ribs don’t expand as much because the middle bit of your back is tight.

To enable to fill your lungs you switch on muscles right at the top of your ribs called your accessory muscles and they pull the top ribs up to allow full expansion – which is all very good but they also pull your neck into a pretty poor position (they force you to poke your chin out) which is painful.

So this is 2 or 3 fold – get the middle bit of back moving better, re learn how to fully expand your lower ribs/diaphragmatically breath and control your head on neck posture.

Pilates is brill at doing this. Hang in with the posture and try this

The Guru

Guru Responded

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