The Guru tells Alison she has a ‘being on holiday’ common ailment – poking out ones chin to read a book

June 17, 2015

A few days ago I started experiencing pain in my right upper arm when extending it behind.

There is also pain when I lift it up in front though only to begin with then it’s fine as I bring it all the wayup. There is also pain as I lower it.  The pain when extending behind is the sharpest.  I am in Greece on holiday at the moment. Before the injury, I had been doing push ups (against a railing) but was not aware of overdoing it or any pain while exercising.  I have stopped all arm exercises except swimming breast stroke which does not irritate it. Overarm and backstroke are painful.

I have had many swimming lessons with Immerse so I know my technique is good and I have good alignment in the water.

Several years ago (more than five, less than ten) I had tennis elbow on the same side but have had no  problems with it since. I have no other experience of arm injuries or problems.

Any idea what it could be and how long I can expect it to last? Is there anything I can do to help recovery? Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks!

The Guru asks for more info:

Lucky you!

Is this your upper arm or shoulder?

Does moving your neck influence what you feel in the arm?

If you push you hand down into your head does that hurt?

Lemme know!

Alison replied:

Hi Guru

Thanks for getting back to me. It’s upper arm but since I wrote original post a few hours ago, it has crept up into upper traps and neck. That feels like tightness rather than the kind of pain I have in arm. I am aware of holding upper arm close to my body which I suppose could be causing the other tightness?

Moving my neck does not seem to influence the arm.  Pushing hand down into head does not hurt.

June 17, 2015

Got it!

It’s “sunbathing-book-reading-having-a-general-gander-neck”

It’s bizarrely common too. Being on holiday is totally relaxing but often we force our body into doing prolonged things that we don’t do, for as long, when back in Blighty.

You’ve stiffened up your thoracic spine (you won’t feel this because it’s stiff and doesn’t move) and to compensate you poke your chin out to see where your going/read a book/look at the view because you’ve lost the ability to lift your chest (due to your stiff thoracic spine) and “cheat” by jutting your chin out.

This irritates nervous tissue in your neck which refers pain into your arm and now neck.

You need to get your thoracic spine moving and stop poking your chin out.

This is the perfect stretch for you – #worldsgreateststretch – 10 minutes morning, noon and night. It can’t be painful and try to avoid slouching ….and lift your chest.

Let the happy hols continue!

The Guru

Alison thanks the Guru for their advice…

Thank you!! That makes so much sense. Done it twice today and I know it is helping already.

Guru Responded

Have more questions?

If you're struggling with Back, Elbow & Upper Arm, Neck issues then we'd love to help. We offer appointments within 24 hours whether face to face at one of our London Physio Clinics, virtually or if you’d prefer we can arrange a home visit.

Request An Appointment

We aim to get back to you within an hour

How should we contact you?