Shoulder Self-Massage Using a Foam Cube for Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain stemming from muscle tightness plagues many people. This painful condition affects the ability to move the neck and shoulder, contributes to neck pain, headaches, and can even affect breathing and posture. The causes of shoulder muscle tightness are many; hunching over a work station, carrying a baby, performing manual labor tasks, exercising, or other life activities can all contribute in some way to shoulder muscle tightness. Chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage can offer lasting relief, and practitioners recommend patients perform self-care between visits to support therapy results.
One of the self-care methods is self-massage. Use a foam cube or other device, as demonstrated in this video for the best results. Muscles called trapezius, rhomboids, and infraspinatus lie between and on top of the shoulder blades.
These muscles attach to the neck, the spine, the shoulder, and ribs, affecting the motion and function of these vital muscles. Tightness exists when there are knots and areas of spasm, resulting in weak muscles that ache because the muscle fibers lack movement, and there is a reduction of healing blood flow and nerve impulse. Physical treatments focus energy at regions of stagnation and promote increased flow of stagnant movement, blood, and nerve impulse.
As a self-care measure, place a foam cube or similar device between the shoulder blades and press into it gently but firmly. To safely use the cube, choose a soft location into which to press, such as your couch or car seat. Perform on top of a pillow on the floor or a firm bed mattress as additional options. For best results, place the cube with the top edge against the knot in the shoulder blade area. Try to place the cube directly between the shoulder blades, near the spine of the scapula, or further towards the shoulder itself. Avoid direct placement of the cube over the midline of the spine.
Press into the cube for a few seconds and try to relax and deep breathe for a few moments, allowing the body to reintegrate. If this position is too painful, move the cube to a different, nearby spot or place the cube flat side up to diminish its impact. Alternately, move to a softer platform such as the bed top described above. Perform this exercise once or twice a day, becoming familiar with your body’s reactions to the cube in different locations. Add neck and shoulder motions to increase sensation when tolerable to enhance the effect, blood flow, and nerve impulse delivery.
Neck and shoulder pain, back pain, and headaches can all stem from tightness in the shoulders and upper back. When chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage aren’t available or in-between visits, try self-massage with a cube or other similar device for some relief. For more information about how to combat neck and back pain, shoulder tightness, and headaches with self-cube massage, contact a chiropractor in Chapel Hill, NC.
Thanks to Acupractic Natural Healing Center for their insight into acupuncture and self-massage for shoulder pain.