The Never Ending Story of Shoulder and Neck Pain

The story of my shoulder / neck pain never ends ….. I now tried a different chiropractor. After four sessionsI felt looser but was in more pain – not the result I wanted… but I learnt something new….

AC joint separation
Shoulder Injury

…. every doctor has told me there’s nothing wrong and its just some soft tissue that with a bit of physio / chiro I should get better – well that’s not been the case and in fact I’ve never been able to identify one movement / exercise / treatment that consistently makes me feel better.

initially it was my AC joint and I truely believe thats where it started. Over time, with some tens machine treatment and physio that pain slowly went away… but the pain moved to my neck and cervical spine…. and the tension in my traps on bad days was simply unbearable…..

I tried weights, tried stretches nothing worked and in fact after a couple of weeks made things worse….. I even had my wisdom teeth removed because of pain in my jaw.

What I learnt – The shoulder and neck and chest are inter-related. The traps take over when everything else gives up or is out of whack. Your scapula will be in pain sometimes. …. your posture needs to be fixed…. you should only sleep on one pillow without a hand under your head…. Your SCM / deep neck flexors need strengthening…. and don’t sit too long in front of a computer.

Now – have I discovered the root cause – I think I have – after the AC joint injury my shoulder drooped and stuff started to compensate for the weakness – this caused problems in my Scalenes – no doctor or therapist has mentioned this possibility but the problem with the scalenes is its diffcult to pin down – they have been compensating for the AC weakness – what did this do – it caused a raising of the 1st rib – I always had clicks and stuff in the middle of the chest. So now the rib is probably raised and causing some impingment in the thorasic outlet which all makes sense since there are nerves and blood vessels passing through here.

Scalene Muscles

What are the symptoms – pretty much everything that some other problem could be causing neck pain / shoulder pain / jaw pain etc… why am I confident I found the problem – because when I probe deep into the scalenes and massage I get relief. When I follow the 1st rib and mobile the bone a little I feel relief- that’s the first time I’ve been able to do a action and consistently feel relief from it….. I’m now going to carry on with the mobilization work and hopefully once the area has healed and made some space for the nerves and blood vessels to move freely I should be able to get back to some training….. I’ll let you all know how it goes….