Tension in the neck and shoulders often go hand in hand.
Many people ask, “How can I relieve tension in my neck?”... and those same people also ask, “How to loosen up knots in the shoulder blades?” It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, tense shoulders and a stiff neck are often found together. It’s kind of like how hip and knee strain are often found together. When your shoulders get tight and loose movement, or get stuck in a dysfunctional rotational pattern due to an accumulation of dense fascia, vertebrae and muscles in your neck will naturally be impacted.
The good news is you can do stretches using resistance to target dense unhealthy fascia in the muscles surrounding your shoulder joint and you’ll get immediate relief in both your shoulders and your neck.
What rotational pattern is at the root of tense shoulders and neck?
The most common rotational pattern we see in the shoulders is an inability to maximally externally rotate the arm (Humerus) in the shoulder joint. The arm gets stuck in an internally rotated position. Simply put, over time your arm loses it’s ability to go back in space and to lift up high in the air above your head - both movements requiring external rotation in the Humerus and also in the forearm.
What’s preventing external rotation in the shoulder joint? An accumulation of dense fascia in the muscles on the back of the shoulder. These muscles (Upper Trapezius, Posterior and Lateral Deltoids, Teres Major and Minor, and Infraspinatus) get stuck in a lengthened position - which you might experience as a feeling of being “hunched” in your shoulders or an inability to open up your chest and “sit up straight”.
When shoulders won’t rotate fully, every time you go to move your neck you feel impingement and tension. Resistance stretching the posterior muscles on the shoulder to remove the accumulation of dense fascia there will allow these muscles to properly shorten and contract, opening up the chest and returning ease of movement to both the arm and the neck.