The muscles around the shoulder blades connect the arm to the body. A good shoulder blade position is important for the muscles of the arms and neck to work properly and in balance. We often see patients at the Monkton Farleigh Osteopathic Practice that overuse their gross neck muscles ( upper trapezius ) causing these muscles to become chronically tight and shortened. At the same time the muscles that hold down the scapula become weak as they are not being used. The result is chronic neck pain, which persists until this muscular is addressed. Shoulder issues such as rotator cuff tendonitis are also associated with such muscular imbalances surrounding the shoulder blades.
Try this exercise to become aware of some of the movements of the shoulder blades.
Stay in the same position as last session, lying with your hips and knees bent. Find your neutral pelvis and set your centre. Then lift you arms up vertically so that the hands are over the shoulders. Imagine you are holding a large helium balloon between your hands. Now reach upward through your fingertips, as if the helium balloon is lifting your hands and arms upwards- you will feel your shoulder blades gliding gently apart. Then draw your shoulder blades back towards each other and repeat several times.
Next week we shall give advice and exercises on head and neck placement in pilates.