Treat Neck Problems by Releasing Scalene Muscle Trigger Points

The above video is about releasing trigger points in your scalene muscles of the neck.

There are three scalene muscles on each side of your neck: an anterior, a middle, and a posterior scalene muscle (see Figure).  They attach from the cervical spine down to the first and second ribs.  They work to bend the neck to the side as well as stabilize the head along with other neck muscles.  The trigger-point anatomy of the scalenes on the right side of the neck is shown below.

Trigger point of the scalene muscle


Figure:  Side view of the three scalene muscles on the right side of the neck showing possible trigger points in yellow.

Contact sports such as hockey, football, rugby, and wrestling where whiplash-like motions are encountered regularly will produce trigger points in each of the scalene muscles.  Even daily activities can cause them, as well as the unexpected fall or car accident.

The trigger-point pain referral pattern is complex, with discomfort commonly described as a deep, aching, and persistent pain.  You might feel it in the upper chest and upper back, or back of the shoulder and inside of the arm.  It can be in any of these areas.  Most commonly the trigger points are located in the posterior scalene, which typically has just one trigger point.

The posterior scalene trigger point (see Figure) is close to the levator scapulae trigger points and trapezius trigger points.  The TP BuddieRx is perfect for exactly targeting any of these.  This is extremely effective for treatment and efficiency.  You spend less time treating yourself and less time in pain.

The scalenes are within the triangle formed by your collarbone, trapezius muscle, and sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle.  First find your left SCM by bending your neck to the right and dropping your chin to your shoulder.  Your left SCM should become noticeable.  The trapezius and collarbone are easier to find.  Take the fingers of your right hand and place them in the middle section of the SCM.  The scalene muscles are located just behind the SCM.

Using the TP BuddieRx –  Here we describe how to release the scalenes on the left side of your neck, but it is a good to balance out both sides by doing the same to the other side of your neck when you are done, even if you only think you have trigger points on one side.  Begin by using your fingers in an upward and downward motion to feel the scalenes.  They will feel like thin, taut bands of muscles.  Once you get an idea of where the scalenes are with your fingers, remember where you felt your sore spots (or muscle knots).  Place your left hand on the C-curve of the TP BuddieRx and put your right hand on S2 with Point 1 on the scalene triangular area.  The left hand is just used for guiding, while the right-hand is used for moving along the muscle and generating pressure.  Use Point 1 to press-and-hold the sore spots.  Specifically, the press-and-hold action is to press and hold for several seconds, then let go.  You may feel a tingling pain sensation; this is the muscle knot releasing.  Repeating this action a few times should alleviate some of the pain and reduce the size of a muscle knot.  Aim to reduce and not necessarily remove the muscle knot.  Make sure to get biofeedback by using your fingers.  First, to find the muscle knots, and then also after releasing them with the TP BuddieRx.  These are important biofeedback stages of manual therapy or Self-Care.  Stretching is also important after release; see the blog video above for some effective scalene stretches as well as a visual on the scalene release methods.

Treating neck muscles can be intimidating since medical professionals are always cautioning you against it.  They are muscles like all the other muscles in the human body, and neglecting them is not a good option for those who want to remain a life-long athlete.

This is a good alternative method to manage pain in your neck naturally, and you will son embrace manual therapy or Self-Care as the fastest way to treat simple neck problems as soon as they arise.

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