Many people come to see their massage therapist with pain or stiffness in their upper back, neck and shoulders, so today I want to present an image to help with these issues on many levels. It will help your posture, and also lighten the load on your upper traps (the muscle between your neck and your shoulders) and your neck.
The image is the following: when your carry something, or simply let your arms hang from your shoulders – for instance when you run, walk or stand looking at your phone, carry the groceries back home… think of your elbow hanging from the bottom of your scapula (shoulder blade; see image), and the bottom of your scapula hanging from your spine, a few inches higher up.
This will allow your rhomboids (between your scapula and your spine – see this previous post for an anatomy remider) to participate in this, and on the long run this will offer more support to your thoracic spine, which will help your posture. It will also allow your upper traps to work less, if at all, and that means that your cervical spine no longer has to work for your arms, and can concentrate on its job of carrying your head. Good news for the neck-and-shoulders area!
If this is an area that regularly bothers you, I strongly recommend using this image as well as the self-massage techniques presented in this post together, and your neck and shoulders will feel great very quickly!