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Posted by Jane Hopwood, Mar 7 2011 5:11PM

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massage of neck and shoulders

A friend who I am massaging says she aches one side of her neck and if she turns to the other side of neck,she feels neck clicking. I have treated her upper back and neck. I can't feel any tension etc either side. She feels quite loose. Are her neck muscles tight where she hurts the one side and is the clicking on the other side because of that. Is her muscular problems where she feels the pain or the side of the neck she feels is clicking. I can hear it clicking when she moves. Help please J
Giuseppe Tomaselli
Mar 7 2011 5:48PM
Dear Jane,

Giuseppe Tomaselli
Mar 7 2011 5:57PM
Dear Jane,

Sorry! here is the body of the message

The neck muscles do not require much tension to feel ‘tired’ and ‘achy’.

If they are very tense, they could almost feel like bones. The clicking is due to the bones not sitting correctly when the head turns as some of the muscles (the tense ones) pull more than others therefore unbalancing the movement.

Just the same as it would occur on the case of the shoulder if the rotator calf muscles are unbalanced for instance.

Try and ‘feel’ the muscle by gently and slowly running your finger across them. It is more effective if you do it near the clavicle where the muscle separates and you can detect which is the tense one.

I have noticed that a gentle stretching and rubbing the finger along the muscle helps to release the tension.

Good luck,

Amanda Clegg
Mar 7 2011 6:42PM
Hi Jane

Guiseppe is right - doesn;t take much to create quite a lot of pain in this area. As he says, work transversly across erector spinae but also go up into the occipital area and back of the skull to free up all the flat muscle facia there. then work on the levator scapulaie, stripping from clavicle to occiput - this can be much easier if person is in the recovery position - work on one side at a time obviously. You will probably find some trigger points there - TP release is a REALLY useful tool so book a day asap!

When lying prone you can gently stretch the neck, turn head to one side and work on scalenes and sternocliedomastoid.

there are also lots of good yoga breathing exercises which will help relax the neck- take too long to describe but will check correct names with my class teacher tomorrow and let you know.

good luck.
Jane Hopwood
Mar 8 2011 6:04AM
Thanks to you both for such clear advice. It really is a great help. Kind regards Jane
Nicki Lee
Mar 8 2011 8:47AM
Hi Jane,
Adding to the good advice already posted, be sure to check the pectorals as well as they often contribute to upper body issues. Also, a muscle imbalance involves not just tight muscles but also weak ones, so gentle strengthening exercises would often be indicated.
This is obviously just very general advice, hard to be specific without seeing an individual client.
Good luck!
Amanda Clegg
Mar 8 2011 1:08PM
ooh, Nicki - sorry. forgot totally to mention pecs - that's one really useful tip from your STR course I attended ages ago which I use ALL the time, and request whenever I'm having a massage.

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