The scalene muscles are on the side of the neck. The main function of these muscles is to bend the head to either side. They also assist with deeper breathing by lifting the ribs.
The scalene muscles often become tight. Having tight scalenes can pull on the sides of the neck vertebrae, which can compress the discs and the nerve roots, both leading to discomfort. This can cause headaches.
Scalene muscles can also become over-active, especially if you have a forward neck posture – a ‘text neck’!
Slouching for long periods can overuse these neck muscles too, this can lead to a tightening in the abdominal muscles and the action of the diaphragm, which is the main breathing muscle.
A Scalene Stretch
Place the opposite hand over your head, then gently pull the head and neck so that it bends to the opposite side of the side you want to stretch, try and relax and pull the ear down towards the shoulder but don’t force the stretch. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat on the other side a few times a day.
Lucyna Massage therapy treats the scalenes by use of gentle and specific techniques. Often trigger points will be identified in this area, and by having an effective massage these would be released. Did you know that tight areas in the scalene muscles can lead to referred pain into the shoulder and arms? So, it is important not to miss them out!