Muscle Mondays: Scalenes
If you have ever experienced shoulder pain I can almost guarantee you that your Scalenes had something to do with it. This muscles located in your neck comes in three parts that attach near the base of the spine (C2) and as far down as the 2nd rib. Because of its location it can affect blood circulation and nerves that run from the neck to the finger tips.
When this muscle gets too tight it can compress or impinge the nerves which can send a sharp shooting sensation or numbness down the arm. Where you feel the numbness in the hand or fingers can tell you which section is affecting the nerve. The Scalenes are divided into anterior, middle, and posterior sections. Sensation in the thumb or index finger refers to the posterior scalene. The middle finger is affected by the middle scalene. The ring finger and pinky are paired with the anterior scalene. Other warning signs of muscle restrictions are weakens in the hand, wrist, or arm.
As these muscles tighten they are infamous for affecting local muscles with tension as the other muscles try to keep the neck upright and as stable as possible. At its worst this muscle can cause Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. This is where the opening in the neck that allows the esophagus and airways to pass through begins to narrow. This makes it more difficult to swallow and receive oxygen.
Next time your shoulder hurts make sure you show your neck some love too. You can alleviate a lot of the pain and discomfort with stretching and light massage. I hope this info helps, Drink Plenty of water! Be Blessed!