The Trapezius, part 2 – Super posture!

The trapezius muscles are commonly overworked and tense, and cause much of the upper back, shoulder, neck, and headache pain that prompt us to go for massage. Understanding and caring for your traps will reduce your pain and let you feel better. Last week, we looked at the upper traps. This week, we complete the picture with the middle and lower traps.

Body Poets Massage Therapy

Monthly Muscle: Trapezius

Trapezius sections - Ottawa massage blogThe middle and inferior traps fill the space from just below the top of the shoulder blades in a V down to the lower third of the back (the red and pink sections in the diagram to the right). Along with the upper traps, which we saw last week, these two muscles help move and support your shoulder blades and spine.

Middle Trapezius: The posture corrector

Actions – Pulls shoulder blades towards spine

Common pain culprit – Slouching; Internally rotated shoulders

If you work at a computer, wear a back pack or workout your pecs too much, you probably have internally rotated shoulders. With internally rotated shoulders, comes weakness in the middle trapezius. This happens because the internal rotation is drawing the shoulder blades farther from the spine, keeping the middle trapezius in a constant stretch position. Pain arises because the muscle no longer has the…

View original post 218 more words

The Trapezius – that pain in your neck!

The trapezius muscles are commonly overworked and tense, and cause much of the upper back, shoulder, neck, and headache pain that prompt us to go for massage. Understanding and caring for your traps will reduce your pain and let you feel better.

Body Poets Massage Therapy

Monthly Muscle: Trapezius

The trapezius, often known as the “trap”, is a large muscle that occupies 2/3 of your back.  Divided into three parts, the trapezius muscle has a variety of actions that help move your neck, shoulder blade and spine. This muscle has a tendency to be out of balance due to our typical western posture: hunched over a computer for hours a day. Today we will learn about the upper part of the muscle: what it does, why it hurts, how to help it. Check in soon for the next segment on the middle and lower trapezius!

Trapezius - Ottawa massage blog

Upper Trapezius: That pain in your neck.

Actions – Bends head to side, extends head back, rotates head to opposite side.

Common pain culprit – Head forward posture and hiked-up shoulders.

Neck Pain - Ottawa massage blog

Many clients will exclaim that their shoulders are “hard as rocks”. What you are really feeling are the tensed fibers…

View original post 93 more words

What a tangled web we weave… the story of fascia

What is Fascia?

Fascia is a connective tissue that weaves itself throughout the entire body like a fine fabric. Its seamless arrangement is amazing at providing continuity and preserving the unique architecture of the human body. However, its interconnected nature also illustrates why a disruption to its integrity can lead to pain and dysfunction down its entire length as well to neighbouring tissues.

Continue reading

Tugging on My Hamstrings

Muscle of the month: The Hamstrings (biceps femoris, semimembranosus, semitendinosus)

The hamstrings consist of three distinct muscles that make up the bulk of the posterior thigh. Working opposite to the quadriceps (remember The Thigh Who Loved Me?), like a pulley, these powerful muscles provide mobility, stability, and coordination of the lower extremity. From walking and running, to busting a move on the dance floor, our hamstrings are working hard to keep us moving and grooving.

Continue reading

Irritated Iliopsoas

Muscle of the month: Iliospoas

Psoas-majorDeep inside your abdomen, beneath your abs and beyond your viscera, lies the elusive iliopsoas.

The iliopsoas is actually a combination of two muscles, psoas major and the iliacus muscle. It spans the area of the lower back and the inside of the hip bone, and then crosses the hip joint where it inserts onto the top of the femur. Pain may occur along any area of its length but is noted as a common source of low back and hip pain.

Continue reading

Beautiful Biceps

Muscle of the Month: Biceps brachii

Bicep- Ottawa massage blogBiceps are one of the most recognizable muscles. Long before the bulging biceps of Popeye, the bicep has been a symbol of strength.

Though not one of the major muscle groups of the upper body, the bicep still plays a role in elbow and shoulder movements. The bicep helps with lifting and pulling, which are essential motions for all of us.

Continue reading

Breathe Easy

Muscle of the Month: Diaphragm

“Use your diaphragm! Speak from your belly!” my drama teacher always used to say. The teenager in me had no idea what she meant, but now years later I find myself saying the same things to my clients.

Continue reading