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The Lesser Known Culprit: Exploring the Surprising Effects of Scalene Muscle Tension

What do they do and where are they?

The scalene muscles are a group of three muscles located in the neck that are responsible for helping to stabilize and move the neck and head. While these muscles are important for everyday activities like breathing and turning the head, tension or tightness in the scalene muscles can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms that many people may not be aware of.

Here are some interesting facts about scalene muscle tension that most people may not know:

  1. Scalene muscle tension is a common cause of neck and shoulder pain. When the scalene muscles become tight or overworked, they can put pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that run through the neck and shoulder area, leading to pain and discomfort.

  2. Scalene muscle tension can also cause referred pain in other parts of the body. The nerves that run through the scalene muscles are connected to other nerves in the body, which means that tension in the scalene muscles can cause pain or discomfort in areas like the arms, hands, and upper back.

  3. Poor posture can contribute to scalene muscle tension. Slouching or hunching over can cause the scalene muscles to work harder to support the weight of the head and neck, leading to tension and tightness.

  4. Scalene muscle tension can also cause breathing problems. The scalene muscles are involved in the process of breathing, and tension in these muscles can make it harder to take deep breaths and can cause shortness of breath.

Massage and stretching can help relieve scalene muscle tension. Massage therapy and targeted stretching exercises can help to relax and release tension in the scalene muscles, reducing pain and discomfort.

Overall, it's important to be aware of the potential symptoms of scalene muscle tension. If you believe to have discomfort from these little culprits, let us know at your next visit!


Below is a sped up video clip of one of our techniques in treating the scalenes.

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