WHAT IT'S FOR
Pain between the shoulders has become a commonplace occurrence in modern society. Because this condition is do readily aggravated by stress, many people mistakenly think that stress is the cause. However, clinical studies have shown a strong correlation with pain between the shoulders and a certain type of misalignment of the vertebrae and ribs. When gradual, it begins with tension, progresses to a dull, nagging ache, and eventually may develop into a sharp, stabbing pain between the shoulders. When sudden, it may advance immediately to the latter stages.
The actions thatmost strongly contribute to this condition are raising your head and/or pulling your shoulders back.
You can demonstrate this principle by placing your hand on your own or someone else's upper back. Have that person bend forward and raise his head. You will feel the vertebrae move forward (anterior). When this happens on a consistent basis, the muscles and other tissues adapt to this forward position. Eventually, a slight saucer-shaped depression, involving several vertebrae, may develop along the spine. Although they are within their normal range of motion, they remain at the forward end or that range when they should be able to move back to a neutral position. Pressure on these vertebrae will cause pain.
This condition is called Anterior Thoracic Vertebrae (ATV).
- Anterior: forward displacement
- Thoracic: of the area of the trunk with ribs
- Vertebrae: involving the bones of the spine
GRADUAL ONSET: Repetitive Use Syndrome
As we become aware of the hazards of repetitive use injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tennis Elbow, and Runner's Knee, we acknowledge that there are some activities which may be harmful when overdone. Repetitive raising of the head or shoulders may eventually lead to ATV. People who suffer from this condition may include:
- those who do overhead work
- those who sit at a desk
- construction workers
- anyone who raises his/her head or shoulders regularly
SUDDEN ONSET: Whiplash
In cases of trauma, such as whiplash type injuries, ATV may occur suddenly. At impact, the sudden backward movement of the head transmits a corresponding forward force into the upper back. Often, the vertebrae and soft tissues are compressed to the point that they may remain in that forward position to a degree depending on the speed and force of the whiplash. Once the condition if formed, your daily activities may make recovery difficult.