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Do You Have Neck Pain After Doing Shoulders?

  • Do shoulder exercises make your neck hurt? Even though you have done all the cues either I have given or someone else and it’s still not helping? Btw, I need to stop doing one particular cue. It's a compensation and not helping.

  • Have you gone to the massage therapist or the chiropractor and the relief is only temporary until the next round of exercising?

  • Stretching is also temporary for relief and or feels like a waste of time?

  • You start noticing that even back, chest, biceps, triceps and even leg exercises are starting to affect your neck?

  • You feel you have to stretch your neck or roll your shoulders to finish the set? I’ve seen you all do it! I’ve done it.

My Neck Pain Coming from My Shoulder. Here’s how I fixed it.

Around 2021 or so, after closing my studio and downsizing. I was renting space out of a gym that is no longer in business. I was doing a barbell bench press. It was a light weight for me, as I was doing warm-up sets. The shoulder basically repositioned itself in the middle of the set and made sounds. It's not supposed to do that. I stopped the set, my shoulder was fine, but my neck got tight.

I would get temporary relief doing any number of things. Sometimes I would just stop certain exercises. Feels better then I do it again and then here comes the tightness. Then you feel sharp, restricting pain taking your head back and rotating. It was getting to the point that I could not exercise consistently. That's how much everything was affecting this area and how involved this area is with all movement.

I began losing muscle mass and gaining body fat because of the lack of strength training and then it carried over into everything else. Training for the Horsetooth Half Marathon (2023/2024) made it worse. I pushed through the training and strength training. My neck and body were taking a beating. Took a break when the race was over, I began strength training again and here it comes, the pain and the tightness.

We are going to fast forward to June 5th. I was starting my strength training program. I was only 2 sets in a grouping of exercises. My neck was screaming. I was about in tears. I stopped what I was doing, got my camera and began making videos of movements so I could see my shoulder, shoulder blade and my neck during certain activities. I was also wondering why I didn't do this before.

My plan was to ask Mark Buckley (My Mentor, teacher and friend) with FMA Strength Institute to use my videos and my situation as a case study for the coaching call level 2 coaches. I needed more eyes on the situation. He asked for the background when and where the injury happened and the videos. I am a Level 2 FMA Strength Coach and I know this but do you see how pain and stress can get in the way of thinking clearly. We can when we are on the outside of it.

Our coaching call was amazing. I received great feedback from everyone. When I would bring left arm up over my head from the side of my body. My arm would get stuck (as many people can relate). My neck would take over. I was shown a technique so I would know it was coming from my neck. WOW! Magic and the pain even went away. This was all done via Zoom. I can do this on my own and I can now do this assessment with my clients. I can teach them the correction. I can teach you the correction. The next step was to have someone mobilize my shoulder blade. That needed to hands on. Easy enough I have enough people I’m around to help. This all helped bring rear deltoid back online to work again. It was simply dead in the water. Again, this was all done via Zoom.

But what muscles were taking over for the rear deltoid? I needed to stretch the infraspinatus (one of the four rotator cuff muscles) because it was taking over as well for the rear deltoid. When I stretch infraspinatus, major relief from my neck. I also needed to stretch upper trapezius because upper trap was doing way too much work for infraspinatus and lower trap. No wonder my neck hurt and maybe your neck as well.

Just because the mobilization the neck was helping doesn’t mean it was going to magically work on its own. There was work for me to do. After stretching these muscles, I go and do rear deltoid exercises. These all worked great for movements that were not going overhead. They helped but something else needed to be addressed. The lower trapezius also needed to be turned back on before doing overhead based exercises. It’s mind blowing how much better my neck feels, how much better I feel.

This video is me doing a demo of the neck mobilization and showing the improvement of the shoulder range of motion. The issue was coming from the neck.

This video I am demonstrating that my rear deltoid is now visible and working like it is supposed to.

This video is me demonstrating that rear deltoid and low trapezius are functional in the overhead press. This move would aggrevate my neck the most along with side raises

But wait…there’s more. This is just the physical aspect of my experience. There are emotional, mental and spiritual aspects to my neck.

The neck houses the thyroid. The last few years I have put on some weight. Before anyone says it’s menopause. I’ve been in menopause since I was 31. I had a hysterectomy at that age. No symptoms. Everything managed with food, sleep, strength training and stress management. Does that mean it’s going to be perfect every day? Nope! Doesn’t mean I’m going to see it right away either. This is why a coach is so very helpful. These symptoms will be exacerbated or accelerated as we age. These is why stretngth training, stress management, nutrition and sleep are paramount. There has been a lot of stress for everyone these past 4 years. People putting on weight and having difficulty getting it off. What are you missing? That's part 2.

Of course if you are needing me to help sort out your pain and get you onto a strength training program please reach out! I want to help. This does not have to be done in person. Most of this can be done by you with me guiding you.

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