Question: If any of you know how to stretch the area near the shoulder blade which tends to get a knot from using the mouse too much, could you please explain it? This area is very difficult to isolate and stretch/exercise. The only thing I’ve found that works somewhat are shoulder shrugs and circles. I also put a tennis ball on the floor and lie on it to ease the knot.
Answer 1: The one I was told by one of my therapists (sports/remedial massage) was: Stand or sit and stick your (right, I assume) arm straight out in front, horizontal, palm down or facing in. Bend elbow so forearm is parallel to body. Grasp right elbow with left hand over right arm. Basically pull right elbow across body and also diagonally downwards (aiming towards your left knee?) until you feel a stretch in the appropriate area and a lifting of the shoulder blade – gently, of course, then hold it for say 30 seconds and then try for a bit more.
Takes a bit of experimenting with technique until you find the right bit (you’ll know when you’re stretching it) but it works well for me and my upper back/shoulder/neck tightness. In fact I’ve just done it to try and work out how to describe it and it’s just eased my back off nicely…
I also find some gentle neck stretches help (please be careful though’)- cup hands behind neck and very gently pull your chin towards (not into) your chest and then diagonally downwards to each side (aim at your nipples!) – just enough that you can feel tight muscles stretching. There’s also various stretches for the trapezius back muscle such as pulling your shoulder blades together/down, etc.
Another very useful one is to twist your arm behind, up and back and then get someone to pull it nearly out of its socket – but I only discovered it because it’s a martial arts arm/shoulder break and I couldn’t possibly recommend it – however, if you have a useful friend who knows what they’re doing in that
Answer 2: I get this knot too – yes, it’s hard to reach. One thing I do is a yoga exercise when you clasp your hands together behind your shoulders (right arm bends at elbow, and is placed with back of hand against left shoulder blade [or however high you can manage]. Then left arm is raised, bent at elbow so hand palm is facing left shoulder blade. Now try to clasp hands).
You probably know the exercise. It seems to help. I also clasp my hands outstretched behind my back, trying to keep them parallel to the floor, squeezing my shoulder blades together and holding position for a few seconds. I also do a bit of rowing (on a dreadful old contraption – sort of helps). Good luck – these things all contribute to easing the knot – everything helps, I suppose!
Answer 3: I know this reply to your request is late, but I thought I’d add my experiences: I learn it from my AT teacher that muscles can suffer stress and get knotty from overstretching as well as being bunched up, so make sure you are doing things very passively.
If you feel the exercises that people have recommended (and I personally use some of the suggestions myself) are still leaving you tight, or that the benefits don’t last at all, try these (very unscientific, personally developed) techniques in no particular order: *stand feet apart, nice and stable. twist left to right from the waist, letting arms swing out and from side to side. *as above but with one arm at a time try swinging it forwards and backwards, with the other arm loose and relaxed at your side. this one is great for me, and I can get into a rhythm so it’s effortless.
I also change the direction of the arm, slightly, so it’s swinging more diagonally across to the opp. side. I also change the position of my palm, i.e. inwards/outwards, which varies the different muscles being stretched. *bend over from the waist, knees soft and bouncy. get v. relaxed, arms hanging over head, neck soft. attempt graceful versions of the two previous exercises.
I find these exercises can really soften the knot up and it also passively stretches all the soft tissue in arms, shoulders, across chest etc, leaving them more relaxed too. I know I’m not overstretching and the gentle stretching is done without any of the tension that we can sometimes inadvertently bring to set exercises (you know, like taking a deep breath and tightening your chest).
Hope this helps. I’m off to swing my arms…
Answer 4: Did you know that what you described is almost exactly the warm up routine we went through before a Tai Chi session? Interesting… I agree about their use – good for relaxing and loosening you up (as long as you remember that you are meant to be relaxing everything…. )