Pain in the neck

Somewhere on my journey to 10 pullups, I got a little wacky. I was "greasing the groove" so much that god knows what I was doing to my back and neck as far as straining the heck out of them. Not surprising that a few days before I got my PR, my back started hurting. The right side of my upper thoracic spine was burning. I know that myofasical release is key to pain management. I attacked my entire upper back with my foam roller and tennis balls. I felt like a cat trying to scratch an itch with anything it could find to rub up against. No luck. Crap...I feel like I'm on fire.

I did some research into referred pain patterns. Sometimes the spot to rub is nowhere NEAR the spot that hurts. (read that last sentence again....just to make it sink in!)

The scalenes...or bermuda triangle of muscles...is located in the front part your neck above the clavicle. It's the weird ropey muscles that poke out when you gasp or say, "eek!" My Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Claire Davies said to investigate massaging this area for upper back pain. Huh? Massage the side of my throat for back pain? Dumb.

So, the next day, I'm dragging myself around Target, hunched over in pain, purse hanging open with its innards spilling out onto the floor, and a scarf strapped around my neck that's strangling me like a noose. Graceful? Never. Completely annoyed by this point, I grab the scarf to rip it off my neck and accidentally jab my finger into the side of my throat. THERE IT WAS! I jabbed right onto a trigger point in my neck so bad that my knees went weak. I literally saw spots. People in the kitchen appliances section must have thought I was nuts. I was standing there between the toasters and the slow cookers with my finger jammed into my neck and trying not to throw up on my shirt.

I rubbed...hard. For a good 5 minutes. The harder I rubbed, the less the burning in my back became. I'd found it.


If you hurt, RESEARCH trigger point therapy and try to implement the techniques on yourself. Ask me. Ask your trainer. The body is an amazing thing. Everything is connected to the next. Stop thinking of your body as individual muscles and bones and start thinking of it as an interconnected web. Good luck!