This is my first go at a blog (Its Dave by the way). I thought it was about time I gave a little insight into the level of thought and expertise we are working at here at Team Breakthrough (Box). The best place to start is my own journey. My main role here at Breakthrough HQ is head therapist. I have studied under some of the worlds best therapists and spent the last 14 yrs trying to assimilate their techniques into my practice. I work predominantly with soft tissue ( muscles / fascia / ligaments ) although am certified to do some osteopathic manipulations where needed. My main area of expertise is the neck however I see a lot of people for all kinds of conditions. Lots of spinal work and shoulder problems lately. I must be attracting them for a reason. Perhaps I have been attracting them as I too have been suffering with spinal and shoulder problems for over a year now and so have spent a lot of time studying and analysing how to get rid of them.
The main problem is a dagger like pain in the superior and lateral aspect of the shoulder girdle (Teres Major to those educated in anatomy). I also get some pain around C6 / C7. (Bottom of the neck). The cause a ridiculous schedule where my success with fixing people and an unprecidented surge in custom meant I was doing up to 60 hours of treatment a week for a concerted length of time. It was important for me to help these people and to keep momentum as a business going forward but my body took the brunt of it.
Anyway why havn’t I sorted it yet with all my skills? Well my schedule is still busy but I can’t use that as an excuse. I have a world-class gym, an amazing team of Pt’s and therapists who I can ask to work on me. The main reason I havn’t fixed it yet is I havn’t taken it seriously enough. I’m good with pain and the Yorkshireman in me is stubborn and just push’s on through it. The therapist is always the last person to be fixed. So like our clients I reach a point where I must draw a line in the sand and take action towards my Breakthrough. By blogging about it I hope it may help some of you too.
First step was diagnosing the problem. After much thought and analysis I believe my shoulder pain is referred from the spine. The name of the condition is Thoracic outlet syndrome. One cause of this problem is a subluxed cervical vertebra or herniated disc causing impingement on the cervical nerve. I dont think I have a herniated disc but I do have some instability and rotation on C7 which could be trapping the facet joint down on the nerve. I think this is driven by a forward head posture that has increased the more I lean over the treatment couch working on others. TOS could also involve impingement between the clavicle and first rib. This also makes sense as I am extremely tight through the scalenes (stress), Pec Major and Pec Minor( overuse in treatment and training). I think in reality it may be a mixture of both. Muscles however don’t work in isolation. There are 18 major muscles that perform the actions of the shoulder. These include the four rotator cuff muscles (Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Subscapularis, and Teres Minor), Teres Major, Trapezius, Levator Scapula, Coracobrachialis, Biceps Brachii, Triceps Brachii, Deltoid, Rhomboid Major and Rhomboid Minor, Pectoralis Minor, Pectoralis Major, Latissimus Dorsi, Sternocleidomastoid, and Serratus Anterior. It is my job to figure out which muscles are underworking i.e weak and which are over working i.e short and tight. I will do some analysis this week and Identify specifically which muscle I need to strengthen / activate and which muscles I need to stretch / mobilise in order to create balance and synergy around my neck / shoulder and first rib. I will then write my gym / rehab program and I’ll report back my findings on my next blog. Hope this is of interest.