A client of mine had been complaining of pain radiating down her arm every time she did a supine revolved pose, such as Leg Stretch #3. Shoulder and upper back YTU Therapy Ball work helped but didn’t alleviate the problem. However, we had been overlooking her neck.
I can’t find the quote, so you’ll have to trust me on this one, but a physical therapist once said, “it’s the victims who scream, not the criminals.” In my client’s case the criminals turned out to be her anterior neck muscles (see related article for details). Nine car accidents (yes, 9—none of which were her fault, she claims—but that’s another story!) had traumatized her sternocleidomastoid, scalenes and playtsma—the superficial and deep muscles of the neck that attach at various points in the shoulder and chest. They aren’t called ‘whiplash muscles‘ for nothing.
We did Marlon Brando stretches to help relieve the chronic contraction (shown below and on the 5 Minute Quick Fix for Neck). By the end of that particular class her collarbones were visibly lower than when she walked into the studio. 10 days later all of her related arm pain was gone.
The next time arm pain has you stumped, try channeling your inner Godfather for good, and arrest those criminals.