CHARLOTTE – Your scalenes are some extraordinary muscles. You have three sets, one set runs the back of your neck (posterior), the middle scalenes and then your anterior scalenes that run the front of your neck. Let’s dive into their jobs.
Posterior scalenes are attached to your spine, and flow all the way to your second rib. This scalene is important because it is responsible for flexion of your neck (when you move your neck to face the ceiling, and then move your neck so your face the ground). It also lifts your rib.
Your middle scalenes are also attached to the spine and flow all the way to the top border of your first rib. These help with lateral flexion of your neck, which means if you lean your head over as if to touch your ear to your shoulder. It also elevates a rib, but this time it’s your first rib. (Think about when you take a deep breath and your ribs move to accept the lung/diaphragm expansion.
Your anterior scalenes (front of the neck) are again attached to your spine and also to parts of the first rib. These little beauties are responsible for neck flexion (as are the posterior scalenes), contraction, neck rotation and also elevates the ribs.
When the scalenes get tight or aren’t working normally, you might experience a stiff neck, have difficulty with your neck range of motion and can even make you feel as if your shoulders are touching your ears. Massage can help.
-Lisa Lane is a licensed massage and bodywork therapist (#13098) and has worked in Mint Hill for 9 years. To book an appointment please go to her website at www.ncmassagesanctuary.massagetherapy.com