Neck and shoulder issues are something I see a LOT.  Many times, when women have symptoms of injury (pain, loss of flexibility or movement, etc.) in their neck, they also have symptoms in their shoulder and vice versa.


Unfortunately, what I also see is that when addressing their neck and shoulder issues, women tend to look at muscle function LAST when trying to resolve their injury.  And when you think about it, muscle function should be one of the FIRST things you address.


A good amount of the muscles in the neck and shoulder attach to the neck and at a lot of different points, all the way down the back.  What this means is that if you have neck and shoulder injury, your muscles are definitely not functioning well.  And because the muscles attach all the way down your back, you are most likely on your way to a back injury (or that a back injury contributed to your neck and shoulder issues).


You see, not addressing muscle function affects your ability to recover from injury and could possibly lead you down a path of future injury.


So what should you do if you have neck and shoulder issues?


The safest and most effective muscle strengthening focus for most neck and shoulder issues is the CORE. 


A good basic definition of core muscles are those muscles that attach to the spine and rib cage between the base of your neck, your hips/pelvis and within your shoulders.  Essentially, your shoulders and neck sit on and attach to your core.


Now, that’s not to say that strengthening the shoulder and neck are not helpful or important. It is however, important to have a strong foundation (i.e. the core) for the neck and shoulder to work with in order to avoid instability from the core causing future injury or a recurrence of symptoms in the shoulder and neck.


And don’t forget, the muscles of the neck and shoulder run all the way down the back.  If you only address the neck and shoulder area of the muscles, you’re not strengthening almost 2/3rds of the length of a lot of muscles.


If you have neck and shoulder issues, you need to start appropriately and consistently training your core. 


And I’m not talking sit-ups, bird dogs or even palates/yoga.


More to come about appropriate and effective core training in my upcoming blog post!