2

votes

Weak/misaligned thoracic. Constant knots - frustrating!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 03, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Hi guys,

Quick question which has been bugging me for a while..

I'm a 25yr old Australian male living in France. 180cm, 63-65kg , long lean frame but tendency to carry fat around mid section.

I've been paleo for over a year, and crossfitting for 6 months (on and off) Lots of vitamin D3, potent fish oil supplement etc..

The reason I've been crossfitting on and off for that time is I constantly seem to be taking off a week/month after what feels like 'putting out' my thoracic.

On top of this, i'm a makeup artist so i'm constantly slouched over people, slugging around heavy kits etc, but am very aware of this and try to make my workspace as ergonomic as possible.. (which can vary from working off a tree stump in a forest to cramped hotel rooms, so its often a challenge!) This however is not the basis of my question..

I'm constantly getting some knarly knots in my thoracic area, mostly in and around shoulder blades and shoulders, but its now started to creep down to my lower back/hips also. Which tells me there some serious mis-alignment/weakness areas that i'm neglecting in my workouts/mobility.

I'm scared to hit it hard at crossfit in case of doing more damage! Things like pushups and anything where I have to carry a significant load in my hands etc. mess me up the worst.. the next day I feel broken, foggy headed and all round frustrated!

I try doing as much mobility as possible (stretching shoulder block/chest using elastic straps as per on mobilitywod.com etc.., lacrosse ball myofascial release etc...

I've seen a osteotherapist about this, numerous times, and they didn't have much to say really, just adjusted me and sent me on my way.. (No offence France, but your chiro/osteo therapists here generally suck big time..)

What in your opinion should I be focusing on to unblock/and eventually strengthen this area??

I so badly want to improve my overall size and strength but this is massively hindering me and I don't know how to move on from it!

Thanks for any advice you may be able to offer..

Kind regards Damian

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 03, 2013
at 03:21 PM

Hmmm, not sure about France but my understanding is that Osteophaths on the other side of the pond practice in a manner that is much alike that of Chiropractors here in the US.

2fb6d3262ebd7e9d84cdd34d676a3ae7

(10)

on February 03, 2013
at 02:45 PM

Thanks JayJay, there are some good suggestions here that I will try out. Chiropractors here (france) are not trained the same way as in the US or UK, and are generally not great, unfortunately.. I'm looking into finding a good one though, and until then I will try your suggestions.. Thanks!

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5 Answers

1
116d23135449332a8bf9106220cf632b

on February 18, 2013
at 05:11 AM

Use a foam roller or my personal favorite, a 6 lb medicine ball, to try and work out some of those knots. Get a chair massage if possible, and ask for a pressure point massage. You will be amazed at how much your muscles can release from that. Afterwards, apply the same pressure by rolling out with a golf ball (I do this at work, using my chair back and a golf ball) or invest in a thera-cane. A chiropractor will only address spinal misalignment, but that could address your problem- so go for it if your insurance covers it.

0
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on February 04, 2013
at 02:59 AM

I have chronic tension in my back, shoulders, and neck. For me personally, a lot of it stems from stress and poor posture. I think you might do well with going to a yoga class once in a while, or getting a massage. You might be able to find someone who can tell you specific things to do to stay loose and also properly aligned. I relieved most of the pain and tension in my back and neck by doing yoga. You're likely to find a decent yoga studio at which you can drop in when you have time.

*Note--This is all anecdote, but I've dealt fairly well with an old muscle tear that healed funny and threw my hips out of alignment with yoga and massage therapy. Physiologically it has helped, but I also get a huge boost in relaxation (which in turn relieves some tension).

I hope you feel better soon!

0
C5936fee266dd2953f690f0b9539754f

on February 04, 2013
at 02:34 AM

I spent the last couple of years trying to strengthen my glutes and hamstrings because I was told that they were weak and causing me back and knee pain. I landed up slowly hurting myself more and making my back hurt. I couldn't put on my shoes in the morning without pain.

Then I found foundationtraining.com The exercises feel great and 3 months later still make my muscles sore. Most importantly my posterier chain is awake! I had no idea my hamstrings and glutes were so weak that they weren't even doing their job. My quads and lower back were picking up the slack tiring them out. Take a look at the website and you can see videos how to do some of the basic exercises.

Good luck with your back pain. It's no fun but you can find something to heal your body and balance your muscles. There is hope!

0
06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

on February 03, 2013
at 06:54 PM

Accupuncture? Hot Yoga?

I have the same problem and I am fortunate enough to live in the states with access to a chiro.. which is the only thing that helps. However, if I couldn't go to a chiro I might look into the two options above. I feel like hot yoga has the potential to really stretch the muscles and allow you to work out kinks.

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 03, 2013
at 02:10 PM

I'd first see my chiropractor.

After that you can work some of the supporting structures by stretching the chest muscles and working to strengthen your shoulder retractors and other back extensors. Might do this with a door stretch http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=iGM&sa=X&tbo=d&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&biw=1440&bih=754&tbm=isch&tbnid=haPpkccPoRELLM:&imgrefurl=http://healthnews.staging.ervana.com/fitness-exercise/2010/02/total-body-stretch-3-quick-moves.html&docid=EcyP_4vIxp3SZM&imgurl=http://healthnews.staging.ervana.com/images/door_stretch_1.jpg&w=200&h=250&ei=JW8OUezlF87y2gXBh4HgCA&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:11,s:0,i:117&iact=rc&dur=4136&sig=106466930449292978646&page=1&tbnh=175&tbnw=156&start=0&ndsp=23&tx=732&ty=402 ......followed by some "Y", "T", and "W" work like so http://www.stack.com/exercise/3208/Physioball-Shoulder-Stability-Circuit-Y-T-W-L/

I also like to stand against a wall with back in perfect posture several times a day to stimulate those proprioceptive fibers to recognize proper alignment.

2fb6d3262ebd7e9d84cdd34d676a3ae7

(10)

on February 03, 2013
at 02:45 PM

Thanks JayJay, there are some good suggestions here that I will try out. Chiropractors here (france) are not trained the same way as in the US or UK, and are generally not great, unfortunately.. I'm looking into finding a good one though, and until then I will try your suggestions.. Thanks!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 03, 2013
at 03:21 PM

Hmmm, not sure about France but my understanding is that Osteophaths on the other side of the pond practice in a manner that is much alike that of Chiropractors here in the US.

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