What it looks like: This is a sneaky pattern because it can look like good posture. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t feel good, interferes with relaxed breathing, and gets worse over time. This is also a very tiring posture because you are using lots of extra muscles AND the wrong type of muscle to stand and walk....
Causes: The cause of shoulder pinching is usually coming from below the shoulders. You will see this pattern often in older people who have back issues. However, it can happen at any age. The real problem here can be lack of extension in mid back or a posterior pelvis. Paul saw this pattern when working with the safety teams up on the North Slope in the guys with bad backs.
What it feels like: You will feel tension between your shoulder blade and into your mid-back and often all the way down your spine. Your low back may already have been hurting for quite a while as this is often the root cause of this problem. When you relax your chest and shoulders completely you will feel like you fall into a complete slump. It feel like you always need to press your chest up and out.
Physical Reason: This pattern can be learned and then reinforced by someone who is very posture conscious. When you see this pattern you may be looking at someone who is very strong willed. When it becomes severe you will see the elbows come far behind the center line of the body. This will happen reflexively so that the person can simply stand up “straight”. If they didnt pull their elbows way back and pinch their shoulder blades they would be stuck in a complete slump.
Shoulder Tension Intervention: By learning VASIE breathing and activating the deep stabilizing muscles of the trunk, your feet and the muscles that pull your shoulders down the back you will feel a lot more energy if you fix this pattern. You will also feel more centered and grounded. Your whole spine will become more relaxed and your breathing, sleep, and recovery will be much easier. You will be able to generate a lot more power and strength in you lower body and legs.