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Surface Anatomy; Protracted or Rounded Shoulders

What lies beneath the surface when a client presents with rounded or protracted shoulders? Here Chris Phillips, Principal of the Cotswold Academy, talks us through the muscles involved and how to find them. Visualising that the ideal posture here would be that your ear lobe sits in line with the acromiom (top of the shoulder), which in turn sits in line above the greater trochanter (hip bone). When the shoulders are protracted the head is visibly forward and the shoulders have become rounded inwards and elevated.

Let's take a look at the anatomy involved...

So we've looked at the surface anatomy now lets think about what the client may be experiencing and how it presents for them.

With the tell tale posture of head lurching forward and shoulders pulled forwards and rounded we can get an instant visual cue for what is happening. Additionally let's explore the other complaints that may be presenting for the client.

  • Range of movement issues such as not being able to wash hair or undo your bra
  • Referred pain between the shoulder blades where a knot in the muscle presses against a nerve
  • Headaches behind the eyes linked with trigger points in upper trap
  • Respiratory restriction compounding complaints such as asthma due to reduced movement for upper ribs

Next week we will be arming you with a range of techniques to really start actioning change for the client.