SORE ANTERIOR SERRATUS MUSCLE?

 

Anterior Serratus MuscleI have recently come across a case of injured Anterior Serratus muscle again. This muscle lies between the upper portion of the ribs and it runs on the anterior surface of the scapula, which sometimes can make it difficult to work on, but not impossible! It may feel bruised if overworked after certain activities. 

Origin

The Serratus muscles has 9 to 10 different attachments, first to ninth or eight ribs.

Insertion

This muscle inserts along the medial border of the scapula and it is divided into three different sections, depending on points of insertions along the scapular border: superior, middle and inferior.

Action

Knowing the actions of each muscle helps us, bodywork professionals, to diagnose the issues and the causes of pain and impairment, and apply an effective recovery plan. The main action of the Serratus Anterior is arm abduction frontwards and overhead movements. It can also make the breast area feel sore or sensitive.

Possible causes of pain/discomfort/soreness/tenderness

This muscle can become injured whilst performing activities such as swimming and climbing, heavy lifting, repetitive overhead movements in general, but also due to stress! 

  • Stressed (irregular) breathing: it is one of the major causes for Anterior Serratus muscle strain. The Anterior Serratus is one of the muscles which lifts the rib cage to aid breathing. When we are stressed, we use the upper breathing more than the lower/diaphragmatic breathing, causing neck, upper back, pectoral and/or side tension/pain.
  • A bad cough for a prolonged period of time can also cause pain and stiffness of the aiders of breathing.
  • Lifting heavy objects overhead 
  • Some other activities which can cause these symptoms are: playing tennis, swimming, doing push-ups, heavy weight-lifting, gymnastics.
  • It can also be a symptom of an inflammation of the pleura of the lungs and asthma. If you cannot relate to any of the above, I would suggest you to visit your GP.
It is important if you can look at the above and identify which one you think is causing your symptoms. 
 
Suggested action plan
  • Trigger point therapy, which I can definitely help with. See my Sports Massage page with more info. 
  • Practice Complete/Diaphragmatic Breathing. Sat down on a chair or on the floor in the lotus position, relax the shoulders, "drop" them and make sure you are wearing loose clothes to allow the stomach and rib cage to expand.
    • Breath in through your nose, expanding the rib cage and the stomach as the diaphragm inflates. You will notice that the diaphragm expands before the lungs do, as it is the normal, natural sequence of breathing.
    • Keep the air in for 3 seconds and then exhale the air slowly through the mouth. You will notice that the sequence reverses, meaning that the lungs will release the air first and the diaphragm will follow.
    • Before taking the next breath in, pause. This is called apnea. 
 
You can do this for 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to hyperventilate, make sure you release all the air when breathing out. It may feel a bit unnatural at first but you will soon start to enjoy the benefits. It can help your sleep, your lymphatic circulation, breathing with the diaphragm massages intestines and all the organs around, including low back muscles! The benefits are many! 

21/09/2017 Ana Guerrero, Bodyworker and Owner of Solaris Therapeutic Massage.

 

OPEN THE DOOR TO YOUR SENSITIVITY 

 

Sometimes, whilst doing massage I feel like a sleeping tablet because my treatments seem to have the same effect among my clients! It is such a compliment when clients fall asleep in my Hands. This happens during massages such as the Hot Stone Massage, Indian Head Massage, Thai Foot Massage, Facials...

In the other hand, for the Masaje Sensitivo Gestaltico® (MSG®) it is recommended to stay awake and conscious to make contact with oneself, the natural self that would experience an integrative massage session with awaken sensitivity, without judgements nor brainy input like thoughts, when possible. But this is not set in stone either. The MSG® operator works with the client in making sure the experience is right for the client, respecting any limits of the client but also of the operator him/herself.

As a MSG® operator, I am in deep listening and grounded when doing the massage, meditating through the movement of the dance of the massage, whilst the hands flow like water on the receiver's body. I have to say that I find doing it as relaxing as the person receiving it.

My personal experience with the MSG® is that the door that opens when I let go of the ego and the "fight", whilst doing something as comforting as allowing someone I trust to take care of me, cannot be described. It is a Self-experience which everyone is entitled to and everyone will find the relevant meaning for themselves. There is not an expected outcome or attitude. You are who you are and you feel the way you feel at the moment we meet at my studio and that is all.

I know, many of us do not have the time or courage to stop, remove the shield and open the senses without fearing something wrong is going to happen. We may fear that if we let go for a minute, our life will crumble down. But when we allow the space to listen and trust our instincts, we instantly know what feels good and natural and what is fair and what is true for us as individuals. So, we can decide to set up boundaries or to overcome them, whatever these are. Because we know it with our body, instead of the brainy knowledge, with our cells instead of words. It is an intrinsic knowledge which does not require any special tools to obtain. We are the tools (in the best of ways haha), we have the ability to open up to the self-discovery path and find whatever is there for us to find. Or simply to have a restorative experience. Some people may use Yoga or Meditation or the gym. Whatever discipline you want to use, it has to be right for you.

I studied the Masaje Sensitivo Gestaltico® about and maybe over 10 years ago. It was a training in Spain mainly, in which meditation was a regular practice. And then my journey started. I started being more in touch with my personal desires and goals, being true to my own limitations and understanding I don't always have to interpret life's events, I can simply allow them to happen, come and go, trying not to get too attached if possible. And here I am, having found myself in a beautiful city which I absolutely love (York), doing what fulfils my mind, body and spirit and finding success in my personal and professional relations. A journey of self-discovery which has no end and still finds challenges. But challenges keep me growing. My path continues; at the moment, I am studying more about the mind, body and spirit in a different context, in an Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine degree at the Northern College of Acupuncture and once again, it is fascinating how naturally intelligent our bodies are. And our mind and spirit!

If you feel like you need a break, you need to stop and relax, remove the shield for a moment, restore, integrate your life experience or simply enjoy some me-time, you can use the MSG® to your benefit. You just have to open the door and say "yes, I deserve this too".

27/05/2017 Ana Guerrero, Therapist and Owner of Solaris Therapeutic Massage 

Open The Door To Your Sensitivity