Those poor scalenes and SCMs. With the rise in cell phone use (not to mention computers in general), people can be seen everywhere staring down into their hands. What you may not see but likely FEEL is the impact on your cervical spine and all the muscles supporting your spine and head…because chances are, if you live in the modern world and own a phone, you’re seriously overstretching some muscles and fascia, while contracting other tissue into a constantly cramped position.
When you look down at your phone it’s like putting 60lbs of pressure on your cervical spine. This automatically engages all the muscles that support your spine, as they get recruited to stabilize, nudge you back to neutral (or beg you to get there, in some cases).
Your anterior neck muscles and their fascia get incredibly restricted, shortened and tight if you are constantly looking down. I’m specifically referring to your SCMs and scalenes. SCM stands for sternocleidomastoid, which are muscles that run from your clavicle to your jaw/ear junction.
The scalenes (anterior, middle and posterior) attach to your first and second ribs…so you can imagine the impact this might have if they shorten too much.
The scalenes are of particular concern when it comes to the health of your cervical spine, your ribs and everything that the ribs contain and/or impact in turn (like your organs, breathing capacity, thoracic spine etc). The SCMs are more likely to affect your jaw, face and head (TMJ, tension headaches, neck lymph blockage etc).
Releasing this fascia effectively can be tricky. Remember, to release fascia effectively we want to compress and shear fascial fibers in order to increase space and blood distribution, activate fasciacytes and increase the water content of your fascia via the creation of hyaluronic acid (synthesized by fasciacytes, which are activated by compression and shearing).
I recently tried a new tool called a Rad Roller (it’s the original from the company Rad), and I love it for releasing neck fascia.
I’ll demo for you exactly how to use it in the video above.
Full disclosure: if you purchase a Rad Roller through my link, I do get a small affiliate commission. Please know I never recommend anything I don’t use myself and find of great value.
The reason I love the Rad Roller for the neck is because now I can release my neck ANYWHERE. I don’t need a pole that can only be found in a gym, I don’t need a specific wall or risky door frame, and I don’t have to balance my weight on a ball held in place with my other hand.
Because this tool is essentially two balls fused together, it’s easy to hold while you pin your neck fascia and release it through head movement.
Watch the video for the demo, and if you want to own the Rad Roller then click my link here.
Your purchase supports everything I’m doing at Mobility Mastery and helps me continue to offer great FREE content on the blog and YouTube channel.
Did you try this technique? Share your experience below! Are you waiting to order a Rad Roller? Let me know you’re ordering one by commenting, I’d love to thank you for supporting me while supporting your body!