This is an UPGRADED version of one of my very first fascia release videos (from way back in 2015!), which was a lat and rear deltoid technique that was embedded inside a blog post specifically about pain between the shoulder blades. That blog post is still one of my best performing blogs, so if you want to read/watch for pain between the shoulder blades specifically then go here: https://mobilitymastery.com/how-to-relieve-pain-between-the-shoulder-blades/
This UPGRADE will slow down this technique and walk you through the terrain you’re covering when you release fascia in this part of your body.
While this technique is kind of releasing your latissimus dorsi (lat) fascia, it’s more about the fascia of your side body and posterior armpit. Your lat muscle attaches to the humerus (the bone in your upper arm) and passes through the armpit, along with a bunch of other muscles such as teres major, serratus anterior and subscapularis. We’re also contacting the rear deltoid and triceps fascia here.
Since we’re mostly hanging out at a major muscle junction location (the armpit, and just below it), there’s a LOT of tender/restricted fascia here in most of us.
Fascial junctions tend to get the most congested.
Why? Fascia wraps every muscle group, and the fascia here tends to be thicker and contain more gluey collagen, and when it dehydrates it acts like velcro, gathering nearby muscle fascia…and turning into “knots” or adhesions, or ropey sections of connective tissue.
This technique can help reduce or eliminate:
Mid back pain
Arm pain, numbness/tingling in the hands
Poor venous return from the arms
And even low back pain!
I always advocate “mapping” your fascia to find the root cause of pain, and while one-off techniques can be helpful (and even eliminate pain in some cases), they’re best used in combination with other techniques that address the underlying issues, such as muscle or fascial restriction imbalances and compensation patterns, poor posture, repetitive motion etc.
This is a REALLY powerful technique!
For BEST results, combine this with my pec minor/chest release technique for a full opening of the armpit/upper rib fascia. Go here to check out just one of my pec minor releases (you can search the blog for additional ones): https://mobilitymastery.com/ultimate-chest-and-deltoid-release-for-maximum-upper-body-freedom-get-your-shoulders-back-down/
All you need for this technique is a FOAM ROLLER, and I highly recommend a soft one for this. You’ll be on or near ribs, which are sensitive and full of nerve endings. Please DO NOT use a knobby roller or PVC pipe for this. You can desensitize your fascia with overexposure to hard objects, but I’m not sure that’s ever a good idea.
With this technique combo, you can use my typical “formula” for a quick session: 30-40 seconds per spot, take a break, find another spot, and spend 5 minutes per side until you’re done.
OR, you can slow this one down and spend a LONG time here, as long as you can breathe into the sensation and not go into fight/flight or tense your muscles up to protect.
I recently used this to help me detox from mercury when I felt like my venous return from my left arm was blocked at my armpit. I spent nearly 30 minutes exploring just my left side in conjunction with my anterior chest/armpit. That means 15 minutes per side. Feel free to do this as long as your body isn’t resisting the sensation/intensity!
Give this a try, and come talk to me in the comments! Why are you using this technique, and what kind of results did you get after trying it?