"I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached to me"- you can thank your scalenes for allowing this to never happen. This group of muscles (anterior, medial, and posterior) makes up the thickness of muscle on both sides of your neck. With attachments extending from your first rib to the bottom of your temporal bone right below your ears. The scalene group helps to bend and tilt your neck, it also is an accessory breathing muscle. Most people experience tightness in this group because of how shallow, and down right horrible we are at breathing.
For most of the day, your scalenes should be relaxed and "off". The scalenes are considered a non-postural or fast twitch muscles, meaning that fatigue sets in fast. When the scalenes fatigue and are overworked, the muscle fibers throw up a white flag in surrender and tighten up. When you experience tightness and soreness on each side of your neck making tilting and turning your neck painful- you can thank your scalenes for this. When they become dysfunctional, the trigger points can be relentless. Shooting straight up to the temporal region of the head, jaw, cheek and behind the eye- aka headaches. Because of its attachment with the first rib, this can cause irritation in the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a fun bundle of nerves that exits your neck and runs all the way down your arm. Symptoms of nerve compression or irritation can include: numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms, hands, and fingers.
If you feel like your scalenes are causing you strife or need some work, it may be time for some bodywork. Shoot me and email to schedule or if you have any questions!