WODdoc Episode 105 Project365: Stop Neck Pain And Headaches After Workouts
To understand today’s episode lets talk quick about breathing. Breathing while at rest (normal breathing) is significantly different than when we work out (forceful respiration). At rest we encourage people to do what we call diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing. This is when we are pretty much only contracting the diaphragm to draw air into the lungs. **Quick note during diaphragmatic breathing only inspiration is active. Expiration is done reactively as the tissues rebound to their normal resting lengths.
Forceful respiration, like the kind during Fran, is a bit different. Our body is craving oxygen so it is doing everything it can to recycle air through your lungs. This means recruiting addition muscles to help expand and contract the chest cavity as quickly and efficiently as possible. Among these muscles are the SCMs, or the sternocleidomastoids. When contracted individually these guys move the neck around but, when contracted simultaneously (and the head is fixed) they help to raise the chest aiding chest expansion.
These muscles hold up fine for the occasional sprint that causes us to huh and puff briefly . The problem comes when we are doing a 20min Metcon. Sucking wind for that long burns these babies out and they start to bark. Gremlins in your SCMs can lead to neck pain and headaches.
Lets Mash and Stretch…
Don’t Mash Blind … Know Your Anatomy
Highlighted above is the sternocleidomastoid from anterior, lateral, and posterior. Also highlighted is the mastoid process (SCM’s upper attachment).
1. Lightly Ball Mash SCM as shown. Make sure to hit the bell and all this attachment sites (mastoid, sternum, clavicle). 1-2 mins/side
2. Pin and Stretch Using Fingers (1-2mins/side).