Neck muscle function is one aspect that could be contributing to cervical pain. Here is a small snap shop of what could be happening throughout your neck, shoulder girdle muscle complex.
– The one everyone generally knows is deep neck flexor activation, this muscle is important for stabilizing the head during certain movements and with certain postural positions. Consequently having poor activation can lead to an increase in superficial/ global muscle activity- scalenes, sternocleidomastoid, levator scapulae to name a few. All of the large superficial muscles.
– Increased co-contraction of the muscles during flexion and extension (bending backwards and forwards), basically everything is turning on. This will unfortunately increase the loading and pressure on the neck joints.
– Not only is activation of the deep neck flexors extensors/flexors important, but there needs to be adequate strength and endurance which wont lead to a quick fatigue of this area.
– When doing upper limb activities there is an inability for the muscles around the neck and shoulder girdle to relax. Having a muscle constantly active is not always a good thing.
– There could be a change in the type of muscle fibres where you have, developed from a type I (endurance based) to a type II (fast twitch). This could be influenced by many things, your sports, jobs or just how the body has changed over all these years.