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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT

Clavicle Release

You may not even realize you need this!

In everyday movement, we may take our clavicle (collarbone) for granted. It attaches to to significant muscles and provides critical stability. When it's not moving as freely as it should, we can feel as if we can't take a deep breath, can't stand up straight, and can't move our neck and head easily. Understanding how to mobilize the clavicle, therefore, becomes very important.

Anatomy Lesson:

The clavicle is sits above the first rib, at the sternum, and notches nicely into a part of the scapula (shoulder blade) called the “acromion process.” Understanding both of these attachments is critical in understanding how to mobilize this bone: The sternum has little or no movement in daily life; the scapulae, on the other hand, have an incredible range of movement. Every time we move our arms, the scapulae move, and therefore, the clavicle moves. The clavicle can also move independent of the sternum. This occurs when we shrug our shoulders, for example. Many ligaments are located in this region, and their job is mainly to keep the clavicle from dislocating. While we can't “stretch” ligaments, we can move them through the actions they allow, mobilizing and creating the feeling of freer movement.

The Stretch:

As we learned above, to stretch the clavicle completely, we need to move it both at the sternal and scapular attachments. Although these motions are simple, we don't perform them in daily life, so take these stretches slowly and mindfully.

Begin standing with your arms at your sides, slightly pulled toward your back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flip your palms up so they are facing away from your body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Touch your thumbs and fingertips together, but don't interlace them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping your fingertips touching, slowly move your palms toward the ceiling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your focus with this movement is not squeezing your scapulae together, it's moving your clavicles away from your sternum and up toward the ceiling. Gently let your neck and head fall backwards to increase the stretch. You may find that one side of your chest/neck is tighter at this point; you can move your chin gently toward the side that hurts, then the opposite side, and even in small circles to help mobilize the joints.

Don't hold the stretch for a very long time; you may tense more muscles than joints you help. After the stretch, move your arms freely and try to let your shoulders relax completely.

This is a fantastic stretch to try after sitting for a long time, like at your desk, in a car or on a plane. It's also great first thing in the morning as our clavicles often get a little squished while we sleep. Give it a try and I'm confident you'll feel that you can move your upper body more easily. As for the attached muscles, I can help you work that out at your next massage therapy session in my Westport office. I'll see you there!

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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT