Your body is smart. It has the innate capability to heal itself. So why is your neck still bothering you after all these years? In the past, you may have gone to therapy, got rid of your problem, and then had it come back. Or your problem improved by 50% but did not improve completely. This can happen if your whole body was not evaluated and treated. If you’re asking yourself this question in the morning or before you go to bed, then Fascial Counterstrain might be your answer.

Without getting overly technical our bodies are devised in a framework of connective tissue called the FASCIA. If we strain this fascia our body responds by contracting our muscles in order to protect our bodies from future harm.

Life is fluid and the strain we put on our bodies can vary from something significant like a car accident or the mundane of just prolonged sitting in an uncomfortable position. So, the question then becomes what structure is responsible for restricting my neck movement and causing me so much pain and discomfort.

The answer a lot of times can be the fascia surrounding the lungs and heart. WHAT? Some of you are thinking. YES, the heart and particularly the lungs have physical connections to your neck and 1st rib through fascial attachments. In many of my patient that complain of neck pain I see a similar presentation with the classic forward neck and forward shoulder posture. It’s easy to see why many clinicians will quickly diagnose this as a tight pec or tight posterior cervical muscles and base their treatment plan solely on this premise.  But what if the pleura around the lungs and the pleural dome ligaments which attach to the neck were strained in let us say that accident. 

What if the parietal pleura that has anchors to the ribs is sending signals to create internal spasm of that tissue causing your rib to be pulled inwardly and cause your neck to be pulled forward. Then what you have is NOT a musculoskeletal problem but a musculoskeletal presentation of a visceral problem.

Traditional PT while effective is stuck focusing on the muscle, which is just doing what it is told to do, and that is to protect you. Knock out the fascial component of the viscera and all the “muscle guarding” jumping out to protect you simply goes away. 


If you’d like more information on Neck pain and how we can help relieve your symptoms, please contact our office or book an appointment!  


Dr. Dmitry Shestakovsky


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