Scap-Off Load

Scap Off Load Remedial Massage SetUp

Scap-Off Load.

A Scap-Off Load is a special test or functional test that we use to evaluate the implication of Lev Scapular and Up. Trap in Cercival Rotation.

As previously mentioned, in cervical rotation we got a fair bit of muscle working towards this action.Scap off load

As many clients come in with cervical pain, it’s time to explain in more detail what’s going on in there.

So, when we rotate our head, either right or left, the muscle on the same side of the rotation movement is contracting.

If a muscle along those, has a knot in it, we may reproduce pain in rotation along the same side.

To thin down which muscle is responsible for the limited ROM we have to safely deactivate some of them, to see if the left behind one, can deliver the expected movement.

As per example.

If a client comes in with 30° Cervical rotation on the R and pain on top of the scapula, that could be an indication that its levator scapulae is tense.

To confirm so, I would ask the client to shrug up their shoulders and flex the elbow (the client is seating on a stool).

After that, I will make my way behind the client and I will support their shoulder weight with my forearm and hands.

As the client relieves the shoulders tension, that lev scapulae and up. trap. is now deactivated.

The next thing would be to ask the client to perform the cervical rotation.

Now, ideally, I would like to see the client have a full range of motion (80° to 90°).

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Cervical Scap Off Load

That would tell me that the only muscles that are limiting the cervical rotation are the lev scap. and up trap.

On the other hand, what could happen, is that the cervical rotation is yes improved, but still limited, compared to the ROM expected.

In this case, the muscles involved in the stiff range of motions are not only lev scap. and or upper trap.

In fact, what is causing the limitation is the occipitals muscles.

About occipitals, we did talk in this blog post.

And yes, spending long hours at the computer and or looking at the phone, doesn’t help. If you feel like this post is talking to you, about Neck Pain, your next massage session is a click away.

Back to Scap Off Load. this type of test is part of the training for the Remedial Massage therapists that I did at RMIT.

On the other hand, I also use it along with the Thai Massage sessions.

Nowadays, I also start looking in too more depth for Cervical limitation, by analyzing the individual vertebrae functionality.

For doing so, there are a couple of tests that can reveal the tension within the C0-C1 joint, which would refer to Obliquus Capitis Superior muscle, and the C1-C2 test, which would look at tension for Obliquus Capitis Inferior.

Furthermore, for the other facet joints, that make up the lower cervical region (C3 to C8) I would analyze each facet joint one by one.

These series of tests are part indeed of my Myotherapy training which I am taking always at RMIT, here in Melbourne.


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