Why Squamous Muscles Contract


The scalene muscles are a group of muscles in the neck. You have more than 100 muscles in your neck , head, and face. Scales are made up of three pairs of muscles, one group on each side of your body.

When the scalene muscles are healthy and balanced, they help maintain an upright position in the cervical spine , which is the upper part of the spine. Stairs can sometimes cause problems because they are prone to a lot of stress .

Sam Edwards / Getty Images

Three squamous muscles

Before we dive into these conditions and what you can do to weaken the scalene muscle, let's take a closer look at the three muscle groups that make up your scalene muscle.

To get an idea of what ladders look like, you can think of an angled rigging for a ship's mast. The scales are similar to this and are similarly located on the neck and clavicle.

Front scales

Of the three muscles that make up the scalene muscle, the former is the closest to the former. Like all scalene muscles, it is considered a lateral neck muscle. It has more than one function.

It helps to remember that these muscles are located on both sides of the neck. When exposed to only one side of your neck, the front ladder can bend and rotate your neck. When both anterior scalene muscles work together, they flex (flex) your neck.

The front ladder also raises the first rib, but this is a fairly subtle action that you may not be aware of while it is happening. It is considered an accessory respiratory muscle because it raises the first rib during inhalation.

Medial scales

The middle scalene is found between the anterior and posterior branches of the scalene muscle. As with the other muscle branches in this group, your left or right medial scalene muscle can contract (move) on its own, or your medial scalene muscles can contract together.

When only one side contracts, lift (lift) the first rib to bend and side-bend (push to the side) the neck. Like the anterior scalene muscle, the medial scalene muscle is considered an accessory respiratory muscle because it elevates the first rib during inhalation.

When both medial scalenes muscles contract, they flex the neck. These actions are similar to those of the anterior scalene muscle, because the insertion sites (origins and insertions) are located next to each other.

Posterior squamous

The posterior (posterior) scalene muscle occupies the farthest posterior position of all branches of the scalene muscle. It does not contribute to a versatile triangle; only the anterior and medial branches do this.

When only a posterior ladder contracts, flexes and rotates the neck joints. When both back ladders contract, they cause the neck to bend and lift the second rib, which can be difficult to detect when this occurs.

The posterior scalene muscle is considered an accessory respiratory muscle because it elevates the second rib during inhalation.

Scale triangle

The anterior and medial staircase together with part of the first rib form an anatomical region known as the staircase triangle. Another name for this formation is scalene fissure or scalene haitus.

The versatile triangle is important because branches of the brachial plexus nerve complex traverse it. Squamous stretching can compress these branches and this could be a sign of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) .

What makes squamous muscles fit

The scale causes various neck problems. Some of the most common are shown below.

Stiff neck

Torticollis , also known as torticollis, is a condition in which the neck muscles remain contracted in chronically shortened positions. All scalene muscles are involved in torticollis.

Sometimes torticollis occurs due to genetic factors that affect the nervous system. It can also develop due to injury or medication .

Torticollis is characterized by a curved neck position, which is very difficult to loosen. The head is also tilted in the opposite direction.

Forward head posture and hump of a widowed woman

The forward head or widow's hump position occurs when the anterior scalen cells are hard, tight, and short, pulling the lower cervical vertebra forward into a rigidly flexed position. If you have this condition, you may need to look up to see what is in front of you.

When squeezed hard in the forward head position, the stairs cannot balance the tension in the back of the neck. Continuously maintaining this posture can make postural problems worse.

Although they are generally considered the cervical flexors (they flex the neck forward), once the neck is extended in this way, the scalene muscles can become the cervical extensors (they are used to flex the neck backward).


Scales can be affected by whiplash , especially if the injury is on the side of the neck. Working with deep tissue in the stairwell can aggravate symptoms if done too soon after the inciting incident .

Respiratory problems

Personality muscles are accessory respiratory muscles that help you inspire. They all contract as you inhale, making room for the lungs to expand the chest by lifting the upper ribs. If you have breathing problems (such as asthma ), your stairs may have to work too hard.

Tips for happy scalene muscles

Stretching the scale is important:

  • When you tilt your head to one side, you will stretch the middle ladder to the other side.
  • When you stretch the middle ladder, looking over your shoulder in the opposite direction can stretch the front ladder.
  • As you stretch the middle ladder, look down with your head in the same direction, which will help you stretch the back ladder.

Alternative therapies and movement systems such as the Feldenkrais method, the Alexander method, and somatics can help relax tight scalene muscles.

Depending on the cause of the tightness of the scalene muscles, regular massage can also help keep these muscles flexible.

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