The scalene stretch can be performed in sitting or standing position, by self or assisted by partner and help in increasing the neck range of motion.
Relevant Anatomy of the Scalenus Muscle
The Scalene muscle helps lift the rib cage, assisting in breathing. It also assists in some rotation of the neck and flexion of the upper spinal column. This muscle has three parts.
The posterior part arises on the transverse processes of the top two or three cervical vertebrae and courses downward to insert on the top middle edge of the second rib.
The medial part, the largest of the three sections, arises on the transverse processes of all the cervical vertebrae except the atlas and descends to attach on the top surface of the first rib.
The anterior part arises from the transverse processes of the third through sixth cervical vertebrae and inserts on the top of the first rib, just in front of the medial portion’s insertion.
Whereas the longus colli and the longus capitis muscles course upward, the scalene muscle courses downward. Muscles always shorten in the direction of their origin.
Because the scalene muscles are attached to the transverse processes of the upper cervical spine and the upper two ribs, they either flex the cervical spine or elevate the upper ribs when they contract bilaterally. Unilaterally, the scalenes side-bend the cervical spine to the same side and rotate it to the opposite side.
Scalene Stretch in Sitting
Scalene Posterior Stretch in Sitting