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Front Neck Pain when Swallowing after Squat

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Hi All,

Getting this irritating pain in the front of my neck after squats that stays with me. It doesn't really hurt unless I swallow, so I am assuming I strained one of the scalene neck muscles. Position of the strain seems to be somewhere deep, in between the right side of the trachea and the sternocleidomastoid, or possibly under and just past it. 

Anyone else ever experience this? It's interesting to me because I've always thought neck injury from squats was a back-of-neck thing, not the front. Haven't been able to find anyone or read anything similar except for one post of someone having a similar issue, and the suggestion was to check head position during the squat to see if the chin is jutting out or if the neck is extended/head is tilting up, so I am going to be mindful of that next lift session. Not sure if there is any validity to that. 

Attached is an image of the neck muscles. I circled the area where I think the strain is in blue. If anyone has any insight that would be great.

Neck Deep Muscles.PNG

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When I do squats with the largely recommended method of holding your breath through the rep to stay tight, I end up straining my neck muscles and they pretty much don't heal, since I'm squatting every other day. Rather than holding my breath to get tight, can I just brace my core like I'm about to get punched to get tight but continue breathing through the rep? 

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That depends. How many reps and sets, how high a weight, etc.


The generally prescribed technique is for heavy single to three reps, or lifting more than 80% of your 1 rep max, is to hold your breath and brace through the squat. It's so much more than just holding your breath, you want to push out against your core, almost like you're wearing a corset, to help with stability.


If you're doing higher reps or less than the above weight percentage, then you can breathe in on the way down and breathe out on the way up. Or breath in down and hold up. Dealer's choice. 


Also, If you're neck muscles are feeling strained after doing that you might need to re-evaluate your form. Overarching, bar too high on the neck, flexing your neck muscles can all cause the problem your mentioning. Have someone do a form check if at all possible.

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