How to Relieve Shoulder and Neck Pain
Neck and shoulder pain are among the most ignored pains we all have. Many of us are so used to having neck pain that we hardly think about it anymore. But that’s a mistake, because our neck is connected to our back, shoulders, arms and many other places on the body.
When it has pressure on it that doesn’t get released, we can expect unhealthy consequences and a lot of pain in the near future. This guide will help you release the tension and pressure on your neck and shoulders, while also teaching you how to prevent them.
The main causes of neck and shoulder pain
The most diagnosed cause of neck and shoulder pain is simply poor posture. Having a bad posture can cause upper back pain, a stiff neck, frozen shoulders and even headaches.
When our head is carried too far forward instead of staying upright, as it is supposed to be, the muscles at the back of our necks work extra hard. If we are constantly stressed and tense, sleep little and worry a lot, we are also creating the perfect conditions for neck and shoulder pain. Cold drafts are also to be avoided, especially while you sleep.
Our neck needs strong support, and that’s where the shoulder muscles come in.
The main shoulder muscles are the trapezius, the pectoralis (our pecs) and the latissimus dors (our lats) muscles. They cause the arm to move. When our arm rotates inward, the shoulder rotates too, and the muscles at the front of the shoulder tighten up while the upper back muscles weaken. This can result in:
– The muscles at the front of our shoulder getting tight.
– The muscles in our upper back getting weak.
Anyone who sits for hours in front of a computer is prone to this kind of muscle imbalance.
The correct position of the shoulder joint
While the arm is mostly moved by our pecs and our lats, the muscles in our back (rhomboids) keep the shoulder joint steady. The pecs and lats rotate the arm, and as they do, the upper back muscles become weak, causing the shoulder joint to be extended a bit too far forward and out of its natural alignment. This can be fixed by strengthening our upper back muscles, the rhomboids.
This can be done by following this easy exercise you can do for a minute or two a few times a day:
Exercise: Shoulder alignment
1. Stand up straight with your arms hanging loosely by your sides.
2. Rotate your wrists outwards (clockwise) as far as you can without feeling discomfort or pain.
3. Now, release the rotation in your lower arm (turning your palms in towards your thighs)
4. Be sure to keep your shoulders and upper arms in the same position (see 2nd photo).
This exercise should make you feel a widening and flattening of this area in your body, almost immediately. The front of your shoulder will become looser and the joint will be placed on the side of your body instead of in front of it.
Relax your shoulders
When our shoulders are raised, they cause the curve at the back of our necks to become too deep. As you can see in the image below, the head then gets aligned too far forward from the body, which puts pressure on the neck muscles. This can cause headaches, migraines and neck pains. Double chins often appear when the head is not carried above the spine.
You can solve this problem by first loosening your shoulders with the “Arm swings” exercise below and then following up with the neck exercises we’ve outlined in the next section.
Posted from WordPress for Android