Do you suffer from neck and/or shoulder pain? If so, you are not alone. Many people are affected every day by pain in their neck and shoulders. Some people try to relieve their pain by improving posture or even buying new mattresses and pillows. This may be a temporary fix, but if you are experiencing neck or shoulder pain, it’s for a reason.
Stress is one of the number one reasons people experience pain in their neck and shoulders. When you are stressed or anxious, your neck becomes tense and your shoulders strain up near your ears. The more anxiety you experience, or the longer you feel stress, the more pain and discomfort you will feel.
Neck and shoulder pain can also be a result of sedentary lifestyles. People who sit in an office at a desk all day have an increased chance of experiencing discomfort in their neck and shoulders. Studies show a link between computer use, sedentary lifestyles and chronic muscle pain. It is important to incorporate standing, walking or other physical activities throughout the day to take the tension off of your neck and shoulders.
Whether it’s everyday stress or sedentary habits that are causing your pain and discomfort, there are ways to relieve it. While it may be impossible to completely rid your life of stress, or find a new job that doesn’t require sitting in a desk, it’s easy to practice routine self massages. Massage is one of the best ways to reduce neck and shoulder pain.
The muscles around your neck and shoulders are likely to have tender knots. Gently massaging or pressing on these trigger points in a circular motion will help release the tension that is built up in the muscle. Here are a few tips for self massage therapy:
- Lie down to allow your muscles to completely relax. Be sure to use a pillow and keep your neck and spine in line.
- Use a tennis ball to apply alternative pressure to trigger spots. Place the tennis ball under your neck or shoulders in the trigger point area and lie on it. Move slowly to adjust location and pressure.
- After relaxing and massaging the trigger points, slowly move the shoulders forward and backward, and the neck in a circular motion.
If muscle pain doesn’t subside or continues to worsen, you should consider adding regular massage therapy to your routine. There are many benefits to massage therapy and overall health. Check with our massage therapists to see how we can help you!