There are many ways to get rid of the pain that a certain person experiences. Some may undergo medical surgeries or operations, others instinctively reach for the the painkillers or head to Google to “figure it out” and try a few exercises they think may work. With all the available home remedies found on the internet, here are some powerful strategies that you can implement to help ease the pain and limitations. Putting these steps into action can work immediately and may prove effective over time.
Why Does Shoulder and Neck Pain Happen?
Because more often than not they go together, because there is a structural interdependence… oftentimes, limitations and mechanical deficits of one compromises and amplifies the other. Without knowing the unique symptoms and specific history, physical limitations or symptoms I cannot identify which tip will work best and somehow, there is no guarantee that every single strategy will work for you even if the cause of you shoulder and neck pain is determined.
Imagine, how wonderful it would be IF you tried just one of these tips every day? Then you could discover which strategies work best for your shoulders and neck, allowing you to participate in the active and healthy lifestyle you desire and envision.
Take The Challenge!
With this new insight, try at least one of these strategies each day, try to be consistent. It won’t cost you anything but a few moments of your time and maybe enlisting some supportive friends or family. I believe you may be surprised by how much better and healthier you will feel for trying and a little more hopeful, encouraged and empowered.
Shoulder & Neck Pain Information:
Neck pain impacts 30-50% of the population annually. Approximately 15% of adults will experience CHRONIC neck pain during their life. Chronic pain is often due to not making a decision to address the problem, and not making the right decision of how to address the pain and underlying problems. Shoulder and neck pain usually begins as a “nagging discomfort”, ache or stiffness, unfortunately left untreated it can progress into a chronic debilitating issue with sometimes irreversible adverse symptoms and limitations.
Unfortunately, MRI, X-rays and CT scans do NOT always identify the cause of neck pain nor do they correlate with the severity of symptoms, limitations or potential risks if left untreated. But, sometimes these tests under or over report the structural deficits and some people are rushed into invasive injections, surgeries or become dependent on medications without any successful relief or improvement.
People suffering with shoulder and neck pain report having trouble; concentrating and sleeping, weakness, “catching” of their joints, headaches, numbness and tingling, and difficulty with performing activities and sustaining their energy levels.
Common Causes of the Shoulder and Neck Pain:
OVER or UNDER doing repetitive activities, prolonged periods of being sedentary or inactive contribute to poor mechanical patterns, strain and pain.
UNDER Doing(being sedentary): Increased commuting and desk time leaves the body vulnerable to tightness, weakness, falling into poor posture and can compromise the structure of the body and its ability to function.
OVER doing: When we participate in activities that are highly repetitive or intense this can lead to neck and shoulder compromise. Think about your work, daily and fitness related activities that require; overhead shoulder movements, heavy lifting, manual and trade labor, throwing, serving sports, golf, swimming, biking, and running.
Slouching increases the forces that are transmitted through your spine, especially your neck. In a slouched position our head falls forward, adding additional strain and pull on the muscles that support the weight of our head this limits the ability of the joints to move correctly. The rounding forward of our shoulders limits the ability to move our arms overhead and reach, this also can lead to pain in the front and back of the shoulder. This will cause stress, strain, and pain that continually worsens over time.
Sleeping Positions & Lack of Support
We typically spend anywhere from 6-8 hours in bed every night. It is important that you are in the correct position for such an extended time. People often use too many pillows or too thick of a pillow.
Watching Device Time & Posture
Frequent computer, tablet, and phone use with poor positioning and posture can increase neck muscle tension, headaches and visual strain.
Looking down at a phone, tablet or computer screen will cause your neck to round and shoulders to slouch, this causes increased pressure on the discs of your spine and wear out the shoulder joint.
Reading a book or using a device while laying down or sitting slouched leads to forward head position and rounding of the shoulders. This increases the pressure on the back of your neck and front of your shoulders.
Tilting your head down 45 degrees increase the pressure on your neck by 49 pounds!
Know Your Carrying Capacity
Carrying a bag, purse, backpack or child on one shoulder or side causes the weight to NOT be evenly distributed. Over time, one side of your body will be under more pressure and strain than the other, leading to increased muscle tension, tightness and discomfort. Constantly carrying things on one shoulder all the time can actually cause the normal curvature of your spine to change and lead to uneven posture.
Tips on Getting Rid of the Pain
As there are many identified conditions that require medical treatment and surgeries, there are also those frequently acquired and mostly common types of shoulder and neck pain that can be treated without undergoing medical procedures. Exercises that could be of great help if done properly and perpetually.
Here are 5 easy ways to get Relief For Shoulder and Neck Pain without Relying on Pain Medication, Injections or Surgery:
Tip #1: SIT & STAND (with confidence & joy!)
So, check out your posture. When sitting, sit upright with your head over your shoulders, your shoulders centered over your hips, and with your back preferably supported. Sitting should be a supported posture where you muscles can be relaxed not under undue stress or strain, but NOT completely passive and disengaged. KEEP your CORE ENGAGED.
When standing a similar alignment should follow a plumb(straight) line should flow from head to toe. Check your profile out and try to center your ears over your shoulders, shoulders over your hips, and hips over your ankles. IF you tighten your core and glute muscles it will automatically set you in this ideal alignment. I love to use the visual feedback of mirrors and the verbal cues and reminders from others. You will be surprised how often we fall into POOR POSTURE. So let’s help each other out to stay pain free.
Tip #2: Use a thinner, supportive pillow and avoid the following poor positions when you sleep.
Using a thinner pillow that supports the normal curvature of your neck and allows it to rest in a more natural position. When the neck is in a prolonged angled position strain, pain, and sometimes numbness results. Check out these orthopedic pillows our clients love and we recommend, they are custom fit so they can best support your unique shape, sleep positions and preferences.
AVOID sleeping on your stomach.
This position will put unnatural pressure and torsion on your spine and shoulders. Even IF this position doesn’t hurt now, you will be contributing to future spinal deterioration and shoulder problems.
TIP #3: ADJUST SCREEN POSITION & DEVICE SUPPORT
Screen height should be at eye level so that the neck muscles can relax and you can be in the ideal posture. Utilizing headsets, or hands free devices can also help limit prolonged extreme position of your neck and shoulders
Tip #4: TIME, POSITIONING & SUPPORT
LIMIT the time reading, studying, or using your device in bed. I call this the “Netflix syndrome”: the binge watching of seasons at a time has left many people in neck and shoulder agony.
IF you are going to read or watch in bed, be certain you are sitting upright with appropriate support, versus lying down.
Tip #5: BALANCING & SWITCHING THINGS UP
Alternate the carrying arm you use. Avoid carrying heavy or awkwardly shaped objects with one arm. Find the size and shape of your carrying mode appropriate for your body.
Bonus Tips Just For YOU:
Another common mistake that can be contributing to your pain and draining your energy is being dehydrated. Dehydration can cause muscle pain, aches, cramps, fatigue and dizziness. Try to drink water throughout the day. Avoid excess caffeine, this include coffee, tea, alcohol and energy drinks as these will dehydrate you body further.
CHOOSE & USE SENSIBLE FOOTWEAR
High-heels, sandals, flip-flops, and hard-bottom shoes are all proven to INCREASE pressure, stress on your spine and change its ideal posture. By wearing a comfortable, cushioned supportive shoes without a heel can decrease the stress on your spine up to 20-25%. There is a compounding effect of poor footwear choices over one’s life. Imbalances and pressure builds up over the years and ultimately causes the weakening and stiffening of the spine by age forty.
ICE & HEAT
Use heat in the morning to help warm and loosen up stiff joints and muscles. Ice is often beneficial after activity or in the evening when your shoulder or neck is aching or painful.
Next Steps to Finally Find and Fix the Real Cause Of Shoulder and Neck Pain, Naturally
When pain strikes, the person experiencing it may feel agitated and irritated. Their mood might also get affected by the disturbing feeling of discomfort and most likely unable to do certain activities. Hampered activities may also lead to the feeling of exasperation because you simply couldn’t get things done.
Are you finding yourself still confused about how to handle your shoulder and neck pain? You are not alone.
Many people have shoulder and neck pain or discomfort during their lifetime. The problem is that most of them allow the problem to get WORSE before looking for a solution.
We hope this information has given you some ideas of HOW to ease your shoulder and neck pain and AVOID making it WORSE.
Our hope is that you feel empowered to make the decision to do something and know what to do next for your shoulder and neck pain.
If you are currently dealing with shoulder and neck pain, whether it is new or something nagging, we are more than happy to talk to you about your personal situation. We offer a FREE phone consultation so that you can be confident in taking the next step to relieve your shoulder and neck pain.
We hope this information has given your some ideas of HOW to ease riding the pain and AVOID making it any WORSE. It only takes a few minutes for us to get an idea of what might be causing your current situation, frustration and worries. It’s a great way to get to know you better and for you to tell us more about what is going on, what you want to accomplish or perhaps avoid.
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