Why do so many of the clients I see come in with back, neck and shoulder problems? Neck and Shoulder pain is one of the most common complaint I see!
“My shoulders are agony.”
“The tension is in my neck.”
“My shoulders feel so tight.”
Here are some reasons that this is more of an issue for people more than it ever has been.
Many of us spend a great deal of our time sat looking at a computer screen. Whether it is for our jobs, study or pleasure, screen time has become part of our daily routines. Slumping on soft sofas in front of the TV, using our phone and driving long distances, are all contributing to our static lifestyles.
If sitting is a part of your job, sat in a static position, staring at a screen, you may find yourself being in the same position for hours. This causes the muscles in your neck and shoulders to become tired and weak.
When you then go to move, the muscles and joints may not work as effectively and this can cause a strain in the muscle and can even catch nerves. This is when the discomfort and pain starts. Your body will go into self protection mode and do what it can to stop that muscle from moving so it won’t hurt anymore. Being static for too long can take its toll on your body as a whole and can also affect your circulation.
Many of us now use laptops instead of desk computers. These allow much more flexibility to where we can work but because the screen and keyboard are attached it is difficult to get the screen at the correct working height meaning our heads are stooped forward when using them.
Being conscious of your posture throughout your day. Sitting in an upright position with the screen in the correct position to allow minimal stress on your neck and shoulders.
There are many guidelines you can find online that explain good posture when working at a desk but the main things to remember are to have your feet flat in the ground and your hips back in the chair making sure your back is supported. The desk and keyboard should be directly in front of you to stop any twisting and at a height to enable your shoulders to stay relaxed.
The monitor should be placed directly in front of you and just above eye level to avoid slumping.
It is really good practice to have frequent short breaks and positions changes. This can be as simple as standing up, turning around and stretching every 30 – 60 minutes or so to boost your circulation.
Getting away from your desk during lunch is a great way to reduce the tension and stress, even better if you can get outside too.
When using a laptop a few changes, when possible, should help with neck and shoulder issues. Using your laptop at a table will enable your arms to have support and you will be in a good, seated position. You can get a separate keyboard and mouse and place your laptop screen at the correct height.
Are you waking feeling sore? Do your shoulders and neck feel stiff in the morning? When you wake do you still feel tired? Sleeping in the wrong position can cause muscles strain. Stress and a busy mind can also cause you to become tense and restless during sleep.
Adjust the height of your pillow. It is probably not recommended sleep on more than one pillow. Any more than one can cause excess stretch on the neck muscles.
Adjust your sleeping position. Side or back sleeping are the best positions for sleep. Tummy sleeping causes your neck to be in a twisted position throughout the night.
Trying a new relaxing routine before bed can help to quieten your mind and allow for a more relaxed sleep. This can include lack of screen time before bed, soft music, essential oils, warm bath etc.
Stress comes at us all in many guises. It is how we deal with these stresses that impact not only on our mental wellbeing but our physical health too. Many clients come to me and say ‘I carry my stress in my shoulders and neck.’ ‘I feel tense in my shoulders.’
Being conscious of when then stress hits and being aware of your physical presence will help. A great strategy to help when feeling the stress or anxiety creep up is a solar plexus hold. This can be held using your thumb of the opposite hand for about 30 seconds and then repeat on the other hand. Holding / pressing any of the other areas shown below can help with stress.
Lack of use and movement can cause the pain and discomfort in this area. The muscles become weakened, stuck, shortened or stretched depending on our action. When you then go to move or change position the muscle does not like it and will ‘complain’ causing pain and discomfort.
Some simple movements and stretches at regular and frequent intervals can help the muscles to stay ‘happy.’ Lack of use or lack of posture can cause the muscles to become out of condition. Regular exercise and stretching can help.
Some stretching exercises
Tilt head, ear to shoulder, until you feel a gentle stretch. When you have reached that point hold it for 5 seconds and, staying in this position, gently nod your head forward. Repeat on both sides.
Move your head to look over your shoulder, keeping your head parallel to your body. Stop when you feel a gentle stretch. Repeat the other way.
Shoulder rolls will help to keep the shoulders moving smoothly. Roll your shoulders up, then back, then down, then forward in a smooth fluid movement. Repeat 10 times and then reverse the movement.
Keep yourself moving and conscious of your posture.
Other things that could help:
Keeping your fluid (water) level topped up.
Using hot or cold compress
Using breath to calm – meditation
Massage will help to reduce soreness, improve the range of movement, increase the circulation and should give relief for your discomfort. It can help with all of the above issues. It feel great too!
30 Minute Back Neck Shoulder Massage
£20 instead of £25
Thats 20% off!
Please quote “March30” when booking.