How To Beat Neck & Shoulder Pain
I’m going to walk you through the four ways you can beat neck and shoulder pain.
The first thing is ice and heat. Ice is the most natural way you can help your neck muscles and shoulder. Ice is a great way to help that inflammation that you have, as it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and really does a great job of addressing that inflammation. One suggestion I have for people that have a true aversion to ice is to put some ice on for 10 minutes, that will bring your inflammation down, and afterwards you can apply heat to counteract the cold.
The second way that you’re really going to beat your neck and shoulder pain is postural awareness and movement. Poor posture is a huge issue for a lot of conditions that we see, especially for neck and shoulder pain. Think about your daily routine. What are you doing every day? Are you at the computer all day, are you driving a lot, are you in those type of positions where it’s going to round your shoulders and your neck forward? Those are positions that pinch your rotator cuff, they pinch your discs, they cause nerve compressions and they tighten your muscles up in your neck. Simply being aware of your posture and making sure that we try to counteract that is really going to help you.
Another thing to try and incorporate in your routine is shoulder blade squeezes. Doing these throughout the day, while keeping your hands in your lap, is going to help you significantly – especially if you’re at a desk all day. Chin tucks can also help your posture and soft tissues in your neck, shoulders and back a lot. If we do physical therapy together, we’ll talk about that more in depth.
Going along with posture, another recommendation is just get active and moving! So many times in our lives, we do things that keep us inactive. Driving all the time, working all the time, taking care of the kids, doing things aren’t very active and this hurts our bodies. Going out and walking, going out and doing something that’s active can go a long way to help shoulder neck pain. It also helps you to be more aware of your posture.
The third thing that we can do to help neck and shoulder pain is making sure that we really take note of what’s causing the problem. It sounds simple, but I get people come in and tell me,”it hurts when I sleep.” Be mindful of what position you’re sleeping in, how you fall asleep and how you wake up. If you’re not realizing that you’re a stomach sleeper, that’s a big problem because when you’re on your stomach it’s going to give your neck a lot of problems. We need to be aware of those harmful behaviors so that we can change it. If you’re doing an activity throughout the day like you’re throwing a ball with your kids, it may not hurt at the time but if it hurts afterwards, you’ve got to really start thinking about what it is that’s actually causing your problem so that we can try to modify that and let your body heal.
The fourth way you can beat your neck and shoulder pain is to seek medical attention through physical therapy. We really want to make sure to dive in to what your main problems are when it comes to your neck and shoulder. Is it interrupting your sleep, is it interrupting your work, is it interrupting the things you want to do with your exercise? We really want to focus on solutions to your specific issues because there are multiple things that we have to do to evaluate what’s going on and find you pain relief. We will do things like hands-on treatment that make you feel good right away and also we will hold your hand through the process of getting all the corrective exercises that make you strong long term to meet your goals.