Ask A PT! How to Help Ease Neck and Shoulder Pain NOW
Neck and shoulder pain may be the most common ailment faced these days. That being said, it is often the most mysterious too. Pinpointing the exact cause for shoulder or neck problems is particularly tricky, as the underlying cause of the pain may be due to many differing factors. We want you to know what different factors cause shoulder and neck pain and how we can prevent and heal that pain, right now.
The 21st century goes hand-in-hand with the astronomical rise of technology. Nowadays, tablets, cell phones, TVs, computers, and even smart watches dominate our daily lives. We are accompanied by our cell phone wherever we go and we typically end our days lounging in front of the TV.
HERE’S THE PROBLEM:
All of this tech is actually having a damaging effect on your shoulder and neck health. Why? Well, looking down at our phones, arching our necks at the TV screen, trying desperately to avoid the glare on our tablet screens – THESE ALL ADD UP! Our muscles are stretched and moved in ways that take a toll on the joints. We ache and experience pain a lot more frequently as we increasingly handle our technological devices incorrectly.
In addition to the rise of technology, we have also lost valuable time connecting with our bodies. Most people don’t really stretch, nor do they do much activity. We have become a sedentary nation and our necks and shoulders tell that story. As a people, we aren’t moving our muscles and joints enough. The aches and pains you may be experiencing in your neck and shoulders may well be the result of a lack of activity.
It is also important to mention diet – what are you eating on a daily basis. Diets filled with fatty foods or an overload of carbs don’t provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Without a balanced diet, you will directly affect your health. For instance, without the right anti-inflammatory foods, your neck and shoulders will ache.
It is clear that we’re living in a time defined by technology. Although that brings its benefits, it also brings disadvantages to areas like our physical health. Your neck and shoulders may well be related to the everyday habits you’ve forged together with tech, diet, and lifestyle. Luckily, we have a couple of ways you can start making positive changes right now. Take a look:
1. Watch your PC and cell phone posture
What is your posture like when you use your computer? Do you have a desktop or a laptop? These are very serious considerations when it comes to neck and/or shoulder pain. If you’re using a desktop, make sure your screen is in alignment with your eyes, thereby avoiding forward head movements and incorrect posture, which could lead to pain.
If you’re using a laptop, avoid lying down when you’re typing or watching Netflix. This particular posture forces your head forward, thereby placing immense pressure on your neck muscles as they are pushed into an unnatural position. Rather, try to use a desk and limit the time you sit in front of your PC to periods of about 20 minutes. In addition, make sure that your phone posture is monitored. Never stoop and always try to keep your phone at eye level, with your neck and spine aligned. Always stretch after using technologies like these for long durations of time.
2. Sleeping habits
The way you sleep often directly affects the muscles in your shoulders and neck. Incorrect sleeping habits are one of the biggest culprits in shoulder and neck pain. Sleeping with too many pillows places stress on your neck muscles and actually puts your back and neck out of alignment, causing pain. Try sleeping with a pillow that evenly aligns your spine with your neck. It may take some getting used to, but it’s worth it. Also, sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees is incredible effective for relieving neck and shoulder pain. Why? Because stress is no longer placed on those two areas and the weight of the body is evenly distributed along the spine and legs. Try doing this and we’re sure you’ll see fantastic changes.
3. Even distribution of weight
Without knowing it, many of us carry our handbags on one side of our body. Not only handbags, but shopping bags, laptop bags, and even luggage! When we carry weight on one side of our bodies, the other overcompensates. This leads to pain in our shoulders and necks. It’s very important that weight is distributed evenly. Try carrying shopping bags equally on both sides if the body or switching the side you carry your bags on. This is an absolutely vital step in your journey towards a pain free life.
4. Diet matters
Be aware of the types of food you’re eating – whether it be fast food, fatty foods, sugary foods, or even salty foods. Cutting down on these types of low nutrient meals will greatly benefit in relieving pain. Try introducing more seeds, berries, and other anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Dark, leafy greens, broccoli, eggplants, and sweet potatoes are fantastic additions to your meals. Give it a try – the results will surprise you.
Moving your body is one of the vest ways of getting rid of your neck and shoulder pain. Stretch, move, exercise, and incorporate as much activity as you can. The key to health is to move!
The truth is, chronic neck and shoulder pain can be debilitating. We understand that it might be getting you down. We’d love to help you. Physical therapy is the most effective way of tackling your neck and shoulder pain. We offer a unique opportunity for your to come in, talk to one of our professional physical therapists, create a plan, and be given options to fix your neck and shoulder pain… all for free! Just give us a call or fill out a form on our website and we’ll set up a time to meet.
Don’t let neck and shoulder pain ruin one more day of your life! Try our tips today!