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Neck and shoulder pain are particularly common among people who have a sedentary lifestyle, the ones that sit in front of the computer screen all day long and the ones that stand for long periods of time because of their profession. I happen to fall into both categories. I spend a lot of time online for business and during the day I am constantly bending and looking up as a painter. So I get my fair share of neck and shoulder pain.
Are you one of these people? If so, you know that neck, shoulder and back aches can be particularly stubborn and difficult to treat. You’ll need to follow a number of important steps in order to find relief or deal with the issue altogether. Learning how to treat neck and shoulder pain at home will make life so much easier and a heck of a lot cheaper than regular visits to a massage therapist.
Quick Links To Info On This Page
- 1 Here Are My Best Ways to Treat Neck and Shoulder Pain At Home
- 2 Self Massage Devices Are Great Pain Relievers
Here Are My Best Ways to Treat Neck and Shoulder Pain At Home
Sleep Well – It All Starts Here
Getting a good nights sleep is critical to improving ones health and better preparing the body for a long day. It’s surprising to me how many people don’t actual consider a pillow a treatment for neck strain, stiffness, pain etc.
When you invest in a quality cervical neck pillow designed for correctly aligning the neck, spine and shoulders while you sleep, you will notice a vast improvement. Not only does incorrect sleeping posture add to a stiff neck, it also cause snoring, sleep apnea and poor air circulation. So it’s wise to send a little bit extra on a decent pillow.
Stretching and Exercise
Stretching and gentle exercise are incredibly important for strengthening the muscles in these sensitive areas and reducing the stiffness that contributes to aches.
Exercises like Pilates and yoga are quite beneficial for neck and shoulder pain sufferers. The same applies to therapeutic massages.
Pain is often caused by staying in the same position for long periods of time. This is why people who work on a computer need to take frequent breaks and move around. Keeping the monitor at eye level and maintaining a good posture are also imperative. Having a ergonomic office space is key to long term success.
Self Massage Devices Are Great Pain Relievers
I still remember the day my first handheld massager turned up at my doorstep. I was wishing for a knot or pinched nerve to go to work on. But sadly, my muscles were feeling fine. But sure enough, after a bad nights sleep I woke up with the stiffest neck ever. So I got to try out my heated neck massager to full effect. It was an incredible feeling to know I could control my regular neck pains from home using a simple neck device.
There are some really good shiatsu massage devices that knead your shoulders and almost feel like another person is standing behind you digging into your back with their hands. These neck and shoulder massagers are great to have on stand by permanently.
OTC Medications and Compresses
Using ice or heat compresses can lead to temporary relief. Initially, it’s a good idea to apply ice to the affected area. Neck and shoulder pain usually result from inflammation that the cold can reduce. In addition, the ice acts as a temporary mild anesthetic.
After the initial phase of the pain, heat compresses will do a better job. They will increase the flexibility of the muscles in the affected area, increasing the range of motion. You can also try alternating between ice and heat to determine which one feels better.
If such simple home remedies aren’t getting the job done, consider trying over the counter (OTC) medications.
Anti-inflammatory creams and gels are usually suggested as a good OTC solution. The same applies to pain relievers, if the ache interferes with normal life. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are another possibility. Ibuprofen is one of the options. Just like ice, it will help control the inflammation and assist in faster healing.
Physical Therapy On The Neck & shoulder Muscles
People who suffer from chronic neck and shoulder pain may want to consider physical therapy as an effective remedy.
Physical therapy involves several approaches aimed at reducing the pain stemming from different kinds of tissue trauma and injuries. The manipulations aimed at reducing neck and shoulder pain include deep tissue massages, the application of therapeutic heat, electrical stimulation and even ultrasound therapy.
During a physical therapy session, you’ll also have to do various exercises and stretches. The manipulation already mentioned are usually done prior to the beginning of the exercise session.
Through the therapy, you’ll strengthen the muscles that support the neck. This approach will require some time to deliver results. Still, it can lead to effective pain alleviation within a short period of time. Once the muscles are strengthened, the issue will disappear altogether.
Supplements To Relieve Shoulder And Neck Pain
Muscles strains, sprains and spasms are some of the most common neck and muscle pain causes. Relaxing these stiff muscles can lead to quick relief. Magnesium has the power to deliver tissue relaxation, which is why it’s often used for the treatment of muscle cramps.
Magnesium is found in a wide array of foods but if you don’t have a healthy diet, you may be deficient. In such instances, a Magnesium supplement like ‘Pure Magnesium‘ would be our best pick.
A few of the best food sources of magnesium include spinach and green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, avocados, almonds and other nuts, yogurt, dark chocolate, bananas and figs. A single cup of spinach contains approximately 40 percent of the daily recommended magnesium intake. One square of dark chocolate provides 24 percent of the recommended value.
Vitamin C is also needed to reduce neck and shoulder stiffness. The vitamin plays an important role in collagen synthesis. Collagen is one of the building blocks of tendons, ligaments and other tissues. More collagen will lead to a stronger body that will be less prone to aches.
Several other supplementation options to consider include vitamin D, vitamin B5, turmeric powder (a very potent anti-inflammatory substance that can be ingested or applied topically), capsaicin (a chili pepper extract) and ginger powder.
Keep in mind that if these pain management approaches fail delivering results, you should see a doctor. Neck and shoulder pain could be a symptom of something more serious. A doctor will diagnose you after running a few simple tests and determine the medical treatment that will be just right for your needs.