Three Proven Ways To Fix Your Neck and Shoulder Pain

If You Have Neck and Shoulder Pain, it is NOT a Coincidence

For those of you who already didn’t have a “hunch” that your work posture is causing your pain, a number of studies have shown a strong link between computer use, posture while at work,  and neck and shoulder pain.

The two are linked. I’m going to show you how and why they’re linked, and how to fix them.

These are extremely common health issues that occur in people who are sedentary and sit a lot throughout the day.  The reason you’re probably getting that burning in your upper back, shoulder pain (or shoulder injuries), elbow/wrist injuries (if you’re a weight lifter), and that dreaded neck pain is because they are all related.

Check out the two pictures below.

One of them instinctively looks more natural and healthy, right?

Neck and Shoulder Pain

At it’s most basic level – this is why you’ve got shoulder and neck pain.

Sitting at a desk and tapping away on a computer all day is not what our bodies are designed to do. Hunched posture can also causes headaches and numbness, tingling, or “pins and needles” in the arms.

Four things are Happening In Your Upper Body:

  1. Misaligned shoulders that are typically hunched, which lead to:
  2. A misaligned neck (sticking out forward), which leads to:
  3. Tremendous strain on the neck muscles, which leads to:
  4. Chronic pain, build up of tension, potential other long term effects (possible headaches, etc.)

Here’s what your upper body (neck, spine, shoulders) is supposed to look like (left):

Neck and Shoulder Pain

Here’s what it probably looks like when you’re on the computer or sitting:

Neck and Shoulder Pain Kyphosis

 

Here’s what that does to your neck and shoulders:Neck and Shoulder Pain Kyphosis

Your head is actually pretty heavy. Somewhere in the ballpark of 10 pounds.  Now try doing this: Hold a 10 pound weight straight above your head. Its pretty easy right?

Now hold your arm out at a 45 degree angle. Extremely tiring right? You can feel the muscles in your arm getting exhausted trying to hold the weight up against gravity.

That’s what’s happening to your misaligned neck. It is trying to fight gravity using the muscles in the neck.

Also, misalignment causes nerve impingement, reduced blood flow, and a whole bunch of others things we probably don’t know about.

Then you end up with super stressed out, tight, overactive neck muscles like the Sternocleidomastoid (try saying that 5 times fast…):

Neck Pain - Sternocleidomastoid

The same is true of your shoulder.

When you use your shoulders in a hunched over pattern, you are impairing how they naturally are supposed to glide through their ball and socket motion.

As a result, you get grinding, popping, and overuse injuries – like carpal tunnel syndrome, burning between your shoulder blades, rotator cuff injuries (if you’re active), etc.

The 3 Part System to Fix Your Neck And Shoulder Pain

The GOOD news is that it’s relatively easy to fix.

It’s a three part system:

  1. Easy Stetching Exercises
  2. Trigger Point Therapy
  3. Using a TENS Unit at Work

Part 1: Easy Stretches For Neck and Shoulder Pain

This method works for everything I have tried it on.

Chronic lower back pain, neck pain, knee pain, it always provides relief. So let’s start with that.

If you’re sitting over your computer like a hunched caveman, your neck is grossly out of alignment.

The point of these these exercises is to let gravity re-align your neck and back.

WHY: This is getting your neck, upper back, and hips re-aligned using the wall.

Egoscue Exercises for Neck and Shoulder Pain

How to do it:

  1. Scoot your butt as close to the wall as possible like in the picture above
  2. Make sure the back of your head is touching the wall, and pull your shoulder blades back, so they are flat against the wall
  3. Put your hands face up in your lap
  4. Pull your toes back – so they are flexed
  5. Hold for 5 minutes

Egoscue Exercises for Neck and Shoulder Pain

How to do it:

  1. Lay down on your back like in the picture above – and scoot your butt as close to the wall as possible
  2. Flex your feet back so they are pulled tight
  3. Pull your shoulder blades back, so they are flat on the floor
  4. Let your hands rest, palm up at a 45 degree angle
  5. Hold for 5 minutes

Egoscue Exercises for Neck and Shoulder Pain

How to do it:

  1. Lay flat on your back, and put your legs up at a 90 degree angle on a chair, couch, or object
  2. Roll your shoulder blades back so they are flat on the ground, and let your arms fall naturally at a 45 degree angle
  3. Hold for 15 minutes

B. Part 2: Trigger Point Therapy for Neck and Shoulder Pain

The next thing you should be doing is employing trigger point therapy.

We’re all familiar with “tension” held in our backs or necks from sitting all day. Trigger points are basically tension on steroids. They happen at localized places, which is good, because we know where to find them and eliminate them.

Sometimes the site of the pain is not the source though – and referral pain can radiate much farther away.

So you might have trigger points in your upper back causing you neck pain or worsening headaches, and you might have butt trigger points causing lower back pain.

There are three trigger points that are causing your pain:

  1. Sternocleidomastoid
  2. Trapezius & Levator Scapulae
  3. Suboccipital

There are a bunch of how-to videos on YouTube that will show you how to do trigger points at home, but your health insurance may cover the 10 minute procedure.  More on that later….or you can scroll to the bottom!!

 

Part 3: TENS Unit for Neck and Shoulder Pain

We call it “The Touchless Massage.”

tensunitA Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) unit is a treatment for pain. A TENS unit is a small, portable, battery-powered device. The TENS unit uses mild, safe electrical signals to help control pain. Electrodes (sticky patches) are placed on your skin. The TENS unit sends painless electrical signals through the electrodes to the nerves under your skin. Electrode placement depends on the type and location of your pain.

You can use the TENS unit while you sit at your desk to help relieve any tension.  It clips to your belt and is super-easy to use!

You can buy one online for around $100, but your health insurance may cover it with no out of pocket cost to you!

 

 

 

So How Do I Get My Trigger Point Massage and TENS Unit?

All you have to do is schedule a New Patient Consulation during your lunch break for an exam and treatment.  We will verify your health insurance and if you qualify, you can pick up your TENS unit the next day.

It’s THAT simple!

We have limited appointments available for online booking.If you do not see a convenient time for you, Contact Us Today!

1. Call or Text our 24 Hour Hotline 469-585-9346 to schedule your Complimentary Exam

2. Schedule your New Patient Consultation online now.

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