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Published on August 13th, 2013 | by Tom


How to Relieve Neck and Shoulder Pain

Neck pain and shoulder pain may be the most common upper-extremity musculoskeletal problem, which can be caused by a wide variety of reasons like, poor posture, long sitting, stress, bad sleeping habit. If the condition is severe like inability to carry objects or raise the arm, swelling or significant bruising around the joint or arm, you may have to find a doctor for help. But, if the condition of your neck and shoulder pain is not so serious, you can try the pain relief and remedies recommended here to give yourself a break from the pain.

1.   Rest. Just lying down and resting your neck muscle for a while may be the simplest way to get pain relief. But it works well. Avoid using a thick pillow that may crimp your neck.

2.   Massage. Apply massage to ease tense muscle and get temporary relief. Take a hot shower or bath to relax the muscles first. Rub your neck and shoulders with oil or lotion. Apply gentle pressure to do circular motions and then apply firm pressure and long downward strokes. Try to have a member to do the massage for you if possible.

How to Relieve Neck and Shoulder Pain

3.   Maintain good posture. Poor posture is a common cause of neck and shoulder pain. Try to improve your posture and stick to it. Keep working at eye level as much as possible which can solve the pain caused by the long time sitting and working. You will feel better after several days.

4.   Do some specific exercises to strengthen the muscles and relieve the pain.

  • Lay face down with arms at each side then raise your arms out 90 degrees to make a “T” shape with your thumbs up and hold for 5 seconds then turn thumbs down. Move arms in front of you to make a “Y”, again with thumbs up and down for 5 seconds respectively. Then make a “W” shape with arms by bending the elbows. Repeat the whole round for six times
  • Sit straightly but relaxed. Then turn your head to the right as far as you can and hold, then return your head to the center. Do the same to the left. Then slowly turn your chin down toward the chest, hold and relax. Then bring your head back. Lean your head toward your right shoulder and hold and return to the center, and repeat on the left side.
  • Stretching your hamstrings and the inside of knees can also relieve the neck tension for the tendons that run from our toes to our necks goes through our inner knee and hamstrings. Just try a few postures of yoga like Uttanasana, Upavistha and Paschimottana to helve stretch the hamstrings and get neck and shoulder pain relief.

5.   Try heat or ice compress. Ice can numb pain and reduce inflammation. Wrap a bag of ice with a thin cloth and apply it to the painful neck for 15 minutes each time. Heat application can help increase circulation and thus can ease the stiff muscles. You can wet a towel with hot water and apply to the neck or just take a hot shower. The ice and heat application can be alternative, but usually end with a cold compress.

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