Who has time to deal with neck pain? You have things to do, places to be, and plenty of work to get done. The last thing you want to deal with is neck pain. Yet, it happens to even the most fit. Neck and shoulder pain can stem from injury or disease, but most commonly it is due to overuse or misuse of the muscles. In these instances, it is often possible to reduce pain quickly, even in a New York minute! With a few helpful times, you can soothe your aches and get back to your day.
#1: Work the Pain Out with Massage
Scientifically, there are a few key muscles you need to massage to get relief. This includes the upper traps, levator scaps, erector spinae, and pectoral muscles. If you don't have time to figure out where these muscles are specifically, check out the following videos. They teach exactly how to massage the neck and shoulder muscles to gain tension relief.
You can always seek out professionals to help you with these massage techniques. However, in some cases, you can simply work on them yourself right at your desk.
Sometimes, you'll see significant improvement in your aches and pains by simply stretching. Stretching helps to pull on the muscles, reducing the tension in them. You can often stretch at any location, even at your desk at work. The key is stretching the right way. Check out these pictures and descriptions of how to stretch your neck muscles properly no matter where you are.
#3: Get Some Heat
What you may not realize is that you can see significant improvement in the way your muscles feel just by applying some heat. A simple heating pad can provide you with the relief you need, but you can also improve your aches and pains using a heated wrap. The heat helps to increase the amount of blood flow to the area. When placed on the area of soreness, you'll notice your muscles will loosen and relax. This gives you the relief you need overall. Apply heat when you begin to feel the pain. This will give you the best possible level of improvement. You can easily do this at your desk. It only takes a few minutes to see results.
#4: Increase Your Water Intake
Drinking more water can significantly improve the pain. When you drink more water, you improve the blood amount in your body. This ensures improved blood flow throughout your body, including to the area that's negatively impacted.
#5: Improve Your Posture
Posture often has a lot to do with aches and pains, including in the neck area. Your head weighs about ten pounds. Your spine helps to distribute that weight equally through the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Posture affects this. For every ten degrees your head is pitched forward, the force of gravity is equal to adding another ten pounds of weight. That additional weight puts pressure on your muscles and leads to pain. To find your posture, look in the mirror. Your ears should right above your shoulders. Adjust until you are in the proper position.
Another way to check this is to stand up against a wall. Place your shoulder blades flat against the wall. Is the back of your head touching the wall as well? If it is not, you are not properly aligned. To fix this, gently push your chin in until the back of your head is resting against the wall. Now, work to maintain that posture.
#6: Self Hypnosis
This method is recommended by Dr. Brooke Donatone. Try it to see significant improvement in your pain. Set a time for two minutes. Then, tell yourself that at the end of those two minutes, your pain will be less. During this time, sit straight and put your hands on your lap, with your palms up. Close your eyes. As you do, take a deep breath in and then let it go. Continue to focus on both hands. If you notice your mind wandering, bring yourself back to a focus on your hands. Your mind cannot concentrate on the pain in your neck if it is focused on your hands.
When it comes to neck and shoulder pain, taking these steps can help significantly. Be active in working to reduce the pain you feel, whenever possible. If there is an underlying problem, talk to your doctor about it.