Struggling with neck and shoulder pain can ruin your day. And if this pain comes back day after day, it can negatively impact your life.
If you are wondering what to do for neck and shoulder pain, you should first try to figure out what is causing your pain in the first place. If you spend a lot of time each day staring at a computer or phone screen, perhaps your posture is what makes your neck and shoulders ache.
Daily stress could be responsible for your pain, but it could also be caused by an injury, a pinched nerve, whiplash, or a condition such as frozen shoulder syndrome.
Fortunately, there are different things you can do to address on what to do for neck and shoulder pain. Here are six activities to relieve the symptoms:
1. Improve your posture
Improving your posture is one of the best things to do for neck and shoulder pain. Many of us have bad posture habits, and we might not even realise it. And if we spend most of our days sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen, it can become very easy to slouch.
Keeping a bad posture will put some strain on your neck and your shoulders, while improving your posture should bring you some relief.
But how can you improve your posture? Of course, investing in ergonomic furniture will help. But you can also simply develop the habit of paying attention to how you are sitting or standing.
Whenever you notice your head is leaning forward, put your chin up to align your neck with your chest. You should also bring your shoulders back to avoid slouching.
2. See a chiropractor
If your neck or shoulder pain is severe, or if you know it was caused by a work or sports related injury, you should consider seeing a chiropractor.
A chiropractor will be able to assess the causes of your pain, and to present you with a personalized treatment that will help relieve your pain, improve your posture, increase your flexibility and mobility, and prevent future injuries.
As you can see, there are different things you can do to deal with your neck and shoulder pain. The one thing you should not do is simply endure this pain, and give up on trying to feel better.
3. Take a break from your screens
If you are working at a desk, or spending a lot of time staring at your phone or at a laptop, you should develop the habit of taking regular breaks.
Even if you are sitting in a comfortable chair with a good posture, you should ideally get up and move your body at least once every two hours.
This will help prevent neck and shoulder strain, and the simple fact of moving your body for a few minutes could make it easier for you to focus when you come back in front of your screen.
4. Do some exercises and stretches
Exercises and gentle stretches can help relieve your pain, and could even help prevent it if you do them every single day. If you want to stretch your neck, however, be sure to go slowly, as any sharp movement could make your pain worse.
You can find the description for different stretches online, but here is one called a head tilt. Sit or kneel comfortably, with your head right above your shoulders, and your arms by your sides. Slowly lower your left ear towards your left shoulder, and stop when you start to feel the stretch. Do not lift your left shoulder.
Bring your head back to its initial position, then start again on the right side. Bring your head back again, then slowly turn to look over each of your shoulders. Repeat each movement a few times.
5. Get a massage
Massage therapy is perfect for those who just want to relax, but it’s also recommended to reduce muscle tension, increase flexibility and mobility, reduce stress and headaches, and promote recovery after an injury.
Therefore, if you want relief from your neck and shoulder pain, a massage by a registered massage therapist could be exactly what you need.
While a massage will not instantly address the causes of your pain, getting regular massages will help improve your posture and relieve muscle tension over time, which should reduce the pain you feel.
6. Learn more about ergonomics
An important thing on what to do for neck and shoulder pain is to learn more about ergonomics. If you work in an office, or from home, getting an ergonomic chair and a desk that has the right height could instantly help you improve your posture and relieve your neck and shoulder pain. Learning more about ergonomics could also help you.
Ergonomics is the science of making objects and furniture comfortable to use, and more efficient. According to ergonomics, when you work at a desk, you should sit in a way that allows your elbows, as well as your knees, to form an angle of 90 degrees.
Your feet should be flat on the floor, or on a footrest. The top of your screen should be at the level of your eyes, so you won’t have to lean forward to look at it.