These Exercises Will Relieve Neck and Shoulder Pain
Neck and shoulder pain can occur as a result of many diseases and disorders. The neck and shoulders have bones, muscles, nerves, arteries, veins and ligaments, and a defect in any of these components can lead to pain or stiffness in the neck and shoulder area.
Pain in the neck and shoulder area is very common because they could occur as a result of many factors, some of which could be manageable, while some could be life-threatening. Some of the conditions that could give rise to neck and shoulder pain include neck strain, whiplash, infections that could cause the swelling of the lymph node, a pinched nerve and a slipped disc.
Neck and shoulder pain could also be indicative of serious underlying issues like heart attack and meningitis. It is advisable to report any pain or discomfort to a medical practitioner, especially if the pain lingers and does not subside in a few days.
Common Causes of Neck Pain
Since most people do not feel pain in the neck and the shoulder at the same time, it is important to isolate these areas and treat factors that could cause pain to develop in them. For the neck, pain can develop due to the following reasons.
- Irregularity in the bones or joints
- Poor Posture
- Muscle Strain
Causes of Shoulder Pain
The shoulder, as a joint that carries out many movements throughout the day, is susceptible to many kinds of injuries.
A person may experience shoulder pain as a result of the following factors:
- Pinched nerves
- Frozen Shoulder
Treatment for Neck and Shoulder Pain
Below are some of the most effective treatments for neck and shoulder pain.
- Heating Pads for Neck and Shoulder Pain
Exercise for Neck and Shoulder Pain
Since physiotherapy is a viable treatment for neck and shoulder pain, physiotherapists usually recommend exercises that can help check neck and shoulder pain. You should apply a heating pad to the affected area before the exercise to warm up locked muscles and joints to make them easier to stretch. You can also may want to check the recommended exercises for a frozen shoulder from Harvard university.
1. Neck Flexion
With this exercise, the head is brought forward so that the chin rests on the chest and the face faces the floor. This should be repeated slowly five times.
2. Neck Extension
This exercise works by tilting the head back till the face faces the ceiling. This movement should not be done fast or forcefully as it engages all the muscles in the neck and shoulder and forces them into an extreme position. Ease your neck back into position and repeat.
3. Neck Rotation
Turn your neck to the side as far as you can go until you feel some tension in the neck muscles. Do this five times on one side, and then turn around and repeat on the other side. Hold your neck for a few seconds as you get to the peak of the movement.
4. The Y Exercise for neck and shoulder pain
- Stand about 1-2 inches away from a wall.
- Raise your palms and place them on the wall.
- Raise your arms and form a Y above your head (with arms still on the wall).
- With arms still stretched up above, begin to shrug towards your ears till your neck shortens.
- Continue to roll back and down.
- Reverse the shrug till the neck lengthens.
- Take arms of the wall.
- Repeat 10 – 12 times, slowly.
5. Shoulder Stretch
- Stand with raised shoulders.
- Hold upright position for five seconds
- Squeeze shoulder blades back, holding for five more seconds.
- Return shoulder to an upright position and hold for five seconds.
6. Pendulum Exercise
- Stand with a hand resting on a raised surface (table or chair).
- Let one arm hang free, and then swing the free arm clockwise and anticlockwise.
- Repeat five times.
- You should do this exercise 2-3 times daily.
7. Door Lean
- Stand 3 inches away from a doorway.
- Raise both hands and place your palms on the wall above your head.
- Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch in the front part of your shoulder.
- Hold this position for about 15 – 13 seconds.
- Repeat three times.
- You should also repeat the exercise several times a day.
Neck and shoulder pain is very common. Sometimes the pain disappears as soon as it appears without the need for further treatment. The good news is that there are many remedies for lingering pain. Heating pads administered before and after neck and shoulder exercises is very effective for relieving pain.