In today’s day and age when most of us are constantly in front of a screen, whether it be your smartphone or your desktop, it’s no wonder the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that approximately 20% of us have experienced neck and shoulder pain, including Trapezius myalgia within the past three months. According to Cleveland’s clinic center for integrative medicine, having a poor posture all day long results in muscle weakening around our neck and shoulder as it causes those muscles to stretch and tire over time. If you have bad posture day in and day out, then it can add up and dislocate your neck joint.
For several people who live with persistent neck and shoulder pain, common treatments such as medications, ice, or heating pads sometimes do not render enough to ease their pain. Looking for a solution that works for your neck and shoulders might take some trial and error. Hence, here we are providing you with some options that are a little out of the ordinary to consider for neck and shoulder pain but might help to alleviate your pain.
1. Keep your spine in check
When you are hunching forward constantly with your 10-pound heavy head every single day of your life, needless to say, it causes a lot of strain in your spine. Hence maintaining a good posture throughout the day is essential, so to keep the head in its natural position (which is right in alignment with the cervical spine) and this may also lead to the reduction of pain. A headrest can assist to keep your cervical spine in its original position by helping you improve your posture, so maybe it is time that you invest in a new office chair with a headrest. When you use it always make sure you keep your head comfortably against the headrest and your ears are above your shoulders, to ensure that your head is straight in position. You must use your headrest whenever you’re sitting for long hours. If you are someone who works in front of a computer screen, then make sure that your computer monitor is placed at your eye level. Also, consider standing more than you sit because standing leads us to a more natural position and disincline us towards hunching forward.
2. Invest in a water pillow
People suffering from neck and shoulder issues can’t have a good night’s sleep as their neck and shoulder conditions can certainly alter with their sleep positions. While it is said that no one size fits all, it is still observed that water pillows are found to be extremely helpful to people suffering from such pain. Water pillows are easily adjustable as you can add in or let out water to adjust the firmness of the pillows to best suit your needs.
3. Physical therapy
If you think physical therapy is just used as a treatment for rehabilitation of a given injury, such as fractures and unmoving body parts, then you’re partially correct. While physical therapy is majorly used for such treatments, it also deals in many other directions such as physical therapy of the neck can provide benefits such as identifying poor posture, teaching you how to reduce the risk of reinjury and strengthening the weak areas of the neck and shoulder areas through targeted workouts. These workouts can improve the neck and shoulder areas by building endurance and flexibility to better support the cervical spine. You should check in with your therapist to find if physical therapy is a suitable option for you.
4. Do Gua Sha
Gua Sha is a Chinese medical treatment in which a trained practitioner uses a spoon to apply short strokes down the skin where it’s aching. It is supposed that blood in this area is stagnant and by these tiny strokes across the skin, the blood capillaries break and increase the flow of blood in that particular area of the body. There is not much research done on Gua sha as at this date, but this one small research found Gua Shua more efficient in relieving neck and shoulder pain than heat therapy.
5. Dive in the pool
Swimming is said to be an amazing low impact workout that is found to help immensely in relieving neck and back pain. When a person is buoyant in the water it causes less stress on the spine, hence you can even opt for light water therapy in the pool if you find swimming to be too strenuous for your taste.
6. Make time for mindful meditation
Many of our pains are mind-made, hence doing meditations everyday helps in relieving stress which eventually helps with our overall health. Finding time for yourself just to focus on your breathing helps relax our brain and brings new perspectives to light. While not everyone reports success with this remedy there has certainly been over 50% success rate. The key to meditation is consistency and focus.
7. Keep a diary
There are researches that suggest that regularly expressing emotion help reduce stress and improves cognitive thinking. Over time, writing in a journal also helps an individual to find possible triggers to your pain, such as certain food or activities.
8. Consider cognitive-behavioral therapy
Chronic neck and shoulder pain can be extremely painful and the treatments can seem to go on and on with a little to no result. A cognitive-behavioral therapist might help you by enabling you to think about challenges in a new way. He might bring your attention to the positive and it shall help you better able to follow the treatment of your pain. Not many studies have conducted on the given topic however people who have tried it have given a green pass to the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy for treating neck pain.
9. Be careful in the way you use your phone or tablet devices
The most common way in which people aggravate their neck and shoulders muscles is by cradling their phones for long hours. This is harmful to your body as it puts extra strain on your spine. To rectify this situation, phone users should keep their phone up higher to decrease the angle at which they are holding their neck, and stretching might also be of help in this scenario. Furthermore, it is also not beneficial for the internal part of the body as well. Even when you use your laptop for long working hours make sure that you are a giving a little bit relax to your shoulder and backbone, you can do some stretching excessive as well which will stop or prevent the pain from the body and will help you to work in a more productive and efficient manner
Your body works like a machine it also required some rest, sometimes without any physical factor you face the pain of neck and shoulders due to stress and depression, so take deep breath, medicate your self, take some rest don’t push yourself hard, because, in the end, you will be the only one who is going suffer. Relax and take some rest, things can wait or can be done, later on, focus your health first and make it a first priority!