Almost one in three of us suffer from neck and shoulder pain at one point in our lives. The symptoms are very common especially in those who work in an office and are seated for extended periods. But stress also causes muscle tension.
People tend to sit and stare at the screen hunched up, bent over, shoulders turned forward and putting a strain on the muscles of the shoulder-neck region. Pain is the body’s mechanism; it is warning you that you could do things the other way.
- Change position – your work station should be the most ergonomically sound as possible, measured up to your specification. Changing position and taking breaks will help and reduce the load on the body. Even just a walk to kettle is a welcomed change and taking a break will refresh the circulation during the day.
- Home remedies – a surface massage can alleviate the pain symptom’s but avoid hard moves. When both the one who is getting massaged and the one performing the massage are relaxed, the massage will not be painful to either party. You can revitalise the shoulder and latts by using tennis balls in a sock. Place the balls between you and the wall, move the body and change position.
- Try different stimulants – TENs machine is a tool to relieve pain. Many associate it with childbirth but it has been used by physiotherapists and doctors for years. Always read the manual correctly as machines differ. In general terms, you could use it for 15-30 minutes. During the treatment, you can move around. The electric impulses affect the neural pathways and stop the pain messages from reaching the brain. TENs can lessen the feeling of pain as at the same time, endorphins are released into the body. The massaging stimulus aids circulation. When your muscles are feeling optimal, the symptoms may alleviate.
- Sleep and relax – you need to put emphasis and importance on sleep. A good pillow and mattress keep the position ergonomically during the sleep. Sufficient rest will help with stress tolerance and that way reducing tension in the neck and shoulders. Breathing exercises calms the nervous system, affect the rhythm and ease muscle pain. When you relax, you might forget the pain.
- Drink water – this may sound the obvious thing to do, but many of us do not drink enough water! Keep yourself hydrated, avoid too much tea and coffee, and soft drinks. Taking a natural comfort break will keep your muscles looser!
If you can’t shift the pain with the above, go and see your GP, a physiotherapist or book yourself in for a massage.
Guest article by Maija Bissett, the founder of the Butterfly Factory.