Pain Shoulder Neck - Headaches & Upper Back

Many of the postural strains causing pain ( pain shoulder neck , head and upper back) are similar. All of the tension and pain patterns may be creating a muscle imbalance. One side, front, back, left right, can become stronger and shorter than the other, pulling your structure more to that side, and straining the muscles on the other side. If you can imagine how a suspension bridge could shift to one side if the suspension wires were shorter on one side...that's a picture of how your shoulders or pelvis might slightly torque or twist from a set of over tight muscles. For pain shoulder neck, the primary consideration for alleviating the pain and bringing balance back to the structure of the shoulder girdle, neck and head, should be bringing your body back into balance.


If you are working with your arms in front of you all day, with your shoulders curving in, it may create a shortening in some of the muscles in the front part of your body (chest, neck, abdominal muscles, front of the arms). This shortening in turn will most likely cause an over-stretching in the muscles and possibly pain shoulder, neck and upper back. Picture a rubber band starting at one shoulder and running across your upper back to the other shoulder. As the front of your shoulders curve in to the front, that rubber band across your upper back has to stretch to accommodate that movement. Now hold that for 8-12 hours at a computer, and that rubber band becomes taught and cranky from stretching and holding your head up for too long. This is the essence of the 360 degree rule, which we always consider when working with clients with acute and chronic pain. In this scenario, the muscles in the front of the neck, chest and arms keep getting shorter, and the strain and pain shoulder, neck etc, gets worse and worse from having to function in an over-stretched posture causing trigger points and chronic tension. This can eventually cause loss of sleep, constant discomfort, which many people turn to medications for, pain in everyday activities such as putting on your clothes (!), a sensation of shortening of breath or even the feeling that an anxiety attack is coming on.

All of this from some tight muscles! Who Knew?!

Some of the postures we suggest to our clients to avoid or modify to alleviate this pain shoulder neck are: sleeping on their side, improper desk position, holding a child for long periods on one hip, carrying a shoulder bag, driving for long periods, and to completely avoid holding a phone to their ear with their shoulder-please get a headset!!

Here we have the stretches for the upper body:Right-Click here to download the GTS Massage Stretches for Upper Body pdf file.

If you need some help with positioning your desk and computer better, visit our ergonomic checklist page. :)

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