My Neck and Shoulders Hurt!

This month I am really focused on my neck and shoulders. This is where I / we carry so much tension! Besides the on-going desk posture syndrome, I started this venture into neck and shoulder pain because my eyes were unusually tired and hurting. Guess what! Neck and shoulder tension really affects the eyes! Not to mention posture and the entire back.

There are many good reasons we have tight neck and shoulder muscles. And there are many things to do that will help.

One big reason that our neck carries so much tension is just the weight of our head! Our little necks are literally balancing a 10-15 pound ball all day long! So to speak. If posture is good, it rests comfortably without much effort. But if the spine pulls the head to the side or pushes it forward, then the fairly small muscles of the neck are strained and spasm until they are unable to relax.

The second reason for neck tension is a shoulder muscle or pinched nerve that pulls the head off center.  But this is the chicken and the egg, because the shoulder muscle typically tightens up attempting to hold the head in place. Yes, it is all connected.

We tend to raise our chin and lower our shoulders in a forward slump. Anything you can do to reverse this forward slump is good. One of my favorites is to lay down over a rolled up towel placed crosswise under the shoulder blades. You will feel this pull your shoulders backward and your chin down.

Sitting for long periods of time in a bad posture almost guarantees neck and shoulder problems. The main solution to reverse the strain is movement, all throughout the day, to keep the muscles from tightening and locking up. If looking down, look up. If sitting, get up. If standing, sit down. Roll the neck around, look side to side, look up, look down. Stretch the arms overhead.

This video below shows an exercise that only takes a few minutes and this movement will help neck, shoulders, and eyes!

Some of my favorite yoga exercises are neck rolls, shoulder lifts, and eye exercises. Here are some easy but effective things to do to relieve neck and shoulder pain.

Yoga Dolphin Pose

Yoga Dolphin Pose

Yoga Criss Cross pose

Yoga Criss-Cross Pose

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7 Responses to “My Neck and Shoulders Hurt!”

  • Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating
    it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
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  • Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Finding the time and actual
    effort to generate a good article… but what
    can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

  • zen books says:

    Exceptional post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thanks!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi tony I had the same thing and I found out mine was caused by stress, I couldn’t sleep or move very well but then the only way I made it stop was by setting my stress right and it went away….. Nothing helped and I tried everything I could think of even every pillow in the house no medicine would help me either. When my stress went away so did my pain

  • Pam says:

    Hi Tony, I do have some suggestions. The problem is that you have a structural imbalance and it has caused a muscle to tighten and lock up. Relaxing the muscles and fixing the imbalance is critical.
    Start by increasing your magnesium, which is a natural muscle relaxer. Take a magnesium capsule a couple of days in a row and see if it helps. You might take calcium with it, but more magnesium than calcium for a couple of days.
    Then start moving your body in gentle ways, like stretching when you wake up or before sleep, walking or swimming.
    Target easy arm and neck exercises, again, just moving gently within a range that is not painful, but which releases muscle stress. But move the arms and neck gently and daily.
    Take an antioxidant for a week to get some of the toxins and inflammatory response down. This is vitamins C, A and E, or any number of herbs that are identified as antioxidants.
    Anti-inflammatory herbs will really help. There are some formulas on this website. Any health food store can tell you what they have too.
    Go to a chiropractor to see if they can identify and help with the imbalance between one side of your body and the other.
    If you are open to doing yoga, take a class and always just work to stretch and strengthen without causing any pain.
    Believe it or not, sit ups may help, just the kind that raise your upper body slightly, with support behind your neck. This strengthens your core, which helps keep things in balance.
    Avoid long spells of sitting, especially on the couch or at a desk. Get up periodically and stretch what hurts.
    See if you can identify the repetitive behavior that is causing the problem to persist, like bad posture, hours of desk work, couch potato position. Then work to correct it. Stand straight. Sit straight. Take work breaks.
    The real trick is the combination of relaxing the muscle and then exercising the muscle to relieve the tension. Just start easy, but be consistent and persistent. It can make a big difference and you could see some results with a week if you make it a priority.

  • Chris says:

    HI Pam
    This article is very helpful and things you said its very knowledgeable and helpful for the viewers.we are working in the same area and helping people get relief from neck and back pain


  • Tony says:

    My neck and shoulders hurt all the time, it doesn’t matter what exercise I do to relieve the the tension, is there anything you can suggest that might help me? Thanks

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