Optimum Performance Personal Training Stillorgan | 16th September 2016
Shoulder and neck pain is probably one of the most frustrating pains you could possibly deal with. For most people, it just will not go away. They buy lumbar pillows for their chairs, they might invest in an expensive mattress or spend thousands trying to get to the root of it by visiting doctors and physiotherapists. For the majority with neck and shoulder pain, however, it’s a fairly straightforward fix and one which a LOT of people could do with realising. One study found that 45% of office workers had shoulder pain, 43% had back pain and 30% had neck pain. Those are huge numbers!
Now, the reason you have neck and shoulder pain boils down to four simple reasons:
Misaligned shoulders that are usually hunched, which leads to:
A misaligned neck (leaning forward), which leads to:
HUGE strain on the neck muscles, which leads further to:
Chronic pain, a massive build up of tension and so on.
So how do you fix it? Optimum Performance Personal Training Stillorgan are going to show you three simple ways to fix your shoulder and neck pain.
#1 The Egoscue Method
The Egoscue method works quite well for most people with shoulder and neck pain. If you’ve noticed yourself sitting over your computer in a hunched manner, it is just fact that your neck is completely out of alignment. Thus the reason this method works so well is that it allows gravity to re-align your neck , hips and back. Aim to do these exercises at least a few times a week. I’m sure many are rolling your eyes thinking “ugh, the effort of doing these”, but think of how long you spend kneading your shoulders while you work, with desperate shoulder and neck pain. Yeah, I think you can stomach 15 mins a couple times a week to get rid of that!
Sit on the floor with your back against a wall
Scoot your butt as close to the wall as possible
Make sure the back of your head is touching the wall, and pull your shoulder blades back, so they are flat against the wall too
Put your hands facing up on your lap
Pull your toes back towards you so that they are flexed
Hold for 5 minutes
Lay flat on your back, and put your legs up at a 90 degree angle on a chair, couch, or object
Roll your shoulder blades back so that they are flat on the ground
Let your arms lay naturally at a about a 45 degree angle to your sides
Hold for 5 minutes
Lay down on your back and scoot your butt as close to the wall as possible so that your legs are straight up against the wall and your body is in an L shape
Flex your feet back so they are pulled tight
Pull your shoulder blades back so they are flat on the floor
Let your hands rest, palm up at a 45 degree angle to your sides
Hold for 5 minutes
#2 Trigger Point Therapy
Have you ever used a foam roller or a lacrosse ball? That is what’s called trigger point therapy and is absolutely essential for individuals who are sitting at a desk all day. It will 100% aid in ridding yourself of shoulder and neck pain but it needs to be done everyday and continuously even when your pain goes away!
If you have never tried this before, it is best to begin with a foam roller and work your way up to a lacrosse ball.
Trigger points are essentually balls of tension in specirfic. If you have shoulder pain, I bet you could pinpoint a lump or bump that seems like it is the root cause of the pain – which is good, because we know where to find them and eliminate them.
It’s important to remember though that sometimes the site of the pain is not the source and thus you must work around the site of the pain. Pain can radiate, such that you may have a trigger point in your upper back, but it’s manifesting yourself as neck pain or you may have upper back pain that’s actually the result of a trigger point in the glutes.
Rolling Your Back:
Position yourself on top of your foam roller so that it is across your upper back. Lift your behind off the ground, place your hands on opposite shoulders and move back and forth such that the roller moves up and down your upper back.
You can also do this using a lacrosse or tennis ball, which will work out the trigger points much more effectively, especially if they are around your upper back and shoulders. Use the same technique as above, placing the lacrosse ball at trigger points across your back and rolling around on the ball.
Rolling Your Glutes:
Use a lacrosse or tennis ball here. Place the ball under one glute and move around on the ball. If you find a particularly sore spot, stop moving, and hold yourself there for a few seconds before moving on. Ensure you don’t hold your breathe here as it’ll just tighten everything up. Repeat for both glutes.
Rolling The IT Band:
Lay on your side and place a foam roller under the side of your quad and roll up and down from the hip to the knee. Repeat for both legs.
#3 Altering Your Posture
While the above two points will help your shoulder and neck pain, unless you correct your desk sitting posture, they will be completely fruitless.
It’s fairly straightforward – if you sit properly throughout the day, you won’t have musculoskeletal pain.
If you are reading this, you probably sit at a desk all day at work, and often at home after work. So here’s how to maintain proper posture for your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Firstly, it can be exceptionally helpful for shoulder and neck pain if you invest in an ergonomic stand for your laptop if you aren’t already using one. You want your eyes to be aligned with your screen instead of looking down all day.
Instead of giving you a long winded list of posture correction techniques, we just want you to emulate the below diagram. Sit like this every single day, do trigger point therapy when you wake up in the morning (or before a workout) and throw in some egoscue exercises and you will most definitely see a huge reduction or complete elimination of shoulder and neck pain.