The short answer is yes. The truth is, pain is a tricky business.
Women have a higher instance of neck pain than men. Stress related pain due to repetitive movement is very common. Hormonal imbalance can add to more stress. Women tend to worry more, clenching up the shoulders. Tension headaches are prevalent, making the neck and shoulders sore and stiff.
Men on the other hand, tend to have more shoulder pain than women. This could be the result of injury, whether new or old. The pain could be coming from a different part of the body, while showing up in the shoulders. Men are less likely to seek medical care for acute injuries, creating a chronic problem.
Either way, neck and shoulder pain often go hand in hand. It’s not as important of which came first, the whole body is intertwined, and needs to be managed as such.
- Where to start? Hydration, moving your body, getting enough sleep, performing simple stretching exercises. Basically all the things we know we need for general health.
- Drink enough water daily. What is enough? We’ve all heard the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, and that’s an easy place to start.
- Exercise. Do what you enjoy. Like walking? Great. Dancing? Great? Lifting heavy things up and putting them down? Great. Aim for at least 30 minutes per day. It’s like the Tin Man getting the oil he needs to move. It’s your oil. Get moving.
- Catching the right amount of Zzz’s. Even the position of your pillows matter here, especially for neck and shoulder pain. If you are a back sleeper, use two pillows. Set the top pillow slightly behind the bottom pillow, allow your shoulders to rest on the lower pillow, laying your head on the top pillow. If you are a side sleeper, use one pillow to cradle at the crook of your neck. You may also find comfort in ‘hugging’ a pillow, creating space for your shoulder to remain more open as you slumber.
- Do some easy stretching. Rotate your head (SLOWLY) from side to side, pausing to feel a stretch in the side neck. Reach your hands over head, leaning from side to side to stretch the side body. Clasp your hands behind you, open up the chest and shoulders. Find the stretch that feels good and do it often.
Know when to seek additional help. Ice, heat, and medication are not always enough. Take advantage of additional therapies at your disposal. Don’t hesitate to get additional help in managing or reliving your pain. Life is too short to live with ongoing pain.
Our therapists specialize in Deep Tissue Massage, Thai Massage, Reflexology, MPS Therapy, Cupping, and Sports Massage. Let’s consult and put together a plan for you to feel your best.
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