Do you constantly feel heaviness on your upper body?
That tension you feel on your neck and shoulder deserves attention. Overtime, it might lead to problems that might be a lot more difficult to get rid of.
There are multiple possible causes for this particular sensation. Our mission for today is to figure out what is causing the tension you are feeling what can we do about it.
The Primary Causes Of Tension In Neck & Shoulders
Not Stretching Enough
Do you stretch your muscles before beginning your work out? Most people stretch out their lower limbs. Why would not lower extremities be a priority? Most of the fat burning workouts involve the legs like running or cycling.
Often times though, most people end up neglecting doing stretches for the arms and shoulders.
Unfortunately, failure to stretch the muscles on your neck and shoulders will lead to tightness which might mess up your performance, ruin your posture, or cause you to suffer from tension headaches in the long run.
What can you do to avoid causing pain caused by workout?
Basic massages and stretches are good ways to relieve tight neck muscles and shoulders muscle. The best part is that you can do this about anywhere. Here are some ways you can do:
- Do a barbell roll-out. This can release shoulder tension knots. If you do not have a barbell, you can use a lacrosse ball or foam roller. Place the barbell on a rack on the area near your shoulder so that you can easily access it. Lower yourself down and massage your upper shoulder. Look for tender regions and try to release the knots. After a minute of doing so, massage also both sides of the neck.
- Seat on a comfortable position. Using your right arm, hug your lower back. Relax your right shoulder while lowering down the left ear onto the left shoulder. Stay for a minute, then repeat on opposite side.
- Place your arm on the floor. Extend it all the way to the right with a bend on the elbow. Roll onto your right hip, but relax your neck, right shoulder, and head in a steady position.
- Kneel down. Place your head on the floor as close as possible to your knees. Use your fingers for support while pointing your chin towards your chest.
Stress And Anxiety
Yes, tension in neck and shoulders from anxiety is a real thing. How does this happen?
If you always feel on edge and apprehensive, your body will trigger stress response. Stress hormones will transfer to the bloodstream until it reaches targeted spots in the body. This brings about psychological, emotional, and physiological changes. The body will try to adapt to these changes or try to fight it. The usual response of the body from stress is either fight or flight.
Tightening of the muscles is part of the reaction to fight off stress. Doing so will make it resilient to damages. If stress responses do not happen usually, the body can easily recover. However, if you experience this frequently, the body will find it difficult to recover. Persistent neck and shoulder pain is a result of body’s stress.
What are some of the stress and anxiety-related shoulder and neck tension symptoms?
- The back, shoulders, and neck pain all the way to top of the head feels sore or tight like there is band surroundin gyour head.
- There is a feeling of pressure inside the head.
- Some people feel the need to crack their necks to get rid of the stiffness and soreness.
How To Get Relief
- Neck stretches.
Stretching exercises can help in expanding the range of motion of the neck. It will also help get rid of muscle tightness.
- Attend support groups or get professional help.
Having people that can help invoke healthy thoughts in your brain is a good start. Cognitive behavioral therapy is another method that help achieve this. It is employed by professionals.
Overwhelmed by your thoughts? Meditation can help calm down anxiety and bothersome thoughts. Thanks to the internet, there are now many meditation guides available online.
- Do some exercises.
Exercise is perfect for the body and mind. Endorphines, the happy hormones, is released during exercise improving general sense of well-being.
- Learn how to prioritize.
Let go of things that are too trivial to contribute attention to. Prioritize what is important. Focus on one at a time. Once it is done, move on to another. If the things on the bottom of the list are undone, reschedule the following day. Do not be so hard on yourself.
Injuries And Diseases
Shoulder pain and neck pain can stem out from injuries, plus the tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Whiplash and other injuries such as broken collarbones will cause damages to these parts of your body.
Some diseases like degenerative arthritis in the cervical spine can cause pinched nerves that willl result to the painful sensations. Degenerative disc disease or cervical spondylosis can also cause radiating pain. Bursitis is the swelling of the sac that is covering the joints to cushion the muscles. One indication of heart attack is the pain on shoulder and neck.
What to do if you think the tightness on your neck and shoulder is a symptom of an underlying disease?
Consult a physician. Trying to pacify the symptom will only solve one part of the problem, but it will keep coming back until the whole problem is addressed. Medical professionals will give you the right interventions that can help eradicate the pain completely and avoid other possible consequences.
Improper Sleeping Position
Side sleeping, for one, can lead to pain on your shoulder and neck. The pressure of the body is felt by a certain side (depending on which side you sleep on). This is why the shoulder suffers greatly.
Neck pain is common for those who sleep on their stomachs because it puts your spine out of alignment. The use of improper pillows often lead to neck and shoulder pain.
How To Get Relief
- Do some stretches before bed time.
Place youself perpinducularly against a wall. Allow a space of 12 inches between the wall and your shoulder. Lift your arms as high as you can. Then after a few seconds, place your arm in the direction to the wall with your palm and elbow flushing against it. Your head should be turned far from the walla nd your chin should be directed towards the floor. Then place your other hand on top of the head and move your head forward, pulling it for a final stretch. Hold for a minute.
- Find a pillow that is the perfect height for your sleep position.
A head pillow should always be supportive of the natural curve in the neck. For back sleepers, thin pillows are recommended. No exact height is provided. It depends upon the user. For side sleepers, a thicker pillow will keep your head and neck alligned maintaining its position in the middle of the shoulders. From this angle, observe the width and length of your shoulders to find out just how high you need your pillow to be. For stomach sleepers, the slimmest pillow is your best bet. Or maybe, you would rather sleep without a pillow.
Neck and shoulder pain sucks. There are many instances when the tension in neck and shoulders causing dizziness make you unproductive for the rest of the day. So, it does a lot more than affect you physically.
You need to keep this in mind: How you position your head majority of the time affects everything. It is the biggest factor that lead to the tightness and soreness in this region.
Here are some instances where you might be placing your head at an awkward angle without even knowing it.
Causes Of Improper Posture You Might Be Doing Daily
When looking at a screen, be it a TV or Computer.
Everyone might be familiar with this one. You can famiilarize yourself on how to relieve tight neck muscles and do stretches every day, but it will be just breaking even if you still spend a huge part of your day in this incorrect head position. Adjust by drawing your head back when using a computer or watching TV.
Most exercises are about endurance and strength. Be sure to train with a proper posture. For instance, do not let your head drop when doing planks or other similar training work.
While waiting for something.
Bored? You might end up looking down. Or nowadays, you tinker with your cellphone. If you always tilt your head downwards, you end up placing a strain on your neck for a sustained period of time. Instead, adjust the way you hold your phone so that you can maintain the position of your skull or try to train your eye muscles when looking at stuff you want to check out.
There are many ways you might be causing the problem. Strain in the neck and shoulders should not be neglected. By simple adjustments, you can start relieving yoruself of the tension that build on these areas. Improving the way these parts function will have you feeling a lot better and more productive.