Neck and shoulder pain is often caused by lifestyle factors such as the way we sit, work or stand during the day as well as the stress we feel and the foods we eat. Living with neck and shoulder pain can be debilitating but thankfully some simple adjustments may be able to provide you with some relief.
Change the way you sit
Perhaps the number one cause of neck and shoulder pain is a poor seated posture. We are often unaware of how bad our seated posture is until we see a photograph of us sitting or a friend or colleague points out that we are hunching. Try to sit in a square upright posture, positioning your bottom at the back of the chair, sitting up straight and keeping your shoulders back. This position may not feel natural at first because your body has become accustomed to hunching, to make things easier, try using a rolled-up towel to provide support to your lower back.
Change your diet
You are what you eat, and certain foods have the ability to enhance your pain perception whilst others can help to relax your muscles. Try to stay away from processed, high salt foods, especially those that contain MSG, and instead try to eat a variety of whole plant foods and consider adding in a few drops of the best cbd oil you can find which will help to reduce inflammation and release stress. Other great anti-inflammatory foods to try include turmeric, kale, spinach, and ginger.
Find the cause of your stress and eliminate it
Stress can cause us to tense our muscles subconsciously leading to tension in your neck, shoulder blades and back. Try to find out what it is that is making you stressed and remove it from your lifestyle. For most of us, the things causing us stress cannot be s easily removed, and so if stopping work or winning the lottery is not an option then instead look into stress-relieving techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises, and herbal teas. Making sure you have a place to chill can make a difference also! Check out our post Where’s Your Sanctuary. Creating Your Happy Place.
Stretch your muscles
Very few of us stretch enough which can lead to tightness in our muscles. Try stretching your neck by tilting your head to one side and at the same time dropping your opposite shoulder. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then switch to the other side. Yoga is another effective way to give yourself a full-body stretch and o release some mood-boosting hormones at the same time.
Seek professional help
If you are over 40 or find that you have very severe neck and shoulder pain that is not helped by the above tips, then it is best to seek professional help by seeing an osteopath or your doctor. Your osteopath will be able to check for more serious underlying issues such as scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine, and will be able to give you a more comprehensive treatment plan. Don’t suffer in silence, there are many other medical treatments for neck, shoulder and back pain available to you.