Regardless of age and occupation, neck and shoulder pain is a common problem. The elderly usually blames the cause of shoulder and neck pain on “joint degeneration” whereas young people think it is an unavoidable “overuse injury” resulted from work.
Neck and shoulder pain seemed to be a never-ending nightmare that can only be relieved by massage, heat and painkillers, praying the condition will stay as it is; not getting worse. Many patients would have tried multiple remedies but with nil long lasting relief. The core problem is these patients receive treatments passively; they don’t actively prevent the problem themselves.
Below are ways to completely relieve neck and shoulder pain:
Using exercise to restore correct shoulder blade position:
Scapula or commonly called “shoulder blade” is the base support of neck and shoulder. As the picture shows, many muscles attach to scapula. The position of scapula would be normal if the surrounding muscles are balanced and vice versa. Pain usually happens when parts of muscles is too tight whereas other parts are too weak. This will make the scapula rotate downwards, which makes the shoulder position lower than the other side.
Treatments not only release tight muscles, but also strengthen loose and weak muscles, so that we can correct scapula back to the right position. You can try 2 exercises below:
- Stand and place both hands on the wall. Slide both hands upward; slightly shrug the shoulder as you get to the end of range. Repeat 15 times for 3 sets.
- 4-point kneel on the ground, knees in line with hips and hands beneath the shoulders. Imagine trying to elongate our arms and arch your back. Sustain this position for 15 seconds and repeat 3 times. You can do as many sets as you can in a day, especially after heavy lifting.
As stated in introduction, the shoulder on the painful side is usually lower than the unaffected normal side. Thus avoid carry heavy bags or heavy items on the affected side. Support the forearm on armrest while driving or siting on the sofa. Ladies should try to use sports bra (the cross-link bra strap has less downward pull compared to usual bra straps). In addition, place reading material supported in an angle, position computer monitors slightly lower than centre of vision and frequent rest breaks during work will help in preventing shoulder and neck pain.
Physiotherapy and taping:
Majority of shoulder and neck pain actually resulted from incorrect scapula position. This problem can be fixed with specialized exercise and posture correction. Approximately 80~90% patients can achieve long-lasting and immediate relief. Most shoulder and neck pain is not the result of degeneration can recover within very short amount of time.
2. Health Advice, Head, Neck and Shoulder Pain