By John S. Brown, LMT
Common Causes of Neck and Shoulder Pain demystified.
Neck and shoulder pain is one of the most common complaints of those seeking massage and, if you’re reading this then most likely you are all too familiar with how uncomfortable it can be. “But what causes it?” many of my clients ask. In the article I will go over some of the most common causes. There are any number of causes for neck and shoulder pain but there are a few which stand out as the most common.
One, in today’s modern world, is a combination of factors which present themselves in prolonged usage of computers and mobile devices. These devices, when typing or using a mouse, have a tendency to cause the shoulders to roll forward. This causes the muscles on the front of the shoulder to get underused as they are placed in a shorted position. Technology is one of the most common causes of neck and shoulder pain. The muscles on the back of your shoulder to get over stretched and if they are also underused or weak they may strain from prolonged over stretching. On top of all that, some small or very isolated muscles get over used and tighten up from mouse use and typing. A similar issue can arise in the neck from looking down at a phone, tablet or laptop screen.
Stress is another common cause. It is very common for most people to “hold their stress” in their neck and shoulders. When we are stressed our bodies have a tendency to adopt a protective posture. This becomes exacerbated but the hormone Cortisol which is released in the body when we feel stress. The cortisol has many different negative effects but one is that it increases muscle tension and reduces the muscles ability to relax.
Physical strain of one or more shoulder or neck muscles can be a common cause. Whether from repetitive overuse or other physical exertion or injury. This leads to the tendons of the muscles to tighten and become inflamed which causes pain. If this happens, it can be very beneficial to apply ice to the injured area as soon as possible. This will reduce the swelling and decrease the overall pain. Then consult your regular physician as soon as possible.
Other health issues make up the majority of the remaining common causes. It’s always important to check with your regular physician to make sure there is no underlying health issues that may be causing or contributing to your neck and shoulder pain. Even if you are not planning to bill your massage to insurance.
To learn more about John and to schedule with John Click here: John S. Brown, LMP