Modern life has many people working in ways that are not entirely natural to the human body, such as spending much of the day sitting hunched over a computer screen on straining their neck to focus on smart phone screens. These can lead to tension in trigger points which not only cause immediate pain and discomfort but can also lead to referred pain such as headaches, pain in the shoulders or finger pain.
Here are some of the causes of neck and shoulder trigger pain as well as tips on how to deal with it.
What causes trigger point tension?
Some people are naturally vulnerable to tightness in the shoulder or neck muscles due to having relatively short muscles in this area. Jobs or hobbies that encourage working in one position such as positions that involve staring at a single computer screen (either for work or gaming) can also exacerbate neck pain. Sports that encourage rapid asymmetrical movements can also lead to tension in the neck (including tennis if players overly favour forehand or backhand shots).
Some people find that sleeping in a unusual position can create tension in the neck. Overweight people, especially those with large breasts or substantial belly fat, can also have a have strain on their spine and neck due to the extra weight. An injury can also lead to sustained tension in one or more muscles.
How do I know if I have trigger point tension?
The main way that you can determine if you have tension in a trigger point is that the pain or other symptoms leave after either massage or acupressure in the those points. It’s important to use an experienced massage therapist, as stimulation to the neck and shoulder can usually cause a twitch reaction, but a true trigger reaction can be felt by an experienced therapist.
How can I solve my trigger point tension?
If you have trigger point tension, it can be a good idea to get regular massage therapy to release the tension in those points. Additionally, you can ask your therapists for some self massage techniques so that you can give yourself some relief between sessions if you need. You can also explain your normal routine to the therapist and get some feedback on simple ways to modify your work or sleeping positions to provide some ongoing relief.
Getting some professional support can help you to manage neck and shoulder pain through non-medical options such as massage therapy.
Used to sitting in front of the computer working for several hours? Your devotion is impressive, but it can be stressful for your shoulders. The rotator cuff in your shoulder is a group of muscles connecting your shoulder blade and arm. Weak rotator cuffs triggered by frequent inactivity cause shoulders to feel tense because they are unable to provide postural support to your upper body. Pilates equips you with precise exercise patterns to strengthen your rotator cuff and relieve tender muscles.
Build A Strong Rotator Cuff Using A Resistance Band Standing Up
To build your rotator cuff muscle, your Pilates instructor may recommend a specific exercise using a resistance band tied to a wall support. You will need to stand upright with your back straight. Place your elbow on your hipbone and bend your hand. Pull the resistance band against the wall support sideways and keep repeating this movement a few times. Do this on both sides everyday to strengthen your rotator cuff. The resistance caused by your action of pulling the band away from the wall support will strengthen your rotator cuff muscles over time, which will reduce the strain you feel. A resistance band tied to any wall support is a supremely easy exercise you can perform at home or at your office.
Perform Chair-Based Exercises Every Time You Feel Tension Building Up
Your Pilates instructor may even show you how to do some specific chair-based exercises to help you strengthen rotator cuffs while you’re working. Taking a few minutes off will make a big difference to the way your body feels. A good chair-based exercise for your rotator cuff is to place your arms in line with your shoulders sideways with your hands over your shoulder blade. Rotate your elbows in the backward and forward position a few times to ease shoulder muscle tension. Follow other exercises prescribed to protect your shoulders from severe stress.
Lie Down On A Yoga Mat To Alleviate Shoulder Stress
Your Pilates instructor will make you lie down on your side while placing your arms in front. Align your knees to your hipbone in the front. This will help you take advantage of the stretching exercise comprehensively. Place a cloth or small cushion below your head to avoid pulling any neck muscles. Keep one hand to the ground and turn the other in a full circle to the other side. If you are unable to keep one hand constantly on the ground, you know that your rotator cuff muscles are tight. Keep practicing to succeed. At the fully stretched position with both hands grounded on either side of you, make sure your chest faces upwards to stretch your rotator cuffs exhaustively.
The best part of these Pilates exercises is the fact that you can do them at home or in your office without any difficulty.