I'd say that neck and shoulder tightness is our 'bread and butter' as massage therapists. We see it all day, every day which gives us plenty of opportunity to get good at treating it!! I am positive there isn't a person on Earth who hasn’t had sore shoulders at one time in their life! The question is what can you do about it when they do get sore?
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Stretch and/ or Trigger?
The main muscles that tend to cause neck and shoulder pain are your:
Our last blog was all about how to stretch out your neck and shoulders. We also have a whole guide to upper body stretching and triggering available that includes how long to hold each exercise for. Do yourself a favor and refresh your memory on those blog posts too.
Just remember that if you are sore between your shoulder blades or on the tops of your shoulders, treating these muscles alone is only one part of the equation. This pain may be caused by other areas of your body being tight or weak such as your pecs which tend to pull your shoulders forward when they are tight. This makes the muscles on the other side of your joint work harder and complain "soreness".
We recommend not only focusing on the areas that feel sore but targeting areas that could be causing the tightness in the first place. That is why we do a postural assessment every time before we start treating your pain.
Think about how long you are sitting and your posture while seated.
We know! We harp on about sitting! The fact is: we spend most of our time in this position. On average a person will only be standing up for 1 hour each day!! (CRAZY!) If we sit with terrible posture, we will inevitably get neck and shoulder tightness.
Set the clock and be diligent about taking a short movement break every 45mins. There is research that shows that the brain works best in less than 45 minute blocks. So you are practically helping yourself to be more productive by getting up and switching the brain off every 45 minutes! The result? A more productive you, with less shoulder tightness!
Obviously we recommend getting a massage! Neck and shoulder tightness is something we are really good at! It’s important to work out the underlying causes of your pain. Plus there are just some trigger points that are really difficult to loosen off yourself!
We can also work out if there is stiffness from your thoracic spine contributing to your discomfort. Having a set of well trained eyes take a look at what's going on can make a real difference.
We like to question:
A good massage therapist will help to get to the bottom of what is going on. We can help to bring you out of pain a lot faster than trying to do it all on your own. We can also set you up with a plan for home so you can manage it yourself in the long term and we can help hold you to account!
Stress and neck and shoulder tightness go hand-in-hand. On a scale of 1 – 10 how stressed are you right now? Managing stress really can be a juggling act. We find that the more stress you have to cope with the more things you have to put in place to help you manage that stress. We often undervalue the importance of making time for ourselves. However the benefits are exponential and it is an easy way to help relieve your neck and shoulder tightness.
We can help!
If you would like some help we have are a group of remedial massage therapists across two central Brisbane locations who really enjoy making people fell better!
Feel free to check what times are available. Have a read of our massage therapist bios or contact the clinic on 3891 7629 to book in!
Good luck! Feel free to give us a call if you have any trouble!