I'd think that neck and shoulder tightness is our 'bread and butter as massage therapists. We see if all day every day which makes are really 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 you need to focus on are your traps, levator scap, pecs (chest muscles) and the the muscles between your shoulders blades. Improving your mobility through your thoracic spine (upper back) always works wonders to loosen up those tight shoulders. Our last blog was all about how to stretch our your neck and shoulders plus we also have a whole guide of upper body stretching and triggering available that includes how long to hold each exercise.
Just remember that even if you are sore between your shoulder blades or on the tops of your shoulders it could be caused by other areas of your body being tight and/ or weak. That is why we recommend not only focusing on the areas that feel sore but targeting areas that could be causing the tightness in the first place, such as your pecs, which help pull your shoulders forward.
Think about how long you are sitting and your posture while seated.
We know! We harp on about sitting! However we spend most of our time doing it so we should spend most of our time harping on to you about it! 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 tight. Set the clock and be diligent about moving 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! Future, more productive you, with less shoulder tightness shall thank you!
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 neck and shoulder pain. Plus there are just some trigger points that are really difficult to loosen off yourself! We also need to work out if there is stiffness from your thoracic spine contributing to our discomfort. Why are those trigger points there in the first place? What things at home or work are contributing to your discomfort? Is there some underlying weakness that needs to be addressed to help stop this from always happening? A good massage therapist will help to get to the bottom of what is going and get you there a lot faster than trying to do it all on your own. They can also set you up with a plan for home so you can manage it yourself in the long term and we can hold to account!
Stress and neck and shoulder tightness go hand-in-hand. On a scale of 1 – 10 how stressed are you right now? What things are stressing you at home or at work? (Aka coming back from holidays!) What things can you be doing to relieve this stress? What things are you putting into your week to help manage that stress, if the situation is unavoidable?
We 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!