Pain in the upper back, shoulders and neck is one of the most frequent and up to 7 in 10 people suffer at some point in their lives, but to combat it, the first step is to know what muscles are involved and how to strengthen them.
Muscles of the neck and shoulders not only support the weight of the head, but also perform a variety of fine and precise movements that allow us to turn our heads in multiple directions. It requires both strength and flexibility, and a complex system of muscles, bones, tendons and nerves in good shape.
When you feel pain in neck and shoulders, the main muscle involved is usually trapeze, and may also be responsible for certain headaches you feel especially in the back of head. It is a large muscle that spans the upper back, shoulders and back of the neck.
Trapezius works along with the muscles of neck and upper back to support head and collaborate with various shoulder muscles to stabilize and move the shoulder blades and shoulder joint.
Causes of Neck and Shoulder Pain
There are several causes that may be occurring simultaneously. The most frequent are the following;
Often trapezius muscle and other muscles of neck, shoulders and back are weakened by lack of exercise, and are most affected by poor posture or stress. For this reason, it is very important to do daily exercises that strengthen these muscles.
Lack of Flexibility and Poor Posture
When you spend many hours in the same posture, for example, working with a computer, your muscles become accustomed to it and become more rigid. Therefore, it is important to do stretches that involve movements in all directions such as looking both ways, upward, moving the arms in different directions, sitting on the floor supporting the arms or elbows on the floor and ultimately change posture frequently throughout the day and stop every half hour while working to do some stretches or exercises that you will find below.
Imagine that as you read, in this phrase appears a letter so small that you cannot read it. What you do in this case is to throw your head forward. In doing this, the muscles of the back of your neck must remain contracted to keep your head straight. That ends up generating contractures and pain. Some people have a habit of using that stance frequently while using a computer or driving. If it is your case, correct your posture and keep your head balanced on your neck, without leaning forward, make sure that your whole back is supported and that the computer screen is at the level of your eyes. As you write, have your arms resting at all times on the armrests of your chair, since having raised arms without support causes great pressure on the trapeze.
Bend Forward While You Work
For example, when a person is sewing and does not watch posture, it is very likely to end up with all the back tilted forward. This can also happen when working on a table or with a computer.
What you can do to end the pain?
You need to strengthen the trapeze, and can do the following exercises in this regard;
Shrug your shoulders as if you wanted to touch your ears with them, hold them for a few seconds and then relax them. Repeat this exercise several times and every half hour while working in a posture that involves using trapeze. If you are living with the elderly, make sure to get a quality manual wheelchair to make their life easy.
Push your shoulders back, as if you wanted to make your two shoulder blades touch, hold for just one second and return to normal position and then back again, repeating several times in a row. You can do this by keeping your elbows slightly elevated, or by varying the height at which you raise your elbows and make other variations such as rotating your shoulders backwards as if rowing.
To strengthen the muscles on both sides of the neck, place your hand on one side of your head and try to push it, while your head resists and do the same with the other side. Then place your hand on your forehead and push back, then on the back of the head, to push forward, while exerting resistance.
To do stretching for neck, move your head to one side and then the other like you want to see what’s on your right and your left without moving the body, and then tilt your head as if you wanted to touch your shoulder with your ear.