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Treatment for Neck and Shoulder Pain
Recognizing the Symptoms
The neck and shoulder is an area where almost all clients experience pain, tightness, or some degree of discomfort. This is understandable since this is a most complex area and is responsible for most of the movement of the upper body.
Neck and shoulder pain is very familiar to most of us. Tight Shoulders, stiff neck, pain and restriction of movement when the head is moved in certain directions. The most common complaint is pain between the shoulder blade. As always, when you palpate the affected areas you will feel tight bands in the affected muscle groups in the neck and shoulder area.
Possible Causes of tightness and pain in the neck and shoulder
The head, neck, shoulder and upper back share many muscles, hence you will find that in most cases when there is pain in the neck certain muscles in the shoulder must be treated and vice versa. Many tension headaches can be caused by the tightening of muscles in the neck or as low as the shoulder blade. Sometimes even if there is no direct muscular connection between the pain and the cause, there is nevertheless some channel of communication
Some of the main causes of tension in the neck and shoulder are: accidents, sports injuries, exertion, bad posture, especially at the computer for extended periods of time, and mental tension and emotional trauma. All of these conditions cause the shoulders to be raised for long periods and sometimes permanently. You see, just as the muscles tighten as a form of protection in the presence of danger, so too the shoulders rise to protect the head and neck, which are vital parts of the human anatomy (by the way this is my theory). You see now why mental stress and emotional trauma causes the shoulders to rise.
Locating tissue that is affecting the region
To be able to get relief from neck and shoulder pain, we need to find not just the painful region but also the core cause of it. These are points on each traumatized muscle that become activated and intensely painful to the touch. These are called Trigger Points. The key to pain relief of the muscle is the correct treatment of each trigger point. Locating the key trigger point in the affected muscle group is easy but finding all of them is not. And the key in fixing this area properly is finding all the trigger points and having all of them released.
Just move your shoulder around and take note of the area between your shoulder blades and where your neck meets your shoulders. Then turn your neck slowly to each side to it's maximum extent and then up and down. All the time take note of any discomfort, tightness, pain and restriction. Then all you need to do is to firmly palpate the affected areas you found and you will find the hypersensitive trigger points. The most common are on the side of the neck, the upper part of the shoulder and between the shoulder blade.
Finding and Treating Trigger Points in the neck and shoulder
There are several layers of muscles in this area and to access the deeper layers, the superficial layers must be treated and "softened" first. The main superficial muscle here is the trapezium and to find and treat a trigger point on one shoulder, the muscle tissue should be kneaded with the cupped fingers of the opposite hand. When you are on the point, stay there for a minute or two with your hand relaxed. You can use the same method to find and treat points on the side of the neck and the base of the head (or occiput). Sometimes it takes a while to find the exact point and it can get tiring to hold your arm in that awkward angle, so find a comfortable position and take regular breaks to avoid straining your arm.
Repeat this process several times a day, but be careful, to use light pressure to avoid causing tissue soreness. You will feel progressively better after each treatment. Click on the links below to learn more about how you can improve your muscle tone and range of motion and enjoy a pain free active life.
For a detailed explanation go to
Improving Muscle Efficiency.
For stretches to complement this treatment, go to
the stretches section.
Also check out the
Benefits from Trigger Point Massage.
For success stories and client testimonials go to
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