As a newly qualified sports massage therapist, I have found that a lot of people seem to suffer from shoulder and neck pain. It is probably one of the most common ailments for massage therapists, physiotherapists and other related practitioners.
I can relate to this as I have also suffered from a rotator cuff injury on my right shoulder so I know how distressing and uncomfortable this kind of pain can be. I therefore thought I’d share just a few tips for managing this type of problem, preventative and restorative.
Why do so many people suffer from shoulder or neck pain which are usually linked? there are many reasons but these are probably some of the most common;
- Poor posture
- Carrying heavy handbags, children or other items over or across your shoulder
- Having a desk job where you slouch over your computer
- Exercising with weights incorrectly
- Trauma or falls
These are just some of the reasons for having painful shoulders, there are a host of other factors that may make you susceptible to shoulder injuries. The most important thing to do is not to ignore any pain hoping that it will go away. Pain, particularly joint pain is your body’s way of letting you know its not happy. So make sure you address your problem early on rather than later, the longer you have pain, the worse the injury gets and the longer it will take you to recover.
When pain hits; try the following;
- Stretching the muscles in the area
- Using a heat pack with chronic (old) injury or ice pack with acute (new) injuries.
- Having a sports specific massage may help to relieve muscle tension and to release any tight muscle fibres, it will also help to bring more blood and nutrients to the area
- Strengthen the joint and surrounding muscles. (see link below for some basic exercises)
If the pain persists and none of the above seem to help, then see your GP. They might recommend you get an X-ray or MRI scan.
Please note that if you have had a fall or trauma then please see your Doctor or GP immediately so they can rule out a possible fracture,broken bones or other more serious injuries.
For good shoulder health, try these exercises from the active website (http://beta.active.com/fitness/articles/3-exercises-to-strengthen-the-shoulders)