How do I Get Rid of Neck and Shoulder Pain?

A man with Neck and Shoulder Pain


Neck and shoulder pain are very common especially if you work at a desk for 8 hours or more each day or if you spend most of your day in front of a computer. The neck and shoulders contain bones, muscles, nerves, veins, ligaments, and arteries. There are a lot of conditions that can cause pain in the neck and shoulder area ranging from the simple ones like a strain to the life-threatening ones such as heart attack.

Since neck and shoulder pain are common, here are some ways to relieve the pain that you are feeling in these areas:

  • Rest

The neck and shoulder pain that you are experiencing may be due to tension especially if you are not sitting properly on your desk or you are not conscious of your posture while in the office. All you have to do is rest a bit and try to use these body parts as little as possible for the first 3 days. You can slowly start to exercise the neck and shoulders after the 3-day rest.

  • Ice

Use an ice bag or you can also put some ice on a plastic and wrap it in a towel before putting it on the area of your neck and shoulder where you are feeling the pain. Leave it there for about 15 to 20 minutes for each hour. Do not apply ice directly on the skin as it can damage the skin.

The cold sensation reduces the blood flow to a particular area which reduces the swelling and inflammation that causes pain.

  • Elevation

Elevate the neck and shoulder above the heart to help remove the swelling. This will reduce the pain. You can use pillows to prop yourself up.

  • Massage

Get a gentle massage in the area of your neck and shoulder where you feel pain the most. Ask someone else to do the massaging for you to reduce the amount of strain that you are experiencing. Doing a hot or cold compress may provide a quick relief while doing a message.

  • Yoga

Yoga helps relieve tension, reduce stress, and ease muscle pain. You can join a yoga class or do yoga poses at home. The study shows that practicing yoga can improve your ability to cope with stress and also your overall health.

  • Stretching

Stretch out the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Some doctors and chiropractors recommend effective stretching exercises to ease the pain in your neck and shoulders. These simple and gentle stretching exercises can be easily done in the comforts of your own home without needing any special equipment.

  • Exercise

Exercise is recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a good well-being. It has various health benefits. It may also decrease neck pain if you do the right workouts and do them with the proper positioning of your body parts. Time spent working out in the gym can decrease stress, increase cortisol levels, and also relieve pain felt in the back, shoulders, and neck even with just a single session.

  • Stop Unhealthy Habits

It may not be obvious but smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee before sleeping may have underlying effects that people may not be aware of. Pre-sleep stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can create undue tension on the musculoskeletal system and/or the nervous system which may lead to stress-related neck pain.

  • Heat

Do not apply heat right away because it can increase the swelling and worsen the pain.
You can apply heat after applying ice to the painful areas of the neck and shoulder. You can wait for 4 to 5 days before applying heat on the pain. Heat can be applied through hot compresses, a heating pad, or with warm showers. Do not leave the heating pad on your skin for a long time as it may cause damage to your skin.

  • Sleeping Habits

Pay close attention to your position when sleeping. Your position when sleeping can greatly affect and bring pains in your back, neck, and shoulder. Check the position of your head when you are sleeping. Stack your head on top of your body whether you are sleeping on your side or on your back. Avoid sleeping on your stomach as you tend to twist your head in one way or another and it may also harm your back.

There are a lot of remedies to get rid of neck and shoulder pain but the best way is prevention. You can always avoid having neck and shoulder pain by watching out for your habits whether with the kinds of food that you eat or the kinds of activities that you do.
It’s important to always have a healthy and balanced diet and to also exercise a lot to avoid having illnesses. Remember that you can easily get neck and shoulder pain simply by having a bad posture or by not sitting properly in front of the computer or the television. Bad habits can cause a great impact on your physical well-being and it can eventually take a toll on your health.