Carrying The Weight Of The World
This isnt just a saying, its the truth. Shoulder tension often;increases with age because we tend to have more responsibilities as we get older. Whether its becoming a parent or having all the worries;that come with being at the height of your career, we have too much going on. Financial hardship or just the stress of trying to keep up with your neighbor;could also take a toll.
For Those Who Don’t Like To Look Up
Often we suddenly look up, thereby increasing the over-curvature of the cervical vertebrae even more and begin to look like a vulture. Worse than being unsightly, a partly self-strangulated neck cuts off regular blood supply to the brain. A brain, hungry for blood containing oxygen and energy coming from the heart cannot think properly. Finding it difficult to look up also affects one’s mood, morale, and attitude. Someone who can only look down is a negative person.
Correct head alignment when looking straight ahead and when looking up.
Physical And Emotional Stress
Added stress brought on by the pandemic is what David J. Calabro, DC, a certified pediatric and pregnancy chiropractor and functional medicine practitioner in Linwood, N.J., classifies as emotional stress, and while its certainly one culprit, physical stress also plays a role. Physical stress includes falls, accidents, and traumas such as falling off a bicycle, jamming your head getting out of a car, or going through a C-section delivery , even if these things happened when you were young. They can manifest years later as pain or other symptoms, Calabro says.;But heres the kicker: If you have too much emotional stress, you can suffer an increase of physical stress. You might hold more tension in your body, stress-eat, which can drive weight gain and add to more physical stress, or use poor posture, Calabro explains.
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Where Stress Gets Stuck In The Bodyand How To Release It
In a new video collaboration, Lauren Roxburgh, structural integration and alignment specialistand our resident fascia and pelvic floor authorityteams up with a medium, meditation leader, and author of Intuitive Being, Jill Willard to help us manage stress depending on how we react to it in the body. In her ongoing body work with clients, Roxburgh says she can actually see and feel stress stuck in the bodyand that it tends to build up in five areas, depending on how each individual responds to stress ; Roxburgh calls these five areas the stress containers.
Together with Willard, who brings her deep knowledge of the mind/body/spirit intersection and the nature of energy movement within the body , Roxburgh explains how stress gets stuck in the body, what it does once stuck there, and how to treat each of the five areas it gets stuck in.
Can Stress Cause Neck Pain And Tension In The Shoulders
When we experience high levels of anxiety or stress, our bodys natural reaction is to tense up. When this happens consistently over a long period of time, it can lead to muscle tension, which can cause stiffness, tightness, aching, and pain in your neck and shoulders. Stress-related pain in this region is typically the result of emotional or mental anxiety, which can directly affect the muscles and nerves that run through your shoulders, neck, and spine.
Aside from psychological and emotional stress, other issues that lead to feeling the physical symptoms of sore shoulders are overuse, poor posture, long periods of sitting, incorrect or poor sleeping positions, and of course, cases of injury.
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Other Options For Neck And Shoulder Tension
Yoga is an excellent activity to help release stress-related tension in your neck and shoulders. In fact, one study found that 9 weeks of yoga resulted in pain relief and functional improvements in people with neck pain.
There are also some other strategies you can use to help relieve or prevent tension in your neck. For instance you can:
- Apply a warm compress to the tight area.
- Spend a few minutes doing a self-massage.
- Soak in a warm tub, and add a few drops of aromatherapy oil for extra relaxation.
- Adjust your workstation, so your computer is at eye level to avoid neck strain.
- Check your posture while youre at your work desk keep your hips, shoulders, and ears in a straight line.
- Get up and move away from your workstation for a few minutes every hour.
- At night, use a pillow that offers good support for your neck, and is designed to keep your head and neck aligned.
Standing Desks Can Cause Shoulder Pain
The previous two thingsposture and the positioning of your mousecan cause shoulder pain, and have caused pain in computer users for years. But today, we have a new source of shoulder painstanding desks.
Many writers and other professionals are using standing desks now, and thats a good thing, as long as you dont stand at them all day long. Standing for a while and then sitting for a while can be much better for your lower back, hips, and overall fitness than sitting all day long.
Unfortunately, after using these things for a few years, we now know that they arent perfect and that standing desks can cause pain, too. I talked about how they can cause you to develop heel pain in a previous post.
Well, guess what? Standing desks can cause shoulder pain, too. One of these days, someones going to invent the perfect writing position and supportive furniture, but Im afraid thats going to take awhile.
Part of the problem with standing is posture. Most of us arent used to standing up straight, particularly since were using gadgets like smartphones and tablets all the time that bring our heads forward and down, and our shoulders around.
Even if you start out with good posture, as you get tired later in the day, that posture is likely to deteriorate. Particularly if youve spent years writing while sitting and then you switch to standing, your core and glute muscles are likely to be weak, and they wont support you in this new position like they should.
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Signs Of Neck And Shoulder Pain
Dr. Delavaux says that individuals should pay attention to the following signs of neck pain:
- Pain thats often worsened by holding your head in one;position for a prolonged;period
- Muscle tightness and/or;spasms
Additionally, he notes that you should be aware of the following signs of shoulder pain:
- Inability to use the shoulder or move your arm away from your body
- Intense pain
- Sudden swelling
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should call your doctor immediately and see if they offer in-person or virtual visits, advises Dr. Delavaux. Dont wait too long, as this may worsen the underlying problem of the pain.
How To Stretch Correctly With Yoga
Yoga is great for relieving neck and shoulder, but if your goal is to get rid of that pain and discomfort as quickly as possible and avoid making it worse you should focus on doing poses that specifically relieve tension in the neck and shoulders, and do yoga in a way that relieves tension, instead of doing a strength-focused power yoga routine. Well address both in this section!
There are plenty of yoga routines to follow online or in a class, but if you are looking to specifically target your neck and shoulders, a random yoga routine might not focus on your problem areas as deeply as you like. This is why doing targeted stretches at your own pace can reap more benefits than following a random yoga routine.;
When practicing yoga for the neck and shoulders, as with all exercise, its important to listen to your body. When practicing yoga to relieve tightness in your neck and shoulders, you need to pay extra attention to using your breath to relieve tension.
To do this, you want to breathe as deeply as possible. Fill up as much air as possible in your lungs , and exhale as completely as possible, squeezing your belly button toward your spine and contracting your abdominal wall as you do so. As you exhale, youll want to focus on deepening the stretch, or releasing tension in the muscle being stretched. The more you can focus on this, the more quickly and more significantly your tension will be released.
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Correct Position Of The Shoulder Joint
While the pecs and the lats are primarily movers of the arm, the rhomboids at the back provide stability to the shoulder joint. As the pecs and lats work to rotate the arm inward the rhomboids in the upper back become weak. This causes the shoulder joint to go too far forward, out of its neutral alignment, beyond its range of safety. This can be avoided by strengthening the upper back, using the rhomboids. Get off your chair for a minute and do the following shoulder alignment move to feel the rhomboid muscles putting your shoulders back into their correct place.
Towel Exercise Challenge 1
You can add some upper body work and stretchas long as you don’t have a neck, shoulder and/or upper back injury, that is.
While still in the position, bring your arms back over your head if your shoulders are flexible enough. If they are not, place folded blankets and/or pillows in that area to give your arms a place to come to that’s within the range you can handle comfortably.
Again, stay there for a few moments to breathe and relax. You may find some pockets of tension that are sorely in need of release! If that’s the case, ease into this. You don’t have to stay in the position for very long. You can always try again tomorrow. Over time, the intensity and your shoulder range of motion will likely improve and this position will become more comfortable.
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How To Relieve Neck Pain Caused By Stress
Stress. Anxiety. Low moral support. All of these and other psychosocial factors have been linked as potential causes of neck pain.1,2 When tension and stress build in the neck, muscles may feel tight or achy. Neck pain may also spread to the shoulder or be accompanied by a headache. Lets explore some ways to reduce this type of neck pain.
If stress-induced neck pain does not subside after a week or two of self-care, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. SeeTreatment for Neck Pain
Should I Stretch My Neck
Hand on head, yanking my skull down toward my shoulder, I stretched yet again, hoping it would relieve my pain. It never did.
Heres why stretching alone doesnt solve your neck pain:
Stretching mechanically lengthens the muscle, but does not teach your brain how to control that new length. And since your brain is always trying to protect you, it will not give you more range of motion if it thinks you cannot control the tissue.
Stretching a muscle can actually do the very opposite of what youre trying to achieve making the very muscle youre trying to make less tight, tighter.
This is the part where everyone throws their hands up because, well jeez, if stretching doesnt make your muscles feel better, what are we supposed to do then?
The solution is to use active inputs, in addition to passive, to teach your nervous system how to expand, control, support, and strengthen, new ranges of motion.
This part of the discussion goes much deeper, save this article for more on that, but for now you know that stretching is a passive input and passive inputs alone do not make real or lasting change.
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When Looking At A Screen Be It A Tv Or Computer
Everyone might be familiar with this one. You can famiilarize yourself on how to relieve tight neck muscles and do; stretches every day, but it will be just breaking even if you still; spend a huge part of your day in this incorrect head position.; Adjust by drawing your head back when using a computer or; watching TV.
Ultimate Solution: A Gravity Inversion Table
The ultimate solution to chronic neck pain and stiffness, bad back, and general stress related chronic pain is, of course, the gravity inversion table. The bottom line is, if we have to reduce over-curvature, compression, and tightness in the whole skeleton, this can most easily and pleasantly be achieved in a completely passive way with gentle anti-gravity traction as shown in the next video.
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How The Stress Response Works
The stress response is a blend of physical and emotional components that prime your body to run or fight when faced with danger. When the brain is triggered, the body releases cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones that prepare your body for action. Physical changes include a higher heart rate, increased blood pressure, rapid breathing and tensed muscles. When this happens repeatedly, it can cause , pains and irritated nerves.
This reaction to stress happens to us in small spurts all day, every day and it works well to protect us from harm. Problems start happening when you experience chronic stress. This could be chronic physical stress from standing or doing repetitive motions at your job. Or it could be chronic emotional stress like dealing with a difficult personal relationship or financial troubles. So how does this normal response to lifes daily challenges make its way to your neck and shoulders?
Use A Pencil To Knead The Area
Speaking of massages, there are tons of fancy neck massaging gadgets on the market these days, but Ebbin actually doesnt recommend them. Save your money, she says. Get a pencil. Use the eraser to apply pressure to the exact tension point and make small circles to massage it out. You can go just as deep and get as effective of a massage as with any of those tools that are out there, she says.
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An Advanced Tweak To Challenge 2
The sock-balls are placed in an area of your skull known as the occipital condyles.
The condyles provide attachments for muscles in a group known as the sub-occipitals. Sub-occipital muscles consist of the rectus capitis posterior major and minor, and oblique capitis inferior and superior. These muscles play roles in turning and/or tilting your head towards the side of the contracting muscle, as well as extending your head backward.
If your pain levels permit while you’re on the sock-balls, you might gently roll around on them. The sub-occipitals, discussed above, often have tightness, spasms and/or trigger points that can cause pain and negatively affect your posture.;Many people find that using the sock-balls is a very effective way of working such kinks and tensions out.
Stretch Your Neck And Shoulders
Tilt your head to one side and at the same time drop the opposite shoulder. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, making sure the stretch doesn’t hurt but just using the weight of your head to ease out tension. Repeat on the other side. Next, look squarely over one shoulder then the other. Hold for 30 seconds on each side.
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Ways To Get Rid Of Neck Pain Caused By Stress And Anxiety
Sleep Advisor , Expert Reviewed by Dr. Loy Anderson M.D. Disclaimer – Nothing on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment… Read more here
Pain caused by stress or anxiety can be a pain in the neck . Since the average human head weighs about 15 pounds, the muscles in the neck are already strained on a regular basis. Add some physical or emotional stress to the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for chronic, unceasing neck pain. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to stop that from happening.
Easy Tips To Relieve Stress
Stress affects the body in a variety of ways,from mood swings and headaches to weight fluctuations. However, an often overlookedside effect of stress is neck and back pain. Over time, repetitive bouts ofstress can cause musculoskeletal issues in these regions of the body.
When we get stressed out, the body naturally releases certainhormones. Adrenaline is associated with the ancient fight or flight phenomenonthat heightens our blood pressure, increases our blood supply, and causes themuscles around our spine to tense and spasm in case we need to flee the sourceof the stress. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone; it interferes with avariety of functions. Elevations in cortisol can lead to loss of muscle massand increases in fat accumulation.
“Stress affects the body in a variety of ways, from mood swings and headaches to weight fluctuations. However, an often-overlooked side effect of stress is neck and back pain. Over time, repetitive bouts of stress can cause musculoskeletal issues in these regions of the body.”
Kavita Trivedi, D.O.
Data;;suggest that adults know stress affects their spines. Online survey participants ranked the No. 1 perceived cause of their neck and back pain as follows:;
- Stress:;29 percent
- Spinal disc herniation:;21 percent
- Sitting at a desk at work:;20 percent
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Relieving Stress: Mind Over Muscle
YOU ARE SITTING AT YOUR DESK finishing an important report. You have been working on it for two months, and it is due in 30 minutes. You feel that you need at least another week to finish. Your boss is screaming in the next office; he is already in a foul mood. ”This is it,” you say to yourself, ”I can’t take it anymore. I’ll run away and live in Tahiti. Or maybe I’ll just look for another job.”
As you sit frozen at your desk, strange aches and pains creep up on you. Your head is pounding, you have a crick in your neck, your jaw and face feel stiff, your shoulders are cramped and tense. Your body is in gridlock.
Muscle problems like these brew in a zone of the body with the shoulders at its base and the forehead at its peak – the tension triangle. Muscles in this area react dramatically to psychological pressure: the brow furrows, the jaw clenches, the neck tightens and the shoulders rise.
When muscles tighten from severe stress – the kind that makes your heart race, your skin perspire and your mouth dry up – they are part of a primitive physiological reflex that puts the body on guard for danger. Being prepared to spring at an enemy or retreat to safety no doubt did well for our earliest progenitors. But fight or flight is a less-than-elegant response to the psychological wars waged in the workplace.
Once relaxed, you are in better shape to cope with that deadline and your boss.