How to fix neck & shoulder pain

How to fix neck & shoulder pain

Whether you work outside climbing telephone poles or sit in front of a computer all day, neck and shoulder pain seems to be common in every profession. Different methods are used to help ease the pain and recover--rest, ice, heat, popping the neck vertebra, or popping some over-the-counter pain relievers. What should you do to help with neck pain?

Exercising those muscles with strength training, stretching, and cardio will do the trick, say researchers.

New study addresses neck pain

For years, doctors have recommended to patients with chronic neck pain to begin actively moving the muscles to "loosen" them. Researchers set out in 2003 to see if this advise was the best course of action.

Female workers with non-specific neck pain were divided into three groups of 60 to test three methods of treatment, and they followed for a year. One group did nothing and took the "time will heal" approach, one group performed light exercise and increased activity--lifting the head from tilted to up, and the other training group performed high-intensity isometric strengthening exercises.

The two training groups lifted weights with dumbbells to strengthen the upper body. They also added stretching and aerobic training three times a week.


The "rest it" group did improve some during the 12 month study. The two groups that used exercise improved significantly. Getting the muscles active with light exercise helped, but the high-intensity training group that strengthened, stretched, and performed cardio improved substantially more than the others.

Lessons learned

Perhaps there's a lesson in this research for other painful muscle groups. Activity is a great place to start, and a necessary first step. However, the research is clear, high-intensity training offers the greatest results!

Phil Campbell, M.S., M.A., FACHE
Indeed, longstanding postural faults acquired through repetitive movements or prolonged periods of sitting or standing cause both adaptive shortening and stretch weakness of muscles and surrounding structures. The muscular imbalances thus created are responsible for the resulting painful conditions. A specific training regimen of strengthening and stretching is beneficial in regaining muscle balance and therefore relieving pain. A thorough assessment using muscle testing is required in order to determine which muscles are in need of strengthening and which are in need of stretching. A common mistakemade in weight training is that, without knowing it, trainees tend to strengthen muscles which are already short and stretch muscles which are already weak. A good balance of strength and flexibility is necessary for normal functioning of muscles in any one force couple.
Exercise and stretching is always one of the best way to help ease aches and pains but there are other things that need to be looked at here.
Everyone of us develop stress and tension which usually stores in our neck and shoulders, this is due to several factors including occupation, posture and, of course, lack of motion.
Massage is definately the best way to keep tension under control, as the tension built up in the muscles is broken down and loosened off. If this tension is not kept under control then more serious injuries can develop. A massage a month is ideal.
While I agree that exercise's for neck pain is what might be beneficial in most cases, the type of care a person with neck pain should receive depends on the cause.
It is important to note that this study was done on a group of people with none specific pain, IE; no specific tissue or structure were found to cause the pain.
It is also important to look at the type and quality of the study, length of follow up after the treatment and so on. No one study is conclusive or is enough to give clear evidence as suggested in the end of this article

ps.could you list the source article please