You should know that the major cause of neck pain is you. If you do not then i suggest you read the links at the bottom of the page. However, a great adjunct to reinforcing your posture is to join an alexander technique class. This will help you learn better body mechanics so that your posture becomes more ingrained into your psyche. We teach this at our spa and people absolutely love it. If you slouch then YOU WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE PAIN. Many of us suffer from knots in our upper backs and between our shoulder blades. These are very tight areas of muscle wich are otherwise known as trigger points. I will write more about trigger points and their referral patterns in future posts but for now i just wanted to share with you one of the best ways to help them.
Firstly, these knots or trigger points do not like stress, both emotional and physical. Obviously, it very difficult to remove our emotional stresses quickly and easily. Yes, you can do courses or seek counselling if you want to but this will be more of a long term solution to your knots and emotional wellbeing which is great but that is not going to get rid of your knots right now.
One of the physical stresses that most commonly cause knots are from poor posture. For example, how are you sitting right now? Are you sitting reasonably upright or are you slouched in front of your computer?
That slouching hour after hour, day after day causes your muscles to contract constantly which is exactly what they dont like- and this causes knots(otherwise known as trigger points). If these get worse that will not only cause you pain where the actual knot is but will also refer pain. A perfect example of this is trigger points that are at the base of the skull, these can refer pain not only around the base of the skull but can also produce headaches along the temples and over the eyes.
Another classic cause of those knots you feel between your shoulder blades is sitting with your mouse too far away from you. Make sure that when you use a computer your hands are no further away from you than your knees. This means, if you were to type on your computer i want you to look where your hands are. Are they reaching out past your knees? If you were to drop a pebble from your hands would it fall on the floor or fall onto your thighs? It should fall onto your thighs. This way you are not overcontracting your muscles in your upper back trying to maintain position for hour after hour.
Knots do not like to be in a state of continual contraction.
Therefore fixing your posture is absolutely vital when you are at the computer or even just sitting reading a book or driving.
A great way to help those knots is to get a massage each and every day. However, if you are like me and not swimming in millions of dollars to throw at a personal masseuse i suggest that you do this. Find a tennis ball and stand up against a wall putting the tennis ball between the wall and your back. Press your weight into the wall and move around so that the ball is massaging your upper back. When you get onto a sensitive spot this will be a knot so then press firmly against the ball for about 20-30 seconds. This will help release the knot very much like a massage therapist would do if the were to put their thumb or elbow there. The big difference is that this is free!
the other way that you can do this is to lay on the floor and lay on top of the tennis ball. You will have to adjust your weight here and there because it will be very strong on some points in your upper back where you are particularily tight.
Do this 2-3 times a day for about 3-4 minutes. It will make a world of difference.