If you have a 9 to 5 job that requires you to sit in front of a computer, chances are you have been bugged by neck and shoulder pain for many times already. The discomfort you feel may range anywhere from mild to severe. Moving the affected area may trigger the pain or cause it to worsen.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are the most commonly prescribed drugs to those who are suffering from neck and shoulder pain. The problem with the intake of these medications is they yield unfavorable side effects most especially when taken for a long period of time. The application of liniment may also be done, although the topically used product may cause skin irritation in some.
It’s for these reasons why considering a few home remedies for dealing with neck and shoulder pain is a good idea. Some of them include:
• Alternating hot and cold compress – Doing this for about 20 minutes several times a day can help get rid of the pain and inflammation in the affected areas. If you have the problem, you may also take a shower using cold and water alternately to attain relief.
• Mobilizing the neck and shoulder – Immobilizing the painful area for a long time may only do more harm than good. That’s why after about 48 hours or when the pain and inflammation have subsided a bit, gently mobilizing the neck and shoulder can help in restoring function as well as flexibility and strength of the muscles in the area.
Neck and shoulder pain can be due to several different reasons. When having the problem, it’s very important to pinpoint the cause so that it may be managed appropriately. Here are the common causes:
• Poor posture. Naturally, it’s very likely for you to suffer from neck and shoulder pain if your posture is not top-notch. No matter if you are standing up, sitting down or lying, proper posture is important in order to have the problem avoided.
• Overuse of the muscles and joints of the neck and shoulders. Repeated movements of the neck and shoulder can cause pain in these areas as the muscles get fatigued and the joints are given more work than they could normally handle.
• A pinched neck or shoulder nerve. When there’s compression of the nerve in the neck or shoulder or too much pressure is applied to it, a condition called pinched nerve may occur. The pain felt also usually runs down on one side of your arm.
• Frozen neck or shoulder. A frozen neck or shoulder usually stems from the lack of movement due to pain and inflammation brought about by an injury. As more and more movement is introduced, the problem gradually goes away.
• Swelling of a tendon in the neck or shoulder area. Medically known as tendonitis, the swelling of a tendon (a band that attaches a muscle to a bone) can cause pain in the neck and shoulder, also causing the said areas to be frozen.
• Inflammation of the bursa. This condition which is also referred to as bursitis is brought about by overuse, trauma, gout, arthritis and infection, thus causing the bursa (sac surrounding the shoulder joint) to get inflamed.
• Whiplash and osteoarthritis. Both whiplash (injury to the neck due to forceful and rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck joint) and osteoarthritis (degeneration of the cartilage of a joint) may also result in neck and shoulder pain.
• Inflammation of the lymph nodes found in the neck. There are instances when pain in the neck and shoulders is brought about by an infection, causing the lymph nodes in the neck to get inflamed and tender.