How to loosen a stiff neck and shoulders during the winter months - Paul Gough Physio Rooms

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How to loosen a stiff neck and shoulders during the winter months

Are you experiencing neck and shoulder pain and looking for tips to help loosen a stiff neck and stiff shoulders?

Is your new lockdown or winter routine causing you neck or shoulder pain?

Has your routine been turned upside down since we went into another UK lockdown?

People are doing a lot of different things now, bringing new aches and pains. We’ve been talking to patients in the clinic that have been experiencing new pains from…

Playing with kids all day, picking them up more frequently, and trying to home school

Trying new ways to exercise now that the gyms are closed…

Trying to “work from home” without a proper desk and chair…

Doing more housework, gardening, or DIY, and experiencing new neck or shoulder pain that wasn’t there before.

Shoulder tension and general neck stiffness often creeps up on people with zero warning. There’s sometimes no explanation as to why you might all of a sudden wake up one morning with the type of neck pain that is daily, annoying, and nagging – we speak to lots of patients that say the pain is to the point where it can make it difficult to enjoy life.

It often happens due to an accumulation of things, such as sleeping with two pillows, reading the newspaper, reading in bed, spending all day looking at a computer screen, cleaning the house, ironing, prepping family meals, and everything else that we’ve already included above that you could be doing now we are in another UK lockdown.

Lots of these things might sound small, but like anything that is done repetitively, no matter how small a task, eventually the impact builds up, and causes pain stiffness and tension.

Most people think when they get neck or shoulder pain, that the pain is going to go away on its own. That they’ll wake up one morning and like “magic”, it’ll be as if it never happened… But then 6 months later you’re still living with nagging pain even worse than it was when it came on.

Can you relate to this? If yes… You are not alone! 

You might be reading this, and you’ve suddenly just started experiencing pain since your routine changed, or maybe you have been experiencing neck and shoulder pain for a while and you finally want to look for some advice to help.

Here’s some tips from us below, to help with neck and shoulder pain…

3 ways to (…naturally) help annoying, daily, irritating neck and shoulder pain, from disturbing sleep and causing severe headaches!

1. Use ice (not heat) to stop pain.

Ice is by far the best way to ease knee pain. Our tip: Use ice whenever you’re feeling achy or painful, such as at the end of a very busy day. Apply and ice pack for 10 minutes or so, little but very often (every hour).

And when to use heat – my tip would be to apply a hot water bottle on a morning when your neck and shoulder is likely to be feeling more stiff, than painful. Again, 10 minutes should do it.

2. Sleep with one soft pillow.

Might be difficult at first, especially if you are used to two pillows. But, if you can persist, it lowers the amount of stretching and the tension, happening at your neck.

Frequent headaches, migraines, and constant shoulder tension (…and even an unhealthy looking posture) are a sign of spending 8 hours every night in the wrong position. Drop down to just one soft pillow and you will notice a difference.

3. Avoid reading for more than 20 minutes in bed

The reason why is because your head looking forwards and down at a book or Kindle, is increasing tension in muscles. It’s a bit like stretching an elastic band too far – eventually it will “fray” and even snap.

Worse, at this late time in the day, your muscles are already tired and weak. And by placing them under even more tension so late in the day, will make more tension and headaches through the night, inevitable.

…These 3 tips might sound like small changes, but believe us, in the same way that lots of tiny little changes add up to cause problems in your 40s, 50s and 60s, lots of little improvements or alterations will also combine to leave you feeling less stiff, less tense, and living with more energy and freedom.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing lots more tips to help people that are experiencing aches and pains during the winter months and during another UK lockdown.

In case you missed it, we focused on tips to help with knee pain last week (click here to read the blog post).

We are here for you…

We can offer you specialist “do this, but don’t do that” advice, and provide you with clarity and hope for the future.

If you’re in pain and would like to talk to us about getting some help, some specialist advice, or if you are looking for a diagnosis, remember we are always here to help you.

We are safely offering both face-to-face and virtual appointments.

If you would like to get one of our limited slots, please click here to complete our enquiry form or CALL us on 01429 866771.

Paul Gough
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