Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Massage Neck and Shoulder Pain Away in a Few Minutes

All of us suffer from neck and shoulder pain from time to time. No matter what the cause, sleeping in a bad position, cricking with a sudden movement, general stress or sitting in front of a computer for too long, it can be very distracting and if it does not get better, downright painful. It doesn't have to be that way and I am going to give you three massage tips you can carry out on yourself to relieve these pains in a few minutes.

The first concerns neck pain involving those long muscles that run up either side of your neck from behind your jaw bone up behind your ear until it finally disappears into a narrow vee of bone in your skull. That final point is almost level with the top of your ear. Run your thumb slowly up that muscle until you are able to pinpoint it exactly. When stressed, this muscle is tender all of its length, in which case you can slowly move your thumb along it with a screwing motion and pressure to suit, to relieve the pain. Very often it is most tender right at the very top of the vee. If this is so, you can press your thumb into it as hard as you dare, pushing into it, and hold the pressure for say thirty seconds or so and then release really really slowly, just as slowly as you can. Repeat several times or as many as you wish.

The muscle will of course remain tender for a time, but you will find you can move your neck more easily and you will get relief from the pain.

Now, moving to your shoulders, once again, those long muscles running up behind each of your shoulder blades can be really annoying when sore. You can get relief by doing the following. Lean forward in a sitting position at your desk placing both of your elbows on the surface. Flop your hand over the shoulder where the pain is. For example, if the pain is in your right shoulder use your left hand, leaning on your right arm, and if in the left shoulder use your right hand leaning on your left arm. Feel right down the muscle as far as you can reach and dig around with your finger tips until you find it exactly. You will surprise yourself as to just how far down you can reach. Using the soft pads of you fingers commence massaging in a circular motion. Work your way slowly up the muscle all the way to the top or where the pain runs out. Repeat as many times as you wish or you feel some relief.

This practice is probably not as good as getting a professional massage, but it is something you can do on your own and in a few minutes only, that will give you relief until you can get treatment or it subsides of its own accord.

The third technique is the real killer, to do with the shoulders and is more proactive as you can practice it anytime, anywhere. If you get in to the habit of doing it regularly you will find that many of the shoulder muscle pains previously experienced will disappear completely, be much moderated and occur with much less frequency, if at all. So it is worth learning.

To begin, in a sitting position, with your hands in your lap, grasp one wrist with the other hand. With your eyes closed and looking straight ahead as if you were looking at your own back, imagine a horizontal line between your shoulder blades with arrows at each end thrusting outward as if they are spreading the shoulder blades. This is what you need to achieve, spreading your shoulder blades outward. Push your elbows forward slightly and begin to work the muscles high up in your back in an outward spreading motion.

This will feel quite strange to begin with as nothing seems to work. You will jiggle your shoulders and roll them around to no effect. Keep your shoulders absolutely still. You will need to persist over and over and work those muscles in all sorts of directions until you click on the right one. When you find the right combination you will suddenly find that you can push those muscles outward along that imaginary line quite easily and with quite an amount of pressure. This opens up your whole shoulder blade area and with practice and in time you will find that upper back muscle pain will pretty much, if not completely, disappear.

I mentioned earlier that this is a proactive technique in that if you practice regularly it will keep that area of your back in a more relaxed and healthier state so that you will prevent muscular pain rather than fixing it once it arrives.

Once you have mastered the technique you can practice anywhere. For example, standing with hands clasped in front of you, hands in your pockets, grasping a horizontal bar, both hands on the top of your steering wheel when driving, sitting anywhere, the list is endless.

The key to all this is to keep your muscles relaxed and happy and the beauty of these three techniques is that you can do them all yourself. You can do them in a few minutes, you do not need to go to a professional and if you work on them in a pro-active way they will go a long way toward keeping your shoulders and neck in a relaxed and healthy state so that pain in those areas will be largely pre-empted. Much of your earlier muscle pain will disappear and if your muscles are relaxed and happy, then so will you be.

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