Many of us hold stress and tension in our neck and shoulders. If this sounds like you, take a deep breath and exhale for 5 seconds. Repeat until you feel better.
Now, let’s talk about neck and shoulder issues. In particular, those niggly knots!
The levator scapulae are a pair of hardworking muscles at the back of our neck. They attach to the shoulder blades, from the spine, and are under increased tension (being overstretched) when we sit with our head forward or are looking down constantly. Then we have the trapezius, our stingray shaped muscle,😀 nearest the surface.
I find knots galore in these beauties on many of my clients.
Knots are a result of poor posture and lack of blood flow to the muscle tissues. They consist of constricted muscle fibres where lovely oxygen rich blood isn’t flowing freely. Waste builds up leading to tight or sore muscles. Aside from having a massage where I would help manually bring heat and manipulate the deep muscle tissue, try the following:
Apply heat (heat packs/hot water bottle, have a bath, or steam/sauna). Please do not apply heat-pack directly to the skin and use for a maximum time of 30 minutes. Heat in all its glory dilates the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow easily.
When heated sufficiently, stretch. We were born to move and move our muscles, we must!
If you don’t fancy applying heat, doing an activity that warms you up or makes you sweat, is even better. Remember to warm up and cool down. Gently does it.
Hydrate. Water has too many benefits to name but staying hydrated, especially during/after exercise, is really important. A hydrated body heals faster (as water increases our blood volume bringing nutrients to the cells and removing waste products from them that much quicker).
These are my tips for reducing neck and shoulder tension. If you are suffering from ongoing pain, please see your health professional for a physical check-up.
A stretched muscle is elongated, lengthened…r e l a x e d.
An overstretched muscle is weak and usually has an overworked muscle opposing it. Like most things in life, it’s about finding the balance. Your body doesn’t love being over-worked and it doesn’t appreciate being under-used!
Be kind to your body, you only have the one.
Thanks for reading