Here’s a confession for you… I cannot remember a day when I didn’t have sore, tight shoulders and an aching neck. Working from a laptop every day has naturally had a negative impact on my posture. And, whenever I’m stressed, I have a habit of tensing my shoulders, which ultimately leads to neck pain (and neck pain sometimes evolves into a migraine).
I’m not out here looking for sympathy. Because I know that I’m not the only one who is constantly plagued by tight muscles, knotty shoulders and a stiff neck. These aches and pains are very much part and parcel with our current, technology-centric lifestyles.
And, let’s face it, as draining as neck and shoulder pain can be, no one is willing (or able) to completely cut back on their screen time. So, in place of saying “never sit at a desk / stop working at a computer screen”, here are some more practical ways to ease aching muscles…
3 Ways to Relieve Neck & Shoulder Pain
1. Get A Weightless Night’S Sleep
Did you know that the material used in TEMPUR pillows and mattresses was originally created for NASA, to relieve the pressure on astronauts during lift-off into space? It took scientists 10 years to develop the original TEMPUR material, which conforms to your shape and weight.
So if you’re constantly struggling with shoulder and neck pain, and always feel stiff and achey when you wake up, now would be the perfect time to invest in a TEMPUR pillow. Their pillows have been designed to relieve discomfort and support your head, neck and shoulder while you sleep.
It’s my birthday next month, so I’ve popped TEMPUR’s ergonomic pillow at the top of my birthday wish list! If the technology is good enough for astronauts, it’s good enough for me…
2. Make Time for Daily Stretching
As you know, yoga plays a key role in my general wellbeing. I usually do 3-4 yoga classes a week. And my tight shoulders instantly feel better after each class.
My favourite poses for neck and shoulder pain are extended puppy pose, cow face pose, thread the needle and standing forward bends. And I also recommend following Yoga With Adriene’s “Text Neck” video if your neck and shoulder pain is really bad.
This year I’m really keen to give aerial yoga a go, too. It looks like sooo much fun, and would definitely help replicate the weightless/anti-gravity feel you would experience in space!
3. Adjust Your Handbag Habits
A few years ago I had to see a physiotherapist, because my I had some issues with my spine and rib cage. Ultimately it all linked back to my knotty neck and shoulders. And one of the best pieces of advice the physio gave me is to adjust my handbag habits. Here are the three guidelines he set me…
The best practise: Carry a light and small, cross-body bag whenever possible.
If a small handbag isn’t an option: Use a backpack, so the weight is evenly dispersed across your back.
If a backpack really ruins your outfit: Make sure you’re switching your bag between arms/shoulders throughout the day. Most of us naturally favour one side of our body (I usually carry my handbag on my right shoulder), but this throws our posture off-balance. So try to switch your bag between left and right every 30 minutes.