What Causes Neck & Shoulder Tension

Migraines, headaches, poor concentration, neck pain, upper and lower back pain, weak arm strength, inability to move arms, neck or  shoulders freely can all be as a result of long-term  stress, tension and toxicity in the body. Stiffness, back spasms, pain and inflammation, are all often as a result of a build-up of lactic acid, congestion and lymph in the muscles. The other important factor to note is if your lower back is tight it can pull on your neck and upper back muscles too. Injury, poor posture, stress, tension, enzymes, diet and exercise can all play a huge role in the ability of muscles to be able to work properly.

Posture is so important for the correct maintenance and functioning of muscles. When the muscles become tight and tense the blood flow and lymph flow cannot fully get through the entire length of the muscles. Blood supply is critical for all areas of the body to ensure it is fed with nutrients, oxygen and the waste matter generated by the cells and muscles is cleansed away by lymph. So check your sitting positions, your standing positions and check how you lie in bed, is your pillow of good firmness and the right height for your neck?

Your neck and shoulder and upper back muscles may be very tense also due to poor digestive function. The digestive organs are all supported in the body through related muscles. When the digestive system is under strain e.g. lacking in digestive enzymes, or has nasty bacteria overload, the related muscles in the front upper chest weaken and thus tighten all surrounding muscles. Every muscle has a pair and a front and a back set of muscles which work in conjunction with them. Simply put if the front chest muscles weaken, it pulls on the upper back/neck muscles and tightens them. Each muscle group is connected to a specific internal organ, therefore when the muscles are stiff and tight or painful the organ can be compromised too or vice versa.

In this case by working on the actual cause of the digestive problem and working on all the related muscles you will feel enormous benefit. Plenty of water, minerals like zinc, magnesium, manganese are essential for the proper functioning of working muscles.  Good posture is critical, so get those shoulders back and tuck your tummy in! These may sound like simple things but they can make a massive difference to your health, energy and happiness. Here are two simple exercises you can practice to build up strength and stamina in the muscles. If long term pain persists always seek medical assistance. The root cause needs to be addressed which is where I work rather than just treating the issue short term with anti-inflammatories.

Torso Rotation

This move increases upper- and lower-back flexibility.

Cross your arms in front of you and place your right hand on the front of your left shoulder and your left hand on the front of your right shoulder. Gentle rotate your torso and head to one side as far as you can go—and return to center. Then rotate to the other side. Repeat 10 times on each side.


Sitting Knee Pillow Squeeze

This move strengthens the hip flexors and solidifies your core muscles and the foundation upon which your neck depends. You will feel this move in your hips and inner thighs.

Sit straight up in your chair—and place a thick pillow between your knees. Roll your hips forward. Hold the pillow with your thighs—squeeze and release. Repeat 20 times—and work up to three sets.

Deep breathing is also powerful too in building up your core muscles. Pilates is very good too but must be carried out consistently.