What is neck and shoulder pain?

Neck and shoulder pain is a discomfort which is felt around the area of the neck, upper back and shoulders. It occasionally may radiate down one or both arms depending on the root of the cause. Recent studies have shown that due to the pandemic neck and shoulder pain has increased dramatically.

What causes neck and shoulder pain?

There are numerous causes of neck and shoulder pain. The most common cause associated with the recent pandemic is working from home and having lack of physical activity. Poor posture and long working hours at a computer added to the above causes and it all results in muscle tightness around that area. Moreover, there are more serious condition which may result in neck and shoulder pain and those include, but are not limited to, a direct injury or trauma, disc bulge, nerve compression, spondylosis (spine arthritis), cancers or tumours and cervical arterial disease (disease of blood vessels in the neck).

What are the symptoms of neck and shoulder pain?

There are many symptoms which can be felt around the neck and shoulders. Most often you may feel uncomfortable and nagging tightness and ache which is commonly present around the shoulders and at the top of the neck due to muscle tension. Muscle tension around those areas may also contribute to the development of tension headaches. Moreover, depending on the root cause of the problem, you might also experience sharp pain during neck movement, severe headaches, pins and needles, tingling, numbness or weakness radiating down one or both of your arms, night pain, night sweats and dizziness. You may observe reduced mobility and stiffness of the neck and the upper back area too.

What is a sports massage?

It is a type of massage which is taught as a part of syllabus in degrees such as Sports Therapy or Sports Rehabilitation. The qualification of sports massage therapist may also be obtained doing a separate course at level 3, 4 or 5. Because there are no laws to protect the public from incompetence of certain therapists, make sure to check that your therapist is registered with an appropriate governing body to show that the therapist is professional, committed and has required qualifications to deliver a treatment of a good standard.

Also, sports massage can feel very similar to Swedish or deep tissue massage as techniques used are essentially the same. Those involve:

  • Effleurage – gentle and soothing strokes over the skin to warm up muscles and get them ready for deeper work.
  • Petrissage – is kneading and wringing of the muscles whilst applying a deep pressure. It helps to loosen the muscle tension.
  • Tapotement – is percussion techniques which can be applied using fingers, edge of the hands or cupped hands. This type of technique helps to revitalise the working muscles, increase the excitability and warm them up for a physical activity.
  • Friction – is very focused and deep pressure applied on a specific area of the muscle. It helps to break down adhesions and scar tissue as well as loosen off tight muscles.

What are the benefits of sports massage?

There are several benefits of sports massage. Those include:

  • Relaxation.
  • Release of muscle tension and spasm.
  • Release adhesions. 
  • Break down scar tissue.
  • Improved circulation.
  • Increase the range of motion of joints. 
  • Improves muscle flexibility.
  • Helps to alleviate delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) after physical activity.
  • help to manage anxiety and stress. 
  • Helps to warm up and cool down.
  • Increases efficiency of recovery after an injury when used with appropriate rehabilitation programs.

How does sports massage help with neck and shoulder pain?

Sports massage helps to reduce the muscle tension which in turn helps to improve the circulation. This can help to reduce the level of pain or ache that you are experiencing or make it subside completely. Looser muscles will help to regain movement in the upper back and neck too. Furthermore, reduced tension of the muscles can help you to manage or completely get rid of tension type headaches if you are experiencing any. If you are suffering from one or more severe cases, sports massage might help you to manage your symptoms, but it will not treat the root of the cause.

If you are not sure if sports massage is for you, talk to the professional of a clinic you are about to attend and ask for advice.

We hope this information is useful for you. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us 3 mins away from Angel station in Islington. We are always happy to help. If you like this blog, please share!

References:

https://www.hong.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/hoy2010.pdf 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664516/

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