Easy Ways To Ease Neck And Shoulder Pain That Keeps You Up Late At Night

Let’s talk about neck and shoulder pain, the one thing that gets on most people’s nerves because they don’t know what to do about it and think it’s just something they have to get on with day in, day out…

Meet John for example…

John is a long-standing patient of mine, and, as a painter and decorator, his job involves a mixture of heavy lifting to get around objects and standing on ladders at awkward angles to reach difficult spots on the walls.

A few months ago, John came to us with a daily, irritating pain in his left shoulder, and couldn’t understand why all of a sudden this pain could come on just from painting!

And it’s true! No one likes to believe it, but even a simple activity like painting (that you’d never think could cause an injury), can bring on shoulder pain.

Before coming in to see us, John’s left shoulder hadn’t felt right for weeks.

After the initial pain came on, he tried to get around it by switching up his job and painting with his right hand instead of his left, but all of the detailed trim and edge work could only be done with his left hand – which meant he had to grit his teeth and get on with it…

But even with the reduced workload, his shoulder was still in agony which meant he had to take two whole weeks off work – which isn’t great when you’re self-employed!

So what happened to John?

Something called ‘repetitive strain injury’ – this happens when a part of the body is overused while working in the wrong posture. Symptoms often include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Stiffness
  • Throbbing
  • Weakness and cramp

At first, you might only notice this kind of injury when you’re carrying out a particular task over and over again – in John’s case, painting. But if you don’t do something to ease the pain as soon as you feel it, it can end up lasting longer, cause swelling and can even stop you from going about your day and sleeping peacefully at night.

Any of this sound familiar?

If like John, you’re suffering from ANY aches of pains in your neck or shoulder area, then the good news is I’ve given you some quick and easy tips that you can do to help ease it right away…

Use Ice (…Not Heat) To Stop Pain

Ice by far is the best, (and quickest way) to ease pain.

My tip for you would be to apply ice as soon as you feel a slight twinge, or even a hint of neck or shoulder pain coming on, and to apply it whenever you’re feeling achy or painful – such as at the end of a very long day.

Apply an ice pack for 10 minutes at a time – little and often, every hour.

Use Heat To Ease Stiffness

Just like ice, heat can also help to treat shoulder pain, inflammation and swelling.

When to use it? I tell my patients to apply a hot water bottle on a morning when your neck or shoulder is likely to be feeling more stiff than painful. Again, 10 minutes should do it.

Sleep With The Correct Pillows:

Here’s a great tip you can start using as soon as tonight!

It might be difficult at first, especially if you’re used to sleeping with a certain pillow arrangement. Lie down on your side and put in pillows until you feel that your spine is in the correct alignment. Ask someone to look at your spine from behind to see if it’s in the correct position. Also make sure that you haven’t squashed your shoulder you lying on. This will lower the amount of stretching and tension it brings to your neck and shoulder area.

Shoulder tension and pain can be made worse by spending 8 hours every night in the wrong position.

If your Neck and Shoulder Pain has been annoying you for 9 days or more- you can, then, be sure that it’s not going to go away on its own.

Here at Apple Physio, all of our team have vast experience dealing with Neck and Shoulder Pain so if you need treatment or any advice please don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you’d like more info on this, and some easy, actionable tips you can use now to start easing your neck and shoulder. We have a free neck and shoulder pain guide that we can send you.

Connect with us on 01344 489 398(Bracknell) , 01753 866274 (Windsor) or email us on bracknell@applephysio.com and tell us what’s going on.

A member of the team can take your details and we can email or post you a copy.

About the Author: Leslie Abrahams and the Apple Physio team


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Leslie is a Physio, Pilates Educator and Rehab Specialist who has a special interest in Spinal Treatments, lower limb injuries, and has vast experience dealing with patients post injury or surgery. Every week, for over 20 years, 100’s of people aged 30-64+ have consulted the Apple Physio team looking for answers to concerning questions about, and for, a fast end to their health worries and physical pains and stiffness.

 Leslie is a Master Trainer for the world renowned Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute(APPI). He is regular key note speaker at conferences and travels internationally to present on modified exercise for rehabilitation. Leslie is the Director of Apple Physio Clinics situated in Bracknell and Windsor. Berkshire’s Specialist Private Physiotherapy Practice for People in their 30’s. 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, who want to keep healthy and active.

3 Things We Do Everyday That Cause Neck Pain… (And Do What You Can Do To Ease It Quick!)

Lets play a fun quiz that might help you live with less neck pain…

(And if you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions… read on!)

When you sleep at night, do you find yourself sleeping on your stomach? Or with more than one pillow in a twisted position?

When you’re relaxing at home, do you find yourself looking up at the TV screen because it’s hung up high on the wall?

When you’re out and about do you carry your bag on one shoulder? Or hold your heavy brief case in one hand?

Chances are, you’ve answered ‘yes’ to at least one of these questions.

I may be wrong, your bag might not be heavy, and you might sleep with just the one pillow, but the reason why I guessed you’d answered ‘yes’ to one of these questions is because over the years, almost every patient that walks into our clinic who has been suffering with neck pain, has been doing one of these things.

So it’s no surprise that during my time as a Physio that one of the most regular injuries I see is ‘neck pain’.

And without even realising it, things that we do everyday can cause it.

So lets take a look 3 of the most common everyday mistakes I’ve found my patients doing that cause their ‘neck pain’…

  1. Watching TV

Watching TV is a habit – not saying it’s good or bad! But the real issue with watching TV, is HOW you watch it!

Are you doing it the way I see most of my friends and family watch it… With the TV hung above the fire place high on the wall, kicked back with your feet up (and neck!), while watching your favourite TV soap opera?

Even though you might think it’s comfortable and relaxing, truth is, there could be a problem waiting for you! If you’re watching TV like this it can be strenuous for your neck and head.

A lot of people make the same mistake, they don’t realise that the position they have it in, can actually affect their body and health.

Anyway, how to fix it? There’s a reason why TV stands are almost always the same height, and any decent one will mean that if you’re sitting on the sofa watching TV, the TV will be at eye level.

Watch TV so your head isn’t looking upwards, or reaching out, and this should help you avoid headaches, eye trouble and muscle tension.

  1. Your Bag

Carrying your bag on one shoulder, or holding a heavy brief case in one hand is something most of us are guilty of doing, but did you know that’s also one of the main causes of aches and pains in your neck and shoulders?

You see, since all of the weight of your bag is on one shoulder, or on one side of the body, it can throw your muscles and posture off balance, which is why you sometimes see people with one shoulder higher than the other!

Another thing, they way we carry our bags can cause our muscles to become stiff too.

So the way to solve this problem is reduce the weight of your bag, and to switch up the side you carry it on periodically.

Switching your bag over to the opposite side will help to balance out the way your body carries the weight, relieving any tension built up in your muscles, and solving any posture problems too! Switch it up every 10 minutes, or every time you walk past two streets.

  1. How We Sleep

Another daily habit that brings on neck pain is the way we sleep.

You see if you sleep with your head propped up on more than one pillow, your neck, and back aren’t going to be nicely in-line – meaning more pressure on your muscles and spine.

And if you find yourself sleeping on your stomach, your head is most likely going to be turned on it’s side – meaning your body is in a twisted position all night for hours!

Now can you see why you might wake up with a bit of a sore neck?…

Although your neck is built to rotate from side to side, it’s not designed to stay in that position for hours on end. So if you choose to sleep on your side, use a pillow that doesn’t prop your head too high up, but in-line with your shoulder instead. And if you choose to sleep on your back, sleep with one thin pillow so your neck and spine are nicely straight.

If you’d like more info on this, and some easy, actionable tips you can use now to start easing your Neck Pain. We have a Neck pain guide that we can send you. Connect with us on 01344 489398 or email us on bracknell@applephysio.com and tell us what’s going on with your neck. A member of the team can take your details and we can email or post you a copy.

About the Author: Leslie Abrahams and the Apple Physio team


fullsizeoutput_39a3

Leslie is a Physio, Pilates Educator and Rehab Specialist who has a special interest in Spinal Treatments, lower limb injuries, and has vast experience dealing with patients post injury or surgery. Every week, for over 20 years, 100’s of people aged 30-64+ have consulted the Apple Physio team looking for answers to concerning questions about, and for, a fast end to their health worries and physical pains and stiffness.

 Leslie is a Master Trainer for the world renowned Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute(APPI). He is regular key note speaker at conferences and travels internationally to present on modified exercise for rehabilitation. Leslie is the Director of Apple Physio Clinics situated in Bracknell and Windsor. Berkshire’s Specialist Private Physiotherapy Practice for People in their 30’s. 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, who want to keep healthy and active.