Stress and modern office life can put a lot of strain on your shoulders. Many people suffer constant discomfort or stiffness in their shoulders that can get worse over time if left untreated. There are a few simple steps you can take to alleviate shoulder tension and improve your overall health.
Desk Posture and Exercises
The majority of modern shoulder tension and stiffness comes from sitting at a desk all day looking down at a computer screen. Looking down puts strain on your neck, which then puts strain on your shoulders. The first step towards loosening up is to limit how much time you spend looking down during the day. Try sitting your computer up on an elevated platform that allows you to look directly at the screen.
You should also take a couple minutes each hour to do some simple shoulder and neck stretches. Roll each shoulder in a circular motion 10 times. Raise and lower your arms 10 times, then stretch both arms behind your back until you can clasp your hands. Hold that stretch for five counts. Roll your neck slowly, starting with your chin on your left shoulder and working your way around to the right shoulder.
Alternate Heat and Ice
If you're in constant or long-term pain, contact a doctor for a consultation. But if your shoulders only cause you occasional, tension-related discomfort, you can try alternating heat and ice packs when you're at home. Purchase the hot/cold packs that look like a long tube filled with rice. These can go in the microwave or freezer, hold that temperature for an extended period of time and fit well across the shoulders and around the neck. Buy two of the packs so that you can keep one in the freezer at all times and use the other for heating.
Apply the packs for as long as comfortable or for at least 15 minutes. Start with ice then switch to heat. Repeat this procedure daily until the soreness starts to let up.
Get a Massage
Regular massages can help loosen the shoulder muscles and keep stiffness and soreness at bay. Chair massages are sufficient for minor aches as they are fast, focus only on the shoulder and head region, and tend to be cheaper than a full-body massage. If your problem is more long-term, or if you have multiple aches you need treated, sign up for a more intensive massage type. Hot stone and shiatsu massages are particularly good for helping aching shoulders. For more information about the different massage types, contact a company such as Euro Spa Of Naples.