1. Check For Tightness Throughout The Day
Whether you’re sitting at your desk or out for a run, periodically check where your shoulders are. Are they relaxed or are your traps contracted? Are you shrugging your shoulders?
In the ideal state, your shoulders should be in line with your collarbone not higher or pushed forward. You can easily check this by simply letting your shoulders fall. You may realize you have them in a shrugged position too often.
2. Identifying Trigger Points
Trigger points are tight knots of muscle fiber that can’t relax. Trigger points are predominantly in the trapezius muscle, which stretches from the base of your skull, down to the middle of your back and over to your shoulder.
You could have multiple trigger points in one muscle, maybe a few inches apart. Muscle often feels denser and tighter at a trigger point more rope-like. When you push on it, pain spreads throughout the muscle area.
3. De-Stress Your Muscles
Trigger point pain is fairly common. Fortunately, there are some common ways to relieve it, possibly saving you a trip to the doctor.
Rub it out. Massage the trigger point and try to loosen up those taught muscle fibers. Soothe the hurt. Anti-inflammations can help wipe out muscle pain. So can a heating pad or ice pack. Yes, either temperature variation may work.
Find the root. Try to identify what’s “stressing out” your muscle. Then correct it so the knot in your muscle can “unwind.” Maybe it’s poor posture or an awkward work space or falling asleep in the lounge chair. Repetitive strain can make muscle fibers seize up.
Even mental stress can cause muscle tension and trigger points. Get moving. Aerobic exercise is very effective at combating trigger points. Try jumping jacks, swimming or other arm movements that engage the muscles in your shoulders and neck. Not only are you stretching the muscles, you’re increasing their blood supply, pumping in good nutrients and filtering out toxins,
4. Neck Rolls
Tilt the head to the right and slowly roll it down (chin to chest) and to the left (making a “U” shape). Then reverse to the right. Repeat 5 times in each direction. Only roll your head and neck sideways and forward—not to the back, as doing so increases the pressure on the cervical spine.