As a massage therapist and Pilates teacher, I rarely welcome someone into the studio with perfectly relaxed neck and shoulders. This is a spot that holds tension for a lot of people. And not addressing it can lead to more pain and issues.
So what kind of things can cause problems in the neck and shoulders?
Long hours at a computer
There are many things that can cause discomfort (this is not a comprehensive list)!
If you had an issue, would you know what it was? Would you know what to do about it? Knowledge is power, as they say. And I always feel better knowing what's going on in my body.
So, you can see a massage therapist, movement therapist, pilates teacher, GP to see what's going on. You can educate yourself a bit on Dr Google (be careful...that can be frightening!) or seek out workshops or talks where you can learn more about it.
The neck and shoulders involve very few bones, but a complicated system of muscles, ligaments and tendons. There are a lot of nerves in this area as well and with inflammation often comes loss of sensation in fingers and hands.
There are lots of easy stretches and exercises to keep you in shape. If you are active, get in the habit of stretching regularly. If you are inactive, start moving and get yourself into a Pilates class to support your neck, back and shoulders.
In February I'll be running a workshop at Bodyworks Studio on the neck and shoulders. We'll discuss a bit about what can happen in this area (things I see regularly in clinic), learn a little relevant anatomy and finish with a stretch and release session. There will be time for lots of questions.
Until then, keep moving, stay hydrated and S T R E T C H.