Stiff Neck & Shoulders | The Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Neck and shoulder stiffness is one of the more common health problems. However, there is no age- or gender-related pattern that’s behind this chronic pain.

The major issue regarding neck and shoulder stiffness is how people neglect it and don’t resort to a doctor until their pain gets adverse and eventually unbearable. This is a serious mistake that many people make, thus ending up harming themselves more than what it would have in the first place.

It’s better that you get your neck and shoulder stiffness checked up ASAP by some therapist who would resolve the problem sooner and more effectively.

But What Exactly Is Neck and Shoulder Stiffness/Tightness?


In my clinic, I like to refer to stiffness and tightness as two separate issues. In fact, they both are taken synonymous by the majority, including health practitioners, but as a clinician, it’s essential that I know the difference between the two to allow for better treatment of my patients.

Stiffness Vs. Tightness


Stiffness in the muscles usually results from its overuse, primarily. When muscles undergo stiffness, the blood vessels find it difficult to pass blood through them, and when you do some training, your body tends to feel heavier and aches a lot quicker. If you ever have had muscle stiffness, it’s possibly due to keeping your head in the same static position the entire day.

Tightness, however, leads to limiting the range of movement. Tightness itself occurs when some muscles in the body are injured and the tissues around that injured area seize up to act as a protective sheath. So if you have ever heard your back twinge while getting up and ended up finding difficulty in tying your shoelaces, it’s probably muscle tightness.

What Causes Stiff Neck and Shoulders?


As aforementioned, stiffness in the neck or shoulder could be an outcome of prolonged sitting in the same posture throughout the day.

When you aren’t moving your muscles over the entire day, you are signalling your body that you don’t need any further range of movement, thus causing the stiffness. Another important reason why many people experience stiffness in the neck is because of their poor posture while using their mobile devices.

How to Deal with This Discomfort?


Neck or shoulder stiffness could make you feel dreadful, especially if you have loads of things to do and you aren’t able to do them because of the limitations in your range of movements. If you have stiff neck and shoulders, try doing the following exercises to reduce the stiffness:

  • Shoulder Rolls X 15—This easy and effective exercise involves rolling your neck 15 times clockwise and then 15 times anticlockwise.
  • Neck Rotations—This includes moving your neck as far as to your left and then to right. However, be careful with not going too fast.

Additional Exercises To Follow

Thanks to our Physio Inq team from Harrington Parkthe girls have teamed up to show you some easy and effective ways of dealing with your stiff neck and shoulders. Check out their video below. 

There is no need to live with tightness and stiffness. If you still feel you need professional help, contact us today by booking in with one of your local Physio Inq Physiotherapists today. Live a life with less limits. 

Jonathan Moody
Author, CEO & Founder of Physio Inq

Jonathan Moody

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