Neck and Shoulder Pain

What causes shoulder and neck pain?

Like most other areas of the body, it can depend on many different factors, however, for many people posture (or poor posture to be exact) will play a part.  Other issues like arthritis, whiplash, and general wear and tear in your cervical vertebrae (neck) can also cause problems.  If you get neck and shoulder pain from playing sports, or doing a physical job / activity, please call or email us so we can discuss your symptoms.

What is and what causes (poor) posture?

Your posture is the position your body holds itself in when you are standing, or seated.  As a population we have become more and more sedentary, which means we sit down for longer periods.  Sitting down (and not sitting well) can cause neck and shoulder pain, as well as low back pain.  If you sit badly for long enough, then your body adjusts and adapts (think about it like a low level gym training) to accommodate this poor posture.  What can happen over time is those postural adaptations that have occurred through excessive sitting, transfer to your standing posture as well.

The right and wrong way to sit at a desk

The image across, shows the difference between good and bad posture at a desk. From the image you'll be able to see how when you sit incorrectly, the upper back is rounded and the back of the neck shortens towards the rest of the spine. What this picture doesn't really show is how the shoulders will also come forward when not sitting correctly. This leads to a shortening and tightening of the chest muscles as well, which in turn can lead to nerve entrapment down the arm and RSI type symptoms in the hand and wrist

proper sitting posture vs. poor sitting posture


If like many people you work at a desk for long hours, then it could simply be a question of breaking up your day a little. Why not try setting a regular alarm every 30mins, so you can get up stretch and/or get a glass of water. Many offices also now have standing desks, so why not try one of those for a little while? (be careful though, because standing still all day can also cause problems). For people with chronic postural problems I always suggest to my clients a postural based exercise class, such as Pilates, or Yoga.


Here at The Centre, we have a number of therapies that can be supportive in reducing neck and shoulder pain. Any of our Massage Therapies, Acupuncture, Bowen Therapy, or Cranio-Sacral Therapy may be suitable. We also offer Yoga and Pilates classes as well.


James Barnett