Author Topic: Back/Shoulder Pain  (Read 4634 times)

SouthernTransplant

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Back/Shoulder Pain
« on: March 30, 2015, 07:44:04 AM »
Hi all,

Over the past few months, I have been waking up with recurring back/shoulder/neck pain.  I originally thought this was due to our 10 year old mattress, which had started to sag in the middle.  I ordered a replacement mattress (memory foam from BedinaBox.com) - I was SO excited to receive it, because I thought it might magically take care of the problem.  Unfortunately, I still wake up most mornings with shoulder pain, and frequently lower back and neck stiffness to go along with it.

I am and always have been a side sleeper, and have never experienced this type of discomfort before.  As the day goes on, the pain tends to go away (or I get used to it, maybe).  This is what led me to believe it was a bed problem.  I can't think of any recent injury, or anything major that has changed.  We did have a baby this year, so I have been sleeping a little less - though I don't think this is related.

Anyway, I wanted to see if anyone here had suggestions that might be worth trying.  It's getting to the point where I dread going to bed because I know I will wake up in pain.  I have a (maybe unfounded) distrust of chiropractors, because I don't want to set myself up for recurring visits that wouldn't be covered by my health plan.  However, a number of people I have talked to swear by them.  Any other ideas that I should try?  Should I start training myself to sleep on my back?  Or should I just suck it up and go to a chiropractor/doctor?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Thanks in Advance!

frugaliknowit

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 07:49:05 AM »
Consider taking a yoga class.  It really helps.

Cwadda

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 08:00:07 AM »
I would say go to a Physical Therapist once. And do exactly what they tell you at home.

nereo

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2015, 08:08:52 AM »
...
Over the past few months, I have been waking up with recurring back/shoulder/neck pain.  I originally thought this was due to our 10 year old mattress, which had started to sag in the middle.  I ordered a replacement mattress (memory foam from BedinaBox.com) - I was SO excited to receive it, because I thought it might magically take care of the problem.  Unfortunately, I still wake up most mornings with shoulder pain, and frequently lower back and neck stiffness to go along with it.
your best bet is to talk to your doctor/physical therapist, but for my personal experience...
I've gone through the exact same thing.  It got so bad that I'd wake up several times a night with pain in my shoulders, which led to me being sleep-deprived, which seriously effected my quality of life...  By late morning the pain dissapeared, but it always returned each night when I slept.

what I ultimately determined was that it was caused by a combination of sitting at a desk for hours and a general lack of exercise (particularly my upper body and core).  It basically goes away now as long as I can 1) exercise at least 5 days a week (swimming works best for me, ymmv), and 2) when I can do the simple stretches listed here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/multimedia/shoulder-stretches/vid-20084699.  I do them at my desk 2-3 times per day and it really helps... especially the ones where I push my shoulder blades together.
Also, check that you have good posture and monitor/keyboard placement when working at a desk for several hours; bad positioning can aggravate the situation.
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/office-ergonomics/art-20046169

Also - try drinking tonic water before going to bed. The quinine helps relax muscles.  Add lime and gin if you like
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 09:51:45 AM by nereo »

Cwadda

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2015, 08:20:25 AM »
Quote
Also - try drinking tonic water before going to bed. The quinine helps relax muscles.  Add lime and gin if you like

Ah, good point. Try an 8 oz glass per day. Maybe lay off the alcohol too if you don't drink tons of water too :)

Vertical Mode

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2015, 08:22:25 AM »
Hi all,

Over the past few months, I have been waking up with recurring back/shoulder/neck pain.  I originally thought this was due to our 10 year old mattress, which had started to sag in the middle.  I ordered a replacement mattress (memory foam from BedinaBox.com) - I was SO excited to receive it, because I thought it might magically take care of the problem.  Unfortunately, I still wake up most mornings with shoulder pain, and frequently lower back and neck stiffness to go along with it.

I am and always have been a side sleeper, and have never experienced this type of discomfort before.  As the day goes on, the pain tends to go away (or I get used to it, maybe).  This is what led me to believe it was a bed problem.  I can't think of any recent injury, or anything major that has changed.  We did have a baby this year, so I have been sleeping a little less - though I don't think this is related.

Anyway, I wanted to see if anyone here had suggestions that might be worth trying.  It's getting to the point where I dread going to bed because I know I will wake up in pain.  I have a (maybe unfounded) distrust of chiropractors, because I don't want to set myself up for recurring visits that wouldn't be covered by my health plan.  However, a number of people I have talked to swear by them.  Any other ideas that I should try?  Should I start training myself to sleep on my back?  Or should I just suck it up and go to a chiropractor/doctor?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Thanks in Advance!

Do you work seated at a computer/workstation throughout the day? I just had my last PT session for something similar to what you're describing this morning, and they said that imperfect posture at a computer desk can create all kinds of tightness and tension in your upper back and neck. It started several months ago with a minor back injury that set off a chain-reaction where everything in my back was so tight that it turned into a bigger issue. 5-6 PT appointments seems to have fixed the issue for me, amazing what stretching and light exercise consistently did.

Second the yoga idea, that stuff is magic. I need to start taking classes again.

SouthernTransplant

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2015, 08:32:13 AM »
Wow, thanks for all the great responses everyone!



Do you work seated at a computer/workstation throughout the day?




This is a great point.  I started a new job about 10 months ago, and I find myself sitting at a desk a LOT more than I had in the past.  I'm guessing that isn't a coincidence!

HenryDavid

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2015, 08:39:05 AM »
For working at a computer desk all day, ergonomics is key.
We had ergonmists set up our desks at work one year and it was a huge benefit for avoiding the back and neck pain. See if you can get this done.

2ndTimer

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2015, 08:43:28 AM »
We went to a chiropractor for this.  It helped the Hub quite a bit and me not at all.  So that avenue had a 50% success rate in our house.

KungfuRabbit

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2015, 09:07:57 AM »
I agree with the above. I find most generic back pain is too much sitting and not enough exercise.

Ynari

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2015, 09:28:23 AM »
It could be due to anything, but sitting/stress/not moving is common in today's world.  If you work all day, trying doing neck and back exercises (or getting up for a quick walk) at least once every hour.

I bought this book a year or two ago because I liked his book Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery, aimed at dancers and gymnasts. Ignoring the attempt at science to support his theories, his exercises are sound and helpful (well, also, there are enough options that you can pick the ones that work best for you). 
http://www.amazon.com/Relax-Your-Neck-Liberate-Shoulders/dp/0871272482

I also want to reiterate someone's suggestion of going to a physical therapist once or twice and doing what they tell you RELIGIOUSLY. If they say "every night do X, Y, Z" then do that.

Stockmom

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2015, 09:33:25 AM »
I had similar pain and after trying for a long time to figure out the cause, it turns out it was due to stress.  According to my dentist I showed signs of clenching my teeth at night,  which can cause that kind of neck and shoulder pain.  He made a mouth guard to prevent the clenching that I wore at night until the pain was gone.  That really seemed to do the trick - along with my kids getting a little older and easier.

JJsfr

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2015, 12:51:00 PM »
Do you grind your teeth while you sleep? That can contribute to neck/shoulder/back pain. Ask your partner if you do. If so, schedule a dentist visit.

Catbert

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Re: Back/Shoulder Pain
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2015, 01:10:07 PM »
I've had right shoulder pain for years.  X-rays diagnosed "degenerative narrowing of the a-c joint".  Yeah, knowing that was helpful.  It was much worse when I worked - too much time at the computer.  PT essentially had me doing strength exercises with light weights.

Things that I do not which each help at least a bit:  less time on computer, sleeping on back, Aleve, massage (sports type rather than Swedish), lifting weights (building up shoulder and back muscles), better posture, and warmth (rice filled thing-y heated in microwave).