Why you have neck and upper back pain- and how to fix it

Put a hand up if you have neck and upper back pain- just me? I didn’t think so. So many of us are suffering with constant pain in our necks, shoulders and upper back.

Guess what? This doesn’t have to be the norm!

I have felt what it’s like to not have this pain after living with it for years!

What causes the pain:

The pain is caused either by muscle strain, sprain of ligaments or inflammation of tendons. We often contribute directly to these issues with bad posture, heavy bags and repeated motions and poor exercise techniques. Not to mention the big S, STRESS.

Pain can be caused by traumatic events such as an accident causing whiplash, can be a part of the natural ageing process or you could have a pinched nerve.

It’s always best to speak with a medical doctor before self treating, especially if the pain is associated with numbness or any other symptom,

How to fix it:

Change your habits:

  • Stress is a huge part of why many of us suffer with this pain, when we are stressed we are in fight mode always and this causes our muscles to be tensed up. Find the source of your stress and work towards minimising it. This is much easier said than done- but it doesn’t make it impossible. Try relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation to improve your overall wellbeing.

  • Fix your posture, standing and sitting incorrectly can cause your muscles to strain and cause pain. Practice better posture- this not only helps stop pain but makes you look better and more confident too!.

  • Keep moving. Avoid staying in the same position all the time throughout the day.

  • Improve your sleep hygiene, lack of sleep and sleeping poorly can cause a lot of pain. Avoid using too many pillows that restrict your range of motion and try sleeping on your back with your thighs elevated with a pillow. I have several articles on sleep hygiene.

  • If you smoke- quit. Speak with a doctor now on how to start.

Change your environment:

  • keep your computer at eye level

  • use chairs that improve your posture

  • avoid stress

  • make your bedroom for sleep only

Try these home remedies:

If you wake up with pain suddenly, this is likely a spasm. What works best initially is cold compresses and non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. After a day or two start using heat to improve pain. Gentle stretching should improve pain as well.

Seek professional help:

Consider seeing a physiotherapist or a well qualified personal trainer for help with exercises that will relax and elongate muscles.

Don’t forget that this pain might not be innocent so it is also paramount to seek medical advice from your doctor.

For years, I’ve had this pain but now I know I don’t have to live in pain forever.

Make sure to check out the links in this article for more information.

Samantha C. Johnson


Samantha C. Johnson The Layman’s Doctor: Bringing Medicine Home with articles, podcasts and videos all aimed at making medicine more accessible to all.

Samantha C. Johnson The Layman’s Doctor: Bringing Medicine Home with articles, podcasts and videos all aimed at making medicine more accessible to all.



Leave a Reply

You may also like...