Shoulder/Neck Pain Solutions?

I’m a desk jobber with a history of poor posture, and it’s resulted in some pretty uncomfortable neck and shoulder pain/tightness. I’ve fixed the posture and I’ve been rolling on a lacrosse ball between my shoulder blades and my chair sporadically throughout the day, as well as doing passthroughs once a day with some pvc pipe. it provides temporary relief, but comes right back within the hour. Anyone else deal with a similar issue and were able to overcome?

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Running. For real.

I think about loose and relaxed upper body when I do long or easy runs, and even just 20 min is enough to get any tension to go away. For me, this is more effective and long-lasting than massages, foam rolling, heat packs, ice packs, lacrosse balls, etc.

Shoulder and neck pain and tension for me triggers bad/severe headaches. I took up running when I was 22 and it almost completely cleared them up. I’ve had bad headaches since the age of 8 and when I was 15-22 I would have a bad/severe one every other day. So even though I hated running, I had to stick with it!

If I do a really hard TR workout in the morning I feel it in my neck and shoulders and I will guaranteed get a severe headache by about 2pm if I don’t get out for a lunch run.

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Theracane! it has been a lifesaver for my neck. I’m using it right now.


I’m at about 12-15 miles a week right now. I do feel great afterwards but it always comes right back. I think it’s just something that will take awhile to correct. Ibuprofen helps but I hate masking pain. It’s a bandaid on a bigger issue

Interesting. Thanks for the recommendation. Think I’ll try this.

Please do not take Ibuprofen regularly. It’s not only horrible for you but it may be stunting your fitness gains as well.


Long term, ibuprofen use will lead to irreversible GI problems


That happened to a buddy of mine at work. He’s a mess now.

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Very rarely took it and won’t going forward. amazing how dangerous something so widely accepted really is.

That sucks! Too bad it doesn’t work for you.

When I figured out my shoulder and neck pain were causing headaches - but before I figured out running was the solution - I was using a pretty strong muscle relaxant. In retrospect, that was pretty dumb but it was before I found fitness and cared about health and I was just looking for a way to get through uni.

Would you be able to try a standing desk? I’ve had colleagues who said standing at their desk on and off throughout the day was helpful with back pain.

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Yoga twice a week helps my neck and shoulders a lot. I’m not sure which stretches and postures help but when I don’t go, things tighten up again…


When I started training indoors in earnest in October 2018 I developed tightness in my shoulders and neck that started to cause cervicogenic headaches. From November to February 10th I tried lacrosse balls, foam rolling, massage, switched pillows, heating pads, ice, stretching, yoga, hot tubs and steam rooms. Eventually I found doing crunches helped relieve pain temporarily because it seemed to strengthen my neck. But then I’d have to do them twice to three times a day to relieve the pain and eventually I gave up figuring I’d just deal with this until I started riding outside in the spring.

Two weeks ago I started taking a multivitamin and iron supplement because I sweat heavy and was concerned I might be losing important minerals and iron with all this training (I also wanted to see if the iron would improve my VO2Max efforts). The shoulder pain, neck pain and headaches disappeared overnight. I’ve felt no pain for a little less than 2 weeks now. After daily pain it’s been a miracle and I hope this sorts it out.

I take the multivitamin in the morning and the iron every other night before bed. That’s what worked for me.

  • Continue working on good posture.
  • Check your bike fit.
  • Check out the following book: Treat Your Own Neck

Based on personal experience, I highly recommend the book.


I’ll give it a shot! Been meaning to start taking a multi vitamin. I’m usually short on iron when I track my food.

if you attend a gym regularly, find the squat rack: load a barbell, then stack it into your neck and push yourself up until you lift the barbell. Move the neck and upper body to find your spots and release them.

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Employer isn’t very flexible, so no standing desk for me. I’d love to try it though.

That is frustrating. Do you think you could “hack” your own version that sits on your normal desk? Something like this with some kind of platform (like a ream or two of printer paper or a thick book) so your keyboard would be at the right height?

I’m thinking that something minimal that packs easy/takes up a small footprint on your desk might be worth a shot?

Maybe worth it to try getting a doctors note as well if your employer is still inflexible about you rigging your own setup on your desk?

I noticed in highschool that I keep a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders, especially due to anxiety and stress. It caused a lot of severe headaches that over the counter pain medicine did not help. I found that consciously trying to relax my shoulders, neck and face makes the biggest difference to me compared to hot tubs, hot showers, messages, etc. I also suffer from terrible posture so I have to make a real effort throughout the day not to slouch or sit with my shoulders up at my ears.

Yoga helped me initially learn to relax my shoulders and neck and breathe properly. I’ve recently started using the yoga position “Legs up the wall” for five to ten minutes a night in addition to stretching to help release any leftover tension in my neck / back from the day. It’s greatly reduced the amount of shoulder tension I have and helps me reduce stress levels.

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I’ve got some monitor risers ordered. Hoping that will help so that I’m not looking down at my screens. The last few days I’ve been constantly rolling my shoulder blades with a lacrosse ball against the back of my seat. Seems to be helping, but holy crap is it painful. Its really telling how tight my shoulders are.

It’s become apparent that I’m also carrying all of my stress in my shoulders. The cues to relax my shoulders during TR are a big help. Now I need some reminders for when I’m at work!