Stiff shoulders occur because of muscle fatigue brought on by shoulder muscles being tense for an extended time. When muscles are relaxed, oxygen and nutrient-rich blood can flow freely and reach the muscles, joints, and surrounding tissues. When the shoulder muscles remain tense, blood flow is affected negatively. Blood vessels become constricted, reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients blood can bring to the area. The shoulders react to this lack of oxygen and nutrients by becoming stiff, having pain, or becoming weak. Tense muscles can also compress nerves, which may also lead to pain and a decreased range of motion. In addition, the pain may make muscles contract in response, leading to a vicious cycle of shoulder stiffness.
Shoulder stiffness may begin from being overused, poor posture, or stress. If you suffer from stiff shoulders here are some ideas you can try:
- Stretching can help to release tensions and improve blood flow. Arm circles and shoulder rolls going in both directions are effective methods.
- Massages can help to improve blood flow, bringing oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the affected areas. It can also help improve the range of motion and relieve tension.
- Applying heat to the shoulders is another effective method of increasing blood flow and bringing oxygen and nutrients to the shoulders. Combine this tip with the previous one and warm your shoulders up before receiving a massage for maximum benefit.
Shoulder stiffness affects everyone at one point or another, but you don't have to let it go untreated. The best preventative measures are to be aware of your posture, keep your stress low, and take steps to promote good blood circulation. The easiest way to reduce stress and improve your blood flow is to receive a massage. When the time is right for you to invest in your health, consider purchasing a massage chair for your home. Daily massages can help keep stress levels down and your muscles supple so you can live pain-free.