Commonly Overlooked Muscles Can Lead To A Real Pain In The Neck

Conventional wisdom says to ice the area which I tried.  This was the worst idea ever for me.  It made the spasms more intense.  Finally, I ran a hot bath and dissolved some Epsom salts. Since I could float my upper back and arm in the water without touching anything I was able to relax and soaked for about an hour.  When I got out I was at least able to move without cringing, but I knew I wasn’t out of the woods yet.  I applied a SalonPas pain relieving patch to the area between my shoulder blade and spine (upper & middle trapezius) and went to lie down.  It was nice to get a few hours sleep even if I had to stay perfectly still and flat on my back.

I was alternating acetametophin and ibuprofen every three hours to try and keep the inflammation under control.  It was evident when I’d waited too long to take my next dose.  You have to be careful not to overdo it with the OTC pain killers because their side effets can be pretty ugly.  By Saturday afternoon I felt like I had the flu and scratchy sore throat and had terrible stomach discomfort.  All are side effects of ibuprofen.  So I decided to switch to Naproxen.  It did give me a tummy ache but it allowed me to get through an entire day without needing to take any other pain medication.  It’s been a few days since I’ve taken anything for the stiffness and pain but the muscles are moving more readily yet still sore.  Most of the rest of the week has been alternating between menthol pain patches and heat treatment wraps.  Both work really well, but I must advise against getting the generic brand.  They don’t stay put and end up being more of a hassle than a help.  The best are Thermacare and SalonPas for effectiveness and staying put.

This episode was brought on by an intense core workout which involved a lot of lifting my upper body off the ground followed by plank work.  All of this not only works the core muscles, but requires back strength and stability.  Apparently, I don’t have that right now.  I wanted to know exactly what muscles were bothering me and how I can strengthen and stretch them.


My research landed me on an article by Shape Magazine about commonly overlooked muscles by women.  The first was the muscle group that I know gets most stressed being a blogger and work-at-home mom – the trapezius.  This is a set of three muscles which run from the neck to the shoulder.  Typing, folding clothes, doing dishes pickup up stuff around the house ALL require use of this muscle.  Needless to say it gets stressed overmuch.  This is one of the groups of muscles which is overlooked and needs to be strengthened to prevent and alleviate repetitive use injury.  For the exercises of the trapezius and other neglected muscle groups in women (and in men I’m sure) visit the link below.

Click here to view original web page at

Want some more stretches, exercises and treatments to ease sore muscles?  Check out these links –

The Best Ways to Ease Sore Muscles

Exercises to Treat Shoulder and Neck Pain from Cycling – Works for everyone, not just cyclists.  I can say this from first hand experience.

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16 comments for “Commonly Overlooked Muscles Can Lead To A Real Pain In The Neck

  1. March 7, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    My coach tells us if we lead ab work with our neck we are doing it wrong. You can use your arms to rest your head/neck but do not PULL. Tuck in your chin while you execute and that should help prevent neck pain. Also do you sleep with pillows? #wowlinkup

    • March 11, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      What if the pain is in your back and it radiates up your neck and down your arm? I’m very conscious about my form because the last thing I want to do is pull on my neck. Really I think I just over did things. When I did the plank I felt something not quite right and instead of stopping I kept going – really bad move.

  2. March 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I have a lot of neck pain from sleeping wrong, or working out and moving incorrectly.. I just do not like that it lasts for a few days.

    • March 11, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      It’s been over a week and though it’s not as bad I still get soreness between my shoulders. The pain is starting to migrate to the right side, but still more concentrated on the left :(.

  3. March 11, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I had that same pain and I think it was due to my new blogging career. The way I was sitting at the computer added to the pain in that area. I had therapy for that and now I’m conscience on how I sit when blogging. #wowlinkup

  4. March 11, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Oh boy 🙁 I can empathize. I had a severe case of “mommy shoulder” aka a sprain in the shoulder. I had to go to the emergency room. I couldn’t move my left arm or rotate it. I feel it every now and again during yoga. A physical therapist gave me exercises to do so that I don’t have an acute episode again. You are very right. Certain muscle groups need to be worked in order to prevent injury.

    • March 11, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      I was in such pain that morning I thought I might have to go to urgent care, but I had no idea how I was going to get there. I’m glad that things worked out that I didn’t have to drive anywhere that day like I typically do.

  5. March 11, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    ohhh this is great! I’m just starting to work on my core. and I must be careful!

  6. Carly
    March 11, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Whoa, this is great info! Pinning this!

  7. March 11, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    i sometimes will wake up in the morning with a sore neck or shoulder. I try to remember what I did the day before, but nothing ever jumps out. This is great info!

    • March 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      That is the worst feeling isn’t it, Maggie, when you hurt and you don’t know why. Hope this information helps alleviate your pain.

  8. March 12, 2015 at 7:56 am

    This is a good lesson for the rest of us. I’m going to remember to add some exercises into my routine that work that area.

  9. March 12, 2015 at 8:02 am

    I’m totally wanting a massage now!

  10. March 18, 2015 at 9:52 am

    I’m currently experiencing muscle pains, all because I am not used to having massages.

    • March 19, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      Are you saying that you had a massage and it made your muscles hurt? That would be too bad.

  11. David Fultner
    April 5, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    These are very cute ideas thanks.

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