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SUPERBIEN Posts: 552
7/22/08 9:51 P

Hi, I also suffer from shoulder knots, although not for the same reason as you! I'm sorry to hear it's so hard for you, and I hope you find some good solutions.

Two ideas: I went and got a really great professional massage awhile back, and the very very best part was at the end when they had me lay back $on a heated neck wrap, and I just felt everything dissolve. They were selling those shoulder wraps for $55, but I found one on eBay ($10-15 with s/h). Basically, they're a tube of fabric (flannel usually) with oatmeal and maybe some herbs inside, and you microwave it for low-grade, heavy, moist heat and then just drape it around your neck. If you're seriously strapped for cash, you can use a (clean) tube sock with oatmeal inside. I have one at work now, and it is soooo wonderful. I just tuck it inside my suit collar while I sit at my desk... mmmm.

Second, and this may sound seriously bad to suggest to you, but it works for me and it's cheap... you just have to be very careful about self-discipline. My dh doesn't drink, like ever - the one exception is when he gets a pinched nerve. When he went to the dr he got a muscle relaxant, but the next time was outside of office hours, so I recommended he try a glass of alcohol, which is a muscle relaxant. It worked like a charm for him. I'm not a big drinker, but when I have big knots I often will have one beer or glass of wine. Helps a ton to dissolve the knots.

Anyway, best of luck to you!

TRILLIANTOO SparkPoints: (41,587)
Fitness Minutes: (30,218)
Posts: 16,790
7/22/08 8:33 P

Thanks, HappeningFish, that's a WONDERFUL idea!! I knew of it, but completely forgot about it.

So, the stick is between broomstick diameter and typical closet rod diameter, right? I can get a dowel from the hardware store that's the right length, and do it at home.

Reminds me of being in the drum and bugle corps, with the guns or the flags. I know, not Nordic, but part of my history ....

HAPPENINGFISH SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (20,043)
Posts: 865
7/17/08 4:54 P

A nordic suggestion. :)

Here all the gyms have... sticks. Just your regular broomstick type thing, usually about four feet long. It's a shoulder and neck mobility machine. Just please do be careful. :)

- Grab it with both hands and lift it above your head.
- Lower it behind your head.
- Grasp it behind your back with both hands, and try to lift both of your arms, keeping elbows straight.
- Grab it at either end, and make big canoe-type paddling strokes in circles to stretch out each arm, or, holding it at either end, swing it like a pendulum in front of you.
- grab the stick near either end, in front of you. Try to lift the stick up and over your head and to the back just with your right arm, then bring the right arm back to front and repeat with your left.

If you search for "wand" exercises or stick exercises, you'll find a lot of physiotherapy resources, like this:

Shoulder and neck tension sucks. Hope this helps...

JULESGL Posts: 9,609
7/17/08 4:16 P

thanks for the screen saver suggestion!

i fell and cracked my tailbone, which has messed with my lower back. I'm sorry to hear about your back pain Tril!!!!

TRILLIANTOO SparkPoints: (41,587)
Fitness Minutes: (30,218)
Posts: 16,790
7/17/08 3:44 P

Thanks, Coach Dean.

The thing is I'm in chronic pain from a herniated disc with no pain medication, so sometimes it flares up and I get, well, the best way to describe it is I pull in on myself like I'm getting into the fetal position, and all my muscles tense up too. Without pain medication I'm just in pain & tension & suffering until it passes, which can be days, weeks or months.

I know it's a physiological / automatic response as it protects vital organs and restricts blood flow for survival, but once the worst of the pain is gone, I need to get back into proper posture and back into standing up straight again.

If it's been more than a couple days of intense, massive pain (this time it's been more than two weeks) I get really locked up.

This time I'm REALLY locked up, and I have a lot of muscle pain and tension. There is some degree of non-chronic pain related stress, but most of it is from chronic pain, or from not being able to fully express it (crying, screaming, moaning is something I've wanted to do but the vibrations hurts my body too much so I've held it in).

As far as the computer goes, I've really minimized any computer time the last couple weeks, and I have an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, and have also set up my computer area to be as ergonomic as it can be.

For exercises, rowing is completely out of the question but perhaps shrugs or reverse files (what are they exactly?) might help.

But I need to work out the kinks so I can get out of this pain loop (pain = muscle tension/spasms = more pain = more muscle tension/spasms = more pain, etc.). I'm definitely at that place where I can shift out of the pain - I just need the knots worked out and I can't afford a massage therapist.

SP_COACH_DEAN SparkPoints: (115,961)
Fitness Minutes: (243,412)
Posts: 15,286
7/17/08 12:27 P

Hi, T

It's hard to recommend anything without knowing what's causing the problem. If you've got an inflammed nerve, you may need to avoid doing anything for a while. If it's chronic soreness with no injury to explain it, it may be bad posture and/or chronic stress, in which case stretching some muscles and strengthening others may be the best thing. If you sit at a computer a lot, you may need to stretch your chest muscles, and strengthen the muscles in your upper back with exercises like rowing exercises, shrugs, and reverse flies. But if you don't know what's causing the problem, the safest thing to do is talk to your doctor first.

Hope this helps.

Coach Dean

SHAKEH1 Posts: 17
7/16/08 3:30 P

Did you ever try the cafe yoga screen saver exercises,it has 12 relaxing exercise for neck and shoulders that realy works well,you can download the free trial from
I hope it will help.

TRILLIANTOO SparkPoints: (41,587)
Fitness Minutes: (30,218)
Posts: 16,790
7/16/08 12:42 P

I have serious knots and tension in my shoulders, particularly above the shoulder blade, my neck and my muscles along my spine.

Can anyone recomend exercises (on Spark or elsewhere) that are easy and gentle, to relax and loosen these knots?

I have to be careful just getting out of bed, and walking a block is about my limit, so I need something that's going to help and not hurt.

A massage is really the way to go, but we don't have the finances, and so can't afford a gym or anything else like that either. I would prefer to find exercises online, or in a book or DVD I can check out from the library, or if I have to buy it, it's OK, if it's not expensive.

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