People often complain of pain in the upper neck with a sore shoulder. They are usually focused on the pain at the top of their neck. The soreness of on top of the shoulder is usually secondary to the neck pain but can be strong. They will often rub it and say that it is tender when they press on it.
The upper back pain is more often described as tension and the spot at the top of the shoulder is often described as soreness. It can have a focus of deep, achy soreness near the base of the neck. This combination of pain in the upper neck, top of the shoulder and tip of the shoulder can lead to chronic aching that is leaves the person irritated and exhausted.
This problem can feed on itself and become quite chronic because of how peple change their posture to avoid aggravating it on the back of the chair. One client who suffered chronically from this trigger point. He was a negotiator who would tighten his chest and lean onto his elbows at the conference table. Releasing this trigger point directly only offered temporary relief. We had to balance his chest and back with regular stretching and bodywork and on his chest to get lasting relief.
People find that this tight band of muscle is very tender when a seat digs into the mid-back. When the muscle is chilled by a cold stadium seat, the neck and shoulder pain are worse.
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