Assess Yourself

By Ross Ashcraft

!!!Why am I hurting?!!?

Is it the weather? My allergies?  My new medication?  My pillow?  My job?  My kids? My dog?  My high heels?   This last one doesn’t apply to me, but you get the idea.  It can be very difficult to deduce what causes our aches and pains.  We want our pains to be caused by ONE condition that we can attack and obliterate.  The problem is that it’s almost never just ONE thing.

1.  The best place to start is to take a look at what is new in your life.

New pillows; new medication; new desk position; new pet; new sport; new job; new kid; or new high heels

2.  Then take a look at the environment in which you spend large chunks of time.

Your pillow and bed; your desk setup at work; the shoes you wear; your study habits; the equipment you use to exercise; or the arch support in your high heels

3.  Take a look at how you do things.

The position you sleep in; your walking pattern; the way you hold your arms and shoulders while you type; how you hold your kid; your body position while studying; how you hold the laundry basket; and of course how you strut in those high heels

Consider a change to these conditions.  It might be the fastest most effective way to reduce or obliterate your pain.

Now let’s assess your muscles

A quick and easy way to deduce if a muscle is the problem is to put pressure on that muscle while you use it.  I’ll list a couple of examples.

Wrist or Finger Pain:

1.  Wrap your finger around one forearm and squeeze the muscles of that forearm while moving your wrist and fingers.

2.  Squeeze the biceps muscle in the upper arm while moving the wrist and then the fingers.

3.  Press and hold right below the collar bone/clavicle while moving the wrist and then the fingers.

Whichever muscle hurt the most while you moved the wrist and fingers should be cause of your problems.

Neck Pain:

1.  Place your fingers right behind your ear and feel for the bone you’ll find.  Come just off the bottom edge of that bone.  This place is called the Mastoid Process.  Press into these muscles while you:  1) Rotate your head; 2) Laterally flex your head from side to side; 3) Flex and extend your head by moving forward and backward.  If it hurt more going side to side or rotation, the problem is in your neck.  If it hurt more going forward or back then the problem is in your back.

2.  Place all of your fingers on the side of your neck.  Find a tender or tight area and press with medium pressure; rotate your head; and then bend it from side to side. If it hurt more going side to side, the problem is there in your neck.  If it hurt more during rotation, then your problem might be just above your collar bone/clavicle.

Now that you have figured out the where the pain is in your body, thinking about how you could change.  Ask yourself why you are holding so much tension in that area?  Look at how that area is used.  During the course of the day what changes could you make either physical, mental or emotional that might dissipate that stress.

So, I’m curious.  What do you think is the lifestyle change you could make to reduce your pain?  Post your comment so we can read your ideas.

Also, try these assessments and let me know what you discovered about your body.

Warning:  Just be sure to take off the high heels while you do them!

154 thoughts on “Assess Yourself”

  1. I seem to hold most of my stress in my shoulders and neck. I hold my shoulder hunched when something is bothering me. Doing shoulder rolls and neck stretches help a lot.

  2. As usual more great information to be able to help the clients. Fast and on track, easy to follow, easy to pass information on as home work as well.

  3. I carry a lot of stress between my shoulders. I notice that i slouch a lot during the day. I feel if I will pay more attention to my posture ten I will have better results with less tension. This was great information. Thanks for sharing.

  4. High heels have been gone a while, exept for short occasions, however I was aching in left shoulder a few weeks ago. Palpated around my wrist area and just at the bottom of ulnar region at wrist, I found a trigger point. ??? I felt the pain in my shoulder diminishing. I moved wrist as if I were waving and found problem. Good advice. Thank you.

  5. I like this blog. It makes you think about what you do during the day and what causes you to have aches or pains.
    I think alot of mine comes from school and driving. More stretching would do me good.

  6. I cannot seem to break the habit of sleeping on my right shoulder, which aches, radiates pain down my arm and up my neck. Surely the 900 pound backpack I carry around on my right arm doesn’t help, either.
    More stretches and client “homework” for me!

  7. I don’t really have pain much anywhere. I felt a little bit in my neck, but that was it. Thank you for this lesson. I will practice it on my family at home and see what they think of it.

  8. Assessing myself, driving and hunching over at work causes me severe neck and shoulder pain. Though I cant change it, adding stretches and different trigger point techniques will do me good. Now if I could only make myself do my own client homework!

  9. I have notice most of my pain is in my shoulders and the muscles following down beside my spine. As I started paying attention to what I was doing, I noticed when I am streesed or upset I tighten up my whole back and hold it that way. I also notice I am sleeping on my right side every night. I have started making my self breath and forcing myself to relax those muscles. I am also using a pillow to train myself to sleep more on my back.

  10. I could be alot more aware of my posture, I try but forget in the car or in class while trying to pay attention. When I did this I discovered some of the places I am sore are from the causes of other pains and aches, but they are also areas that I don’t pay enough attention to so by eleminating the larger issue I hopefully can take care of all the smaller ones that branch off because of it.

  11. I found so much tight and painful in my neck that it was hard to decide. I’m sure I could exercise.

  12. I really don’t have to assess to much my body all ready hurts, lol, not really laughing. But how I see things if I can not laugh at my big pains in life then my little pains will be worse. So yea, if anyone does found something that is painful and can work it out or find some way to help it do it now rather than later. You will regret it if you don’t. Coming from experience, you will regret it.

  13. Most of my stress is in my shoulders. I stretch and try to relax, but on most days it does not work. But those aches and pains don’t bother me like my knees and back. I need to work on my posture more, and try to lose more weight so my knees wont ache as much.I noticed that when I sit straight my back does not bother me as much & when I lose weight my knees are not as achy.

  14. Most of my weight I carry on my traps,neck, & back. It’s like I’m trying to carry the weight of the world on my back. Trying to do everything all at once but I need to let loose sometimes & have some help every now & then & just maybe some of the tension in my back, neck, traps won’t be so tensioned up all the time. I might start doing yoga any takers that wan to join me????? LOL 🙂

  15. I didn’t find any sore spots or any pain. But i do have some pain in my neck and shoulders sometimes. I also know that I need to drink lots more water to help. I feel better when I do have more water intake. I will use this to check my pain so i can locate were it is coming form more.

  16. I have alot of tension in my neck and simple neck stretches everyday have definitely helped. I also suffer alot of discomfort in my knees, ankles, and feet but a combination of swedish, lymphdrainage, ROM, and compression manipulations of massage have lessened the pain. Assessment is the first step in treating an issue, then treating the source, as well as the entire area associated (insertion and origin), will result in relief. Thanks for bring this information to light.

  17. my arms are soar from breakfast with santa at chilis this weekend, i forgot how much fun being a waitress was even for a couple hours, but it was fun to see the little kids excited. I need to start drinking water in general i’ve had a problem with that forever but it was worse after losing taste and smell, and as far as the biceps go I probably need to do some pushups lol

  18. I definitely have some neck pain. I try to pay attention to my posture. I know that I reading so much homework is contributing to this issue…just kidding. I do have to make sure to do neck exercises regularly. I also do shoulder exercises to try and help keep my body on proper alignment.

  19. My soreness is in my back, I have been drinking a lot more water and I can tell it has helped. I think the 30 hours in the car just did it in for me this weekend. im sure some stretches will get me right back to normal

  20. I should really work on my posture more, I slouch alot in the car, and in class and I think it is a big cause in my shoulders and neck. I also sleep in a bad position at night and that is not helping my neck and shoulder at all!

  21. When you came to CLD class I actually did this technique after you showed us. It is wonderful for my feet when I go to bed at night. When I do this technique I wake up with no foot pain the next morning, which is just great!

  22. I started to drink more water throughout my day as I started Massage Therapy, and I have noticed that alot of my pain has alleviated. I also found it interesting that just because I have a headache or my neck hurts does not mean that that is where the problem is.

  23. I have a lot of tension in my shoulders and neck. Most of mine is my posture. But it is so hard for me to sit straight cause then I start hurting in my lower back, which I know its trying to correct itself. All of it is cause of my posture. How I do homework, stand, work etc. When I think about it I do try to sit straight while at the computer or desk. But its hard cause my mind is always on other things then my posture. But it is something that I need to work on and will TRY to work on. This was really good information. I kinda did it anyways without thinking but now will definatly do it more when things start to hurt. Thanks Ross

  24. Most of my lower back pain would be solved by working on my posture. This is something I will be working on a lot now that I am in school.

  25. Before I even started school I knew I held a lot of my tension just in my shoulders and have always had trouble just releasing it. A lot had to do with my kids at first then came just normal stress of the day and now work dealing with computers both there and school. Being able to remind myself to relax my shoulders and not be so tight while just standing or sitting is one thing I could work on.

  26. posture and drinking water are always great recommendation for pain. i had a physical therapist show me some stretches that also seemed to help in the short term.

  27. I hold a lot of tension in my back from the curvature. I tried the listed assessments but none of these caused any pain, which seemed odd since the curvature is in my upper back and causes my lower back to hurt. I think sitting at a desk all day has a terrible effect on it, I keep my back straight but tend to still lean into my work, which can’t be very good. I could do more back-focused exercises and stretching to help with the issues.

  28. I have a lot of pain in my back, neck, and shoulders. I think the pain in my neck is mostly coming from my back. I have pretty poor posture and when I stand at work I lean to one side for most of the morning. Some stretches and just keeping my back straight would help a lot.

  29. These are very good questions to ask yourself when you are feeling any pain or soreness in your muscles. My hand was hurting yesterday and when I went through these questions, I found the pain was actually in my shoulder and neck area due to an activity I did the day before. Knowing how to assess muscles will become very helpful when starting a career.

  30. I have pain on the left side of my neck. A while back I strained my neck and it hasn’t been the same since. I think because of my neck being injured my left shoulder tries to compensate for it and causes it to be really tight and sore. Or it could also be because I am left handed and just use my left side more.

  31. I noticed i hold most of my tension in my neck and upper back. This is mostly because i hunch when i read anything off the computer or out of text books. I also read a lot if i have any free time. so my entire free time i have my back hunched. Also when i take breaks at work i hunch my shoulder just to relax because i feel so exhausted. Just by making sure my back is straight while doing these things could severely reduce by neck and upper back stress.

  32. I have had shoulder problems for some time. The pain would come and go, most of the time it would come. I am tiring to change my sleep habits. That alone is a chore. How ever, I am seeing some change. Time will tell!

  33. I love these questions and will use them for a good place to start assessment. When asking myself these questions I have realized that I need to start saving for a new mattress. I believe that it could be causing some of my shoulder and hip pain that I have.

  34. I have a lot of pain in my lower back. I try to sit up straight with something to give me the lumbar support I need but that still doesn’t help. I also ache in my hips. And I know both problems go hand in hand.

  35. Well after assessing my neck it is definatley my neck rather than my back. I have had a pinch for a day or two and actually thought that it was my shoulder and when I did the lateral and medial rotation of my neck I could actually feel it stab. OUCH! I think that these techniques are great and easy to remember for assessment.

  36. When I am at work for long periods of time my shoulders start to get tight and ache, same goes for my legs. So what I have started to do it just stretch anytime I can. It really helps the pain and at the end of the day I don’t have as bad of shoulder pain!

  37. We all need to know how to assess ourselves. Neck problems and problems in the arms are common for massage therapists. I had some pain in my forearm especially when extending my wrist. I think this is because i don’t hold my wrists straight every time I do a long swedish stroke. I need to step back and allow my arms to be fully extended.

  38. I did all of these techniques and I did not find any sore areas. However, these will be good techniques in order to assess painful areas to find the source of the problem.

  39. I have a lot of low back pain from sleeping on a couch and an air mattress. I could relieve about 97{dd4fd4792e0eb33cfcd896730531ad5ee27f408bd2ce28da7f8125f8188131a8} of that pain just by sleeping in a regular bed.

  40. I carry most of my stress in my shoulders and neck area. Since starting school and leaning over my computer all the time has made that area worse. I have been doing neck stretches and rolling of the neck and head. I will be doing more of the techniques also. Thanks for the great information.

  41. I tried this today at lunch because I noticed my wrist flexors were kind of sore. Immediately after my wrist felt great! I will defiantly be passing this on

  42. I found out that sleeping on someones bed and with different pillow will affect me. I slept on my brothers pillow and next thing I know is I wake up with a huge ache down my neck on posterior side… Bad feeling, I didn’t do anything much to stop the pain, but I just used different pillow and my body got adjusted to that and the pain eventually went away.

  43. my right shoulder is forever killing me due to years of sports. iv tried sleeping different and using a tennis ball have always helped me.

  44. It feels as if my right side hurts much more than my left, so I think it’s possibly my purse that is a problem. I’ll try to make some changes this week and see how it goes.

  45. I usually carry alot of stress in my shoulders and in between scapula. I have noticed if i watch my posture and tighten up the midsection while sitting i can eliminate alot of this problem.

  46. Tried the side to side and rotation exercise. I was in a car accident in 2010. Still suffering from whiplash. Side to side hurts on the left side of my neck. my job requires me to drive a lot. I have started to wear my neck brace again which helps, and I do not do the recommended neck stretches any longer. I believe I have chronic pain.

  47. Since I have been in school I have been stretching a lot more. This has helped me tremendously. Also, I know how to stretch to help whichever muscle is bothering me. This is the lifestyle change that I have made.

  48. My main pains are in my lower back. The curvature in my spine and sitting at a desk all day have the biggest effect, I keep my back straight but tend to still lean into my work. I do a lot of stretching to help with the issues.

  49. i have pain in my neck and shoulders most of the time. stretching is the only thing iv found that truly helps relieve the tension.

  50. After assessing my tightness. I have realized I carry my tension in my shoulders. My left is a lot more sore than my right. I think this is partly because I use my left side more than my right. A big example is holding my kids, I caught myself ALWAYS holding them on my left side. I have started doing some neck stretches and plan on adding this to my everyday routine. Foam rolling helps a lot as well 🙂

  51. My nightmare is my shoulder all the way to my neck. I work that shoulder a lot during my work and my pillow helps. I will do the stretches for my shoulder before going to bed and try to make my neck muscles relax more. But I won’t give up on my high heels. I will try to wear my tennis shoes more often. I said “try”.

  52. Doing this assessment I have found that my neck is tender in the back when I flex my neck. I know that some of the reason for my back hurting is how I hold my posture, especially when I am on my laptop for awhile my back will hurt. So to change it I will try to sit up straight and not over stretch my neck when I am on my laptop.

  53. I find that when I am stressing, I carry that in my shoulders and neck, so when I wake up from a stressful day I am very tight. I think that if I stretch before going to bed this may help reduce the tightness when I wake up. Also, if I tried some relaxation techniques before bed, it may help with my stress the following day.

  54. While doing these exercises, I discovered that most of my pain (and many tender spots during massage) originate from my back. Though I do not get much neck pain at all I can see why my back would be hurting. I spend a lot of time studying,drawing, driving, or setting up new thing in the house that require proper posture whether sitting or standing. I believing I haven’t been up to par and giving myself the constant correct stance when doing things throughout the day. I probably slouch a lot or don’t use proper body mechanics at home. Thank you for this insight, Mr Ashcraft.

  55. I found out that my neck and shoulders holds a lot of tension I think it is because the way I sleep and the heavy back pack I hold on my shoulders. So if i get a body pillow to sleep with then it will be better for my neck and for my shoulders I could carry one of them roller back packs I guess.

  56. Now that I am actually trying to massage at least 6 hours a day, I have realized that stretching and maintenance of my muscles is important. And have found that without those two things my muscles literallly scream at me in my forearms especially.

  57. I think the biggest thing I could do is to stop slouching. I need to sit up straight while on the computer or at my desk at school. I also need to stretch more so I don’t get so many knots in my back. And of course the number one thing would be to drink more water. 🙂

  58. Oh come on Ross you would look good in heels…Haha just kidding. I have noticed a lot of my neck pain has gone away since I prop my head up with less pillows at night. I have been trying to remember to stretch before bed and today in class I noticed I had tender areas in my forearms that I didn’t notice before. I will be doing PNF on myself to help with these areas.

  59. Most of my pain is in my shoulders and neck, along with my lower back. The lifestyle change I need to make for my neck and shoulder, are both reaching over head at work to reach top shelves, and sleeping on my side. To fix these problems, I really need to use a step ladder at work to reach top shelves, but I don’t most of the time simply because it takes more time; and to sleep on my back more then on my side.

  60. Can’t handle the heels but I should practice sitting straighter because I slouch when I’m reading of tired. I could also change my pillow to level my head and neck more.

  61. I find it important to assess my daily routines and critically take a look at my methods of carrying out everyday activities. When I take a look at my “usual” habits, like sitting on the couch at an inclined “slouching position,” I can really see how exercising bad body mechanics while doing everyday activities can turn into a full-blown unhealthy routine.

  62. I sleep on my right shoulder every night! I know better than to sleep like that I am getting pain in my shoulder from sleeping like this. So I have started to change positions throughout the night. Hoping this will help me. thank you for this blog.

  63. Hmm, the lifestyle I could change would be not to spend so much time on the computer. Making that change would help my wrists out a lot. will give it a try tonight. Thanks! and great blog.

  64. My lower back hurts me a lot. I’ve noticed on my days off or if I do go on vacation my back doesn’t hurt as bad. I think it hurts from standing and not have great posture at work.
    I notice that if I take the time to stretch before bed and/or do yoga my back feels better.

  65. I recently got new pillows and have been waking up far more frequently on my side with a numb arm. Evening stretches have also been less frequent recently, likely exacerbating the situation. I am curious to see the benefits of correcting these two things. Thanks!!!

  66. With my crazy lifestyle I’ve realized that I can’t go very long without stretching. So, along with changing positions I use to walk and sleep I also stretch before and after my day and give myself mini massages throughout the day. I used to be in so much pain because I wouldn’t take these precautions but now I don’t know how to live any other way.

  67. My son has weighed in at 34 pounds, and has recently been wanting me to hold him all hours of the day. 34 pounds on your side causes intense lower back pain, I think that if I started doing exercises during the day and finding ways to make him want to walk my back will ease up.

  68. It’s interesting to know that you can feel certain muscles in the body to know that what you might think is effecting that certain strained muscle and it isn’t actually that muscle at all. When I’m stressed the tension seems to go right above my eye brawl if not directly on it. Pinching right where it is twitching seems to help for a few minutes but not always.

  69. my pain problems are mostly caused by my posture. im sure if i kept the computer at eye level and sat up straight all the time a lot of my pain problems would probably go away.

  70. I have pain in my right shoulder/neck/back. I know that I have been sleeping wrong due to my asthma. I try to make sure I at least fall asleep correctly so that I may not have as much pain.

  71. All of my pain issues are in my lower back and hips, mostly because of my weight. I am working on that and its getting better. Hopefully when I lose all the weight I am hoping my pain issues will mostly go away.

  72. I often experience pain in my traps, neck and rhomboids. When I began this class it was so extreme that I could not give a massage without being in severe pain. After a few weeks of class and proper body mechanics it lessened to a more bearable level. However, in the last couple of weeks I have been experiencing even more severe pain than before. My traps burn, even when they are not engaged. My rhomoids cramp when I move certain ways, especially while laying down on my stomach. And my neck is so stiff that ROM is difficult. So I took a look at my habits etc. and found that I was sleeping on very stiff flat pillows, so I went and bought a new fluffy soft one. That helped, but I was still in pain. Then I realized that I have been sitting for hours at time doing homework at my kitchen table, in a hard wood chair. So I have moved my studying into my office in my more comfy chair. These changes have helped, but I am still in quite a bit of pain. Some days I have active trigger points on my right side in my traps, lumbar area, and even in my glutes. I have began yoga to strengthen and stretch these areas, and I am going to be investing in a foam roller. The techniques we learned in class about stripping, PNF etc. were very educational.

  73. I seem to have a lot of trouble with my feet and calves. My back seems to be pretty tough. I do realize that people are different and that I need to experiment around on my clients to figure out their needs.

  74. I need to drink more water and stretch more at night especially after intense workouts. also stretching before driving to help elevate shoulder pain from driving.

  75. I am filing this article for future reference. I really like the techniques to differentiate between neck and back issues. I do have a few neck issues, and think they have roots in my sleeping position and lugging my heavy backpack about, always on the same shoulder.

  76. Drinking half of your body weight in water daily is important for over hydration and performance. When we start talking about making an assessment on someone. the first thing that I question them about is there their daily routine & habits. I have bad habits myself one being that i shrug my shoulders when i drive, but i constantly drop them too. sometimes habits are hard to break. Realizing that we have problems with bad habits is the first step to fixing them .

  77. During my time here I have already changed pillows and the way I sleep. I still have lower back pain and neck issues. The test in this helped me realize it is coming from my back. Let’s get this thing fix!! lol

  78. This is an awesome technique to do. This really helps you with your forearm if they are aching in pain. I’ve done this when my forearm was hurting after a massage and after, it felt really good.

  79. I don’t wear heals very often but when I do I can tell how my body reacts. So now I limit my how long I wear them. So this is really good to know.

  80. I hurt the worst in my Rhomboid Minor, I always carry huge knots there. It is completely my fault too. I sleep with my ear on my upper arm, sometimes with a pillow and sometimes without a pillow. I sleep like that equally on each side, so I never give them a chance to rest.

  81. I dont even drink close to how much water I should be drinking. I’m addicted to caffine. But I dont seem to have problems with my forearms as much as i do with my back. I lean forward and hunch over, which lengthens my rhomboids and shortening my pecs. A bad habbit i am seriously trying to break!

  82. i tend to have a lot of tender spots in my traps but this weekend i had to weeded the yard and that messed with my arms and made them sore but it felt a lot better after doing this exercise.

  83. I recently got bunk beds for my kids with the futon mattress on the bottom. I laid on the futon and took the best nap of my life. When I woke I felt very refreshed and well rested with none of the normal tension I usually feel when sleeping on my own bed.I am thinking of buying a futon mattress for myself.

  84. When I started school, I was aching and in pain in a lot more places than I am now. Just from stretching every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to bed, I have not only increased my ROM and flexibility, but also have reduced my allover muscle tenderness tremendously. These are some great tips! Thanks!

  85. I seem to hold most of my tension in my traps and neck area. And right now we just got a new puppy and we are potty training and I think that everybody know how stressful that can be. But doing these exercises really seem to help. Thanks for the tips!!

  86. I have a tendency to sleep on my shoulders and I also hunch over a lot. and therefore I always have knots in my shoulders and neck.

  87. There are a couple things that I could change in my lifestyle like my sleeping habits for example. I sleep on my belly. I can not sleep in any other position unless I’m super exhausted and could fall asleep standing. With that being said, my back and neck hurt quite a bit when I get up in the morning. I know how to change it and tell myself that I need too but when it comes to bed time, I go right back to the way I normally sleep. I could probably do stretches, but does anybody know a good way to break the habit completely? All feedback is much appreciated. Thanks. 🙂

  88. Hmm maybe I should stop sleeping on my shoulder and walking barefoot everywhere. Might help my back some

  89. I noticed a lot more pain when rotating my head. This could be linked to the major knots that I have in my pecs. Great to know that changing the way I sleep could have a positive impact on the pain I experience.

  90. I always sleep on my left side which is where I have a lot of issues. I use a body pillow now, which helps a lot, but I still need to stay off that side as much as possible.

  91. Well lets see on what I can do. Firstly, move out and live closer to school. This to me is the worst one for me. The reason is because I live a hour away and it doesn’t help that I have to get up very early and work then drive to school tired. So I think this is one that I need to do.

  92. I could stretch more and change the way I sleep and drink more water to help the flow of things and help reduce the pain.

  93. I never really noticed before, but somteimes I’ll be standing around at work and catch myself feeling my delts and lats. I guess I subcontiously do it to assess what pains I have

  94. I think most of my problems come from the way I sleep, I tense up in my sleep and my muscles are tight so it hurts in the morning.

  95. Oh man, i know im going to have some issues. I sleep on my side, hunch my shoulders back, definitely dont drink water whatso ever. But as far as pain and everything goes, i totally agree with finding the problem at the source, rather than taking an uneducated guess.

  96. I have upper back pain from having poor posture at work. I find myself hunched over at my computer a lot. So I just need to be more conscious about my posture.

  97. I think my wrists are so sore from using them during massage and I’m trying to find other ways to massage deeply without putting so much strain on them, and of course massaging and stretching my wrists throughout the day. My lower back hurts when I wake up and I’m guessing it is from my mattress so I am trying to spend less time in bed:)

  98. we often don’t associate a certain area of pain with our everyday activities. they’re such a big part of our routine they are almost reflexive. its good to go through and asses how certain activities in your life could be attributing to a painful or achy area

  99. This blog really makes me look at what I do thru out my day, but I usually try t stay aware of my posture thru out the day just cause I don’t want to be a hunched over old lady.

  100. I have noticed a drastic difference in the aches and pains of my upper back once I started actively trying to improve my posture

  101. I find that my wrists are more tender now that I’m in massage school and while I work out heavy in the gym, so now I lighten the weight and put out more reps to help ease the pain from the heavier weights.

  102. I think general body posture is one I try to focus on improving the most, paritularly when sitting in a chair.

    It is easy to get back and neck aches holding the slightest angle for any long duration.

  103. Hmmm….good info it helped me realize what causes the pain. I have to change my sleep patterns. I’ll try to remember this

  104. I remember being told to stretch out at night and even change the side of the bed you sleep on, I have since stopped curling my wrists under my chin and have noticed a difference in how they feel in day today activities.

  105. I carry my tension in my shoulders and it is hard for me to stay relaxed around that area. I catch myself waking up in the middle of the night with my shoulders shrugged and tensed up.

  106. I try to keep my posture correct so my hips and shoulders don’t hurt. Also, throughout the day I should take the little pauses/moments to stretch whatever body part I’m trying to ignore.

  107. I think paying attention to my posture would help me. I deal with some forward head posturing and some neck and upper back discomfort from time to time. I have entertained purchasing posture blocks to help with this. Great information on figuring out what really is causing our pain!

  108. I don’t suffer hardly ever form neck pain, but back pain is a different story. I drive a lot and I sit with my seat very far back and leaned at a very far angle. The other day when I was driving I sat my seat up to my steering wheel where it was supposed to be, if you’re practicing good body mechanics, and it felt amazing to sit up straight against my seat. I noticed an immediate difference in the way my back was feeling.

  109. I like the idea of really assessing yourself. We can do others, but never think about ourselves. I have been really hard on my body for the past couple of weeks. I know that I need to take it slow and let my body heal without doing more damage!

  110. I need to stretch more and actually take the time to assess myself and develop a wellness plan. I have had the same pain in the same places for years!

  111. Currently I am dealing with pain in my neck on the right side. I did however purchased a new bed. So that could be it

  112. I have back posture when siting at my desk at work. I need to learn to sit up straighter.

  113. My shoulders usually give me daily pain and it’s probably because I sleep on my sides mainly. Maybe if I could break that habit then they would feel better.

  114. I carry a lot of tension in my shoulders. For me, it’s stress and probably the fact that I sit round shouldered at a desk all day. I try to pay attention to my posture and that helps.

  115. Most of my pain is my shoulders and neck are, I stress out about school and all my stuff i have to get done. I need to do more streching and take one day at a time.

  116. My problem area is my upper traps and neck. This is where i hold all of my stress. I often catch myself slouching when i do homework and i also catch myself with horrible posture while reading. In order to correct this i need to be more aware of my posture in all of my daily activities. I try to do stretches every day at least once to help loosen these muscles and give them some relief.

  117. This does not only help for muscles written about but for every other it helps to break it down and see what the real problem is

  118. I have a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders. I need to drink more water than I do as well as add more exercise to my daily schedule.

  119. I have a lot of back pain and across my shoulder. I am sure it due to my posture and maybe need to look at my sleeping habits . This blog was very interesting and I am going to remember this test for latter for me and my future clients.

  120. I hold stress in my neck and shoulders. I cock my head to the side a lot when I think or hold my head up while sitting at a desk like that.

  121. My pain is in my back, this is due to the way I site while I study and giving massages after a day of class. I need to stretch more and find a comfortable sitting position when I study.

  122. I have pain in my shoulders and neck due to the way I sleep at night. I will be changing my pillows to see if there is any change.

  123. I hold a ton of tension in my upper trapezius feels like. I slouch a lot when sitting and also carry my 11 month old a lot so I’m sure it’s coming from there. This article is very helpful and informational

  124. You could do more stretches and drink more water and improve your posture. Be conscious of how your body is reacting to the positions you put your body into.

  125. My pain is in my neck. I know that part of my problems are because of the way I sleep and my poor posture. I’ve tried to change the way I sleep, but always end up back on my stomach with my arms tucked under my head. I don’t think it’s realistic for me to change they way I sleep so I will focus on being more aware of my posture.

  126. With palpation I found some tender spots on my neck. It’s probably from the position I have to sleep in to make me be able to breath better.

  127. I know that my left shoulder will be more stiff and thinking about how I do stuff. I know I always put my bag on that shoulder and when I hold stuff I make that arm hold it. I am going to start switching shoulders and arms.

  128. I tried the different muscle pain tests and the one that caused some pain was my forearm.
    I know I need to change the way I sleep and sit. I know my posture at work is not good cause I tend to hunch over. These tests where interesting.

  129. I have many tender spots on my shoulders. It is most likely from my sleeping position and holding plenty of stress and tension.

  130. I believe that the types of shoes you wear can have a lot to do with back pain. High heels and flip flops are popular but don’t provide any support. I like all of the self assessments provided in this blog.

  131. Michelle and I were discussing this the other day and we literally felt ourselves getting smarter.

  132. I try to remind myself to sit up straight when doing things. It’s hard but I can really feel the difference when I sit up straight or when I slouch. Becoming aware of what you are doing really helps!