The common cause for these issues is poor posture and also bad sleeping habits, stress, drafts, coldness and such.
Treat this and upper back pain too, even migraine with good posture. Overload on muscles means adjusting the head the right way to avoid pains.
The latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and pectoralis are the main muscles in shoulders. They move our arm.
The lats and pecs are primary for the arm and the rhomboids in the back make stability in shoulder joints. Lats and pecs rotate the arms and inward too, the rhomboids weaken In the back now. This makes the joint go too far and is not neutral. Avoid this by making the upper back straight with the rhomboids. Do these workouts to align them good, and put muscles of shoulders in the best pose.
- Shoulder alignment- arms are loose by the sides, rotate wrists as far as you can, release the lower arm and turn palms to the thighs and keep shoulder and upper arm same as in pose 2.
- Relax shoulders- raised shoulders might curve in back of neck. Loosen them with arm swings and circle workouts below and keep going.
- Arm swings- stand as for a lunge and left foot is in the front, right in the back. Both heels are on the floor, breathe and swing the right arm far to limit the shoulder joint. Breathe out and swing the arm down. Do 8 more and increase speed. When you hear no crackings, stop. Reverse the pose and repeat with left arm
- Full arm circle- stand in the same pose as previous, do backward circles with the arm and breathe, go up and breathe out to go down. Start slowly, increase speed when the arms circle fat, repeat with other side.
- Yes, no and maybe – they make the neck move in 3 motion planes, sagittal, transverse and frontal axes. Before this determine the pain with a doctor or chiropractor. Yes- move the head up and down. If the back is not tense, the chin should touch the breastbone if you look down. On the up move keep the back neck as long as you can. Repeat up and down moves to hear no more crack noises. If you have posterior disc bulge avoid extremes in this workout. No- here keep the head central and above the spine, see as far back as you can on each rotation and keep nose unlifted. Repeat the moves to left and right. Maybe- drop the ear down to the shoulder and keep nose in the front. Repeat each move 8 times to hear no more noises.
- Head rolls- roll the head clockwise to see the periphery you have. Do 5 rolls and repeat counter clockwise. Also do the rolls in warm bath to feel weightless.
How about sleeping?
Some sleep poses make more stiffness. Sleep in cold draft makes neck muscles tense. Avoid pillows that make strange neck poses. The pillow has to be firm and thin to keep head flat on the ear with no curving.
In most pain cases, it is self-induced and from bad moves and habits. Modify the daily moves and patterns and see what moves are good and what bad.
Gravity inversion table
For neck pain get this table. This is to reduce compression and curvature in the skeleton. This is done with anti-gravity tractions.
The workouts and tips from above make you more educated and aware of this pain. Cure that stiffness forever.