8 Ways to Find Relief for Aching Shoulders and Backs

Chair massageBetween carrying heavy luggage and boxes, loading and unloading event supplies, many hours on tradeshow floors, and extended time on their feet or seated at the computer, many event planners experiences aching shoulders, backs, and other muscles. Relief is possible but sometimes the pain won't go away by itself.

Start with prevention. 

  • Always opt for luggage and cases with wheels. Even if loads don't seem heavy, they can put a strain on shoulders and backs if they are carried for a while.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Pause and stretch regularly during breaks or when you're working on the computer for extended periods. 
  • Be sure to select a comfortable chair for your office. 
  • Practice self-massage a few times a day.

If despite your best efforts, you end up with sore muscles, here are 8 ways to find relief (check with your doctor first):

  1. Relax in a bubble bath. Use warm water to relax sore muscles.
  2. Soak in a hot bath with Epsom salts. 
  3. CounterpainApply analgesic balms like Counterpain. This analgesic balm has a warming sensation and it provides relief quickly. Pick it up in Chinatown or on on trips to Asia.
  4. Use counterirritants like RUB·A535 or Absorbine Jr.  RUB A535 is available in Canada. It reduces inflammation and provides a cooling or heating sensation that relieves pain. Ingredients include menthol, methyl salicylate and camphor.
  5. Tiger Balm PatchApply Tiger Balm rub or use a Tiger Balm patch on shoulders or the back before retiring. This blend of herbal ingredients from ancient Chinese medicine is manufactured in Singapore. It has a 100 year track record in soothing aching muscles.
  6. Go for an acupressure treatment. This therapy which applies pressure to acupuncture points improves circulation and relaxes tight muscles.
  7. Go for a massage. Take your pick from Shiatsu, Thai, Swedish or traditional Asian.
  8. Take advantage of digital therapy with a Tens Massage Machine. (TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.) Place the electrode pads on areas that are sore and select the strength from the blue LCD panel. Don't place the pads on the spine or eyes or apply them to the head, face or chest. WARNING: Individuals with pacemakers should not use it.

For more pain relief strategies, also consult Event Planner Smarts: 12 Ways to Stop Your Feet From Aching After Events, 10 Ways for Meeting Planners to Recharge After Events, and 5 Asian Inspired Ways to Pamper Yourself After Busy Events.

Photo Credit: Kelly McCarthy

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