I have constant neck and shoulder pain too. The docs have decided that I have a thickened something or other in my shoulder and a narrowed space in one of the vertebrae in my neck, both of which cause radiating nerve pain. Anyway I went to PT for about 6 months a couple of years ago, I still do the exercises, swear by them in fact. They seem to help, at least I'm living with a lot less pain than I used to. Most of them are with hand weights, I started with 2lbs, but have moved up to 10 for almost all of them, and 15 for a select few. Basically I take the hand weights and lift them in just about anyway I can think of, sets of 10, 1-3 sets each (depending on time).
The most effective exercise is where I lay on my back, start with weights at my sides, from there I lift up, until my arms are perpendicular to the floor, and then lower them over my head until the weights touch the floor and back, slowly.
Another good one is "push-up plus", start in push-up position, but instead of dropping down you arch your shoulders up, it's almost like a reverse push-up. The movement is very minimal, but in part a stretch, so it feels good when done right.
I also have a body ball and do hand walking, where my stomach is on the ball and I uses my hands to walk forward until my feet are on the ball, then I move side to side and finish with a set of side planks. That one is great for the core, your shoulders will ache, but your core will be on FIRE.
I also do push-ups and planks (straight arm, bent arm) and side planks with weights (straight and bent). I try and hold the planks and side planks for 30-60 seconds each. Sit-ups and crunches are also great, specifically inverted crunches, the bench at the gym will only invert to 45 degrees, but that's all I can handle anyway. I try and get to 150 total, between sit-ups, crunches and obliques, everything in sets of 25 just to make keeping track easier.
I'm glad you do yoga, that is great for me too. I hand walk out to downward dog, to cobra, back to downward dog, hand walk back and stand, until I can't do anymore. That one gets some weird looks at the gym, but it's great for flexibility and my neck and shoulder.
Other than that it's not uncommon for me to stop whatever I'm doing and stretch, I also take Flexamin at night when the pain is bad. My body does a lot better if it gets fully relaxed overnight and I get a good bit of rest.
Another thing is that my issues were probably caused by an RMI (repeat motion injury), so I try and limit the time I spend at the computer.
Starting weight: 244.6 lbs. 10/01/09
Pounds lost: 80.6 lbs
Current weight: 164 lbs
Goal weight: 120 lbs
Weight to go: 44 lbs
Goal Date: 1/1/13
Last edited by almeeker; 11-04-2011 at 10:28 AM.