What causes a pain in the neck - that nagging husband, a moaning friend, a whining child? If so, you're on the wrong website! Here the reference is to those upper back, shoulder and neck muscles. The ones which are constantly fighting gravity, turning round when reversing the car, looking left and right, raising or lowering to read your tablet or mobile in the sun, pulling up your shoulders when cold or feeling tense? and so it goes on.
These daily repetitive movements in an ideal world would be ache free, add; work/home life pressures and posture and then the body's simple desire to work efficiently becomes compromised. Soft tissue such as ligament, tendon and muscle becomes tired, tightens and therefore shortens, so it's elasticity lessens. This can result in areas of taut muscle and 'knots' as we know them and the range of movement can be restricted. We've all had and rub them; they are firm but movable, and tender or sore to the touch.
In manual therapy, (physiotherapy or massage therapy) terms they are technically referred to a myofascial trigger points. The good news is, that a combination of remedial massage techniques (manual therapy) with home exercising can produce a significant improvement in pain in the above areas (Indian Journal of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy 2016).