Over the last couple months or so, I'm not sure when it started, I've been having problems with pain in my neck and left shoulder.
If I'm sitting in a chair without something to rest my head against, I have to frequently change positions because my neck begins to ache, and after prolonged periods of sitting it seems to ache no matter what I do unless I get up and move around. If I'm walking or standing I don't seem to have this problem, but while sitting my neck just feels "stiff" a lot.
Also my shoulder just randomly hurts. Some days it just hurts to move my arm certain ways, and it can be really bad, other days it hardly bothers me at all.
I originally thought maybe I was sleeping on my arm weird but I don't think that's the problem now. Any input?
Sounds more like just irritated neck muscles. Frequent gentle stretching, like you are already doing, can help a lot. If it seems to be getting worse, though, or if you start getting random pains or strange feelings in your hands, you should probably get it checked out.
Do you use the computer or phone a lot? That could affect your posture and cause all sorts of neck, back and shoulder pain. If you're doing a lot of numerical input or mouse clicking with one hand, you can irritate the nerve that runs up your arm and you'll feel weird little pains in your upper arm or your shoulder, or numbness in your hands.
Ibuprofen (Motrin) should help reduce the pain and inflammation. Try a heating pad or an ice pack to see which helps the most for you. Ice seems to reduce pain faster, while heat seems to help flexibility and range of motion. Physical therapy can be very helpful but it's quite time consuming. You might get faster results with a couple short visits with a chiropractor.
When I had bad neck and upper back pain I saw a chiropractor, and it helped a great deal after only two visits. It reduced my migraines too. I wouldn't see a chiropractor for lower back pain though.
For the past several weeks, I've had the same kind of pain on the left side of my neck, and the pain goes down to my shoulders. I know it sounds weird, but if I turn my neck sharply to the right, the pain eases. Of course, I can't walk around like that all day And now, I have tingling all the way down to my left hand. Got me kind of worried. Have you had the tingling in your arm too?
Pain on the left going away when you turn to the right isn't particularly weird. You are stretching the spasmed muscles.
Try just stretching your neck gently. Turn to the right, hold for a few seconds, turn to the left, hold, then back to center. Then try bringing your ear down toward your shoulder on each side (tilting your head). Be very careful as you do this, back off if it hurts, do not jerk your head around. Also, try stretching your trapezius muscle.
If the problem does not improve soon, seek medical attention.
I suffer from the same problem, the pain also refers to my chest, armpit and right down my arm and into my hand. I've had XRays which show nothing, the Doc says it's tight muscles caused by bad posture. I find massage and Chiro give much relief.