Levator scapule, splenius capitis, sternocleidomastoid (SCM), scalenes, trapezius. Familiar or not, these are just a few of the muscles that comprise your neck and upper back and they are addressed either directly or indirectly during a massage.
Most people experience neck pain from time to time. Neck pain is often due to repetitive motions/over use, sports injuries/whiplash, stress, fibromyalgia and possibly the most common, prolonged sitting, standing or sleeping in improper alignment. Those who have desk jobs, drive long distances, work on a computer, and spend a lot of time on mobile devices experience internal rotation which shortens muscles such as your pectorals and puts strain on other muscles located in the back of your neck. You may not be able quit your job or hire a driver to get you everywhere you need to go, but you can take positive action towards relieving your pain in the neck. Take stretch breaks during your day. Set an alarm every hour or so to stretch and check in with your posture. Make your workstation as ergonomically friendly as possible. Put a lumbar support cushion in your car and at your chair at work (this will help you sit properly and avoid slouching). Get regular bodywork. Massage is an amazing tool to reduce pain, stress and tension in the neck and upper back. Massage is recommended at least every 2 to 4 weeks to feel improvement and maintain results.