Top 5 Tips To Get A Grip On Neck Pain
- Tuesday, 03 January 2017
Do you ever suffer from neck ache or from pain in your neck? If so we have 5 top tips to help you avoid, manage or relieve neck pain and some words of wisdom to help you to understand the cause better. The introduction and constant use of tablets and smart phones has increased the risk of experiencing neck pain or developing chronic muscle tension and pain. Throw in 8 hours of desk sitting, poor ergonomic designer sofas and shoulder bag carrying and it is a surprise that we’re ever pain free!
Here are 5 of the post practical and easy steps to help self-manage neck pain!
The human body is actually a very resilient piece of kit and our musculoskeletal system will adapt to constant strain by re-routing pressure and work load. However, this temporary fix can come back to haunt us when we’re experiencing a time of physical, mental or emotional stress and suddenly the over worked re-routing muscles start to scream pain! So here is what you can do:
Stretch Your Neck Pain Away
Anyone who owns a pet will observe how their dog or cat will stretch first thing every morning after hours of inactivity. As humans, we sometimes become too busy to take notice of the urge to have a good stretch. Simply stretching the area affected by neck pain can relieve the pain considerably. Pain is a signal that the body part is experiencing dysfunction. Usually over worked muscles become contracted, inflamed and the acid in the inflammation irritates the nerves to send pain messages to the brain. Stretching can break the pain cycle by causing the muscles to lengthen, allowing blood to flow in with oxygen and nutrients and flushing out the acids - bringing instant relief to the irritated nerve endings.
Employ Neck Self-Massage Techniques
Painful muscles can often be too irritated and tight to stretch. In such cases trying to make them stretch can cause more damage than good – if your will power is stronger than the muscles resolve to protect itself. Self-massage can be a brilliant way to prepare the muscles for stretch. Massage heavily relies on using touch and pressure to re-awaken the neurological connection between the brain and body part. Once the brain re-discovers or feels where the body part is again, it rectifies the situation by relaxing the muscle that is over working and hypertonic. The relaxed neck muscles can now rest, allowing nutrient replenishment, toxin release and a greater range of movement, hopefully with less pain.
Schedule Professional Massage At Regular Intervals
The problem with waiting for pain to occur before taking action is that pain normally arises when we’re most busy or stressed – and it hurts more!. When you find a good massage therapist you can experiment with finding the optimum time frame to schedule a regular massage to prevent pain rather than relieve it. In order to break the pain cycle, it normally requires a few treatments to relieve the symptoms, restore function and stabilise the pain affected areas. At this stage you have an opportunity to schedule your next appointment to prevent pain and enjoy better lifestyle and health management. Usually a monthly massage can maintain a decent level of condition but by consulting with your massage therapist you can discuss with them what they feel could suit your needs best.
Becoming Mindful Of Neck Pain Causes
Steps 1 & 2 were more focused on relieving the pain and step 3 is designed to manage neck pain. We like to introduce our clients to the possibility of preventing their neck pain by noticing what causes it to appear in the first place. Mindfulness has become a common but little understood word in recent times. However, to become mindful and aware of the causing effects of your neck pain can be empowering. Imagine the benefits of understanding and preventing pain from arising in the first place? Hunched shoulders, holding your breath, phone cradling, acidic diets, lack of sleep, prolonged sitting and many more common lifestyle fads are the real cause of neck pain. If you can begin to notice, you can master the outcome and life a life of more ease. The easiest step to noticing if your posture or body position is causing restriction is to take a few deep breaths – if it is difficult to breathe you are holding your shoulder, chest or abdomen muscles too tight or sitting poorly. Sitting upright or relaxing your shoulders will instantly help you breathe easier and slowly eliminate the cause of neck pain.
Mind that Posture!
Western society loves a quick fix and too often we chase the symptom and ignore the cause of pain. In most cases poor posture can be a contributing factor in neck pain. We live in a flexion based society – basically we sit down in a position where the muscles in the front of our body are flexed and they become permanently shortened. The quickest and most effective action to take is to stretch the front of your chest and shoulder - using a door post to lean against to open the area up. Opening up the space in front of your neck, chest and shoulder joint not only gives instant relief but will enable the shoulder blade to sit down in position – taking pressure off of the posterior neck muscles. When there is a balanced relationship between the neck, thorso and shoulder joints you can expect to be pain free and experience a sensation of freedom and movement.