Neck pain is VERY common, but it doesn't mean that it needs to be permanent. I personally understand how difficult it can be to manage with daily demands and little rest, but there is HOPE. Keep reading for my favorite tips on managing this condition.
Here are 10 Ways to Eliminate Nagging Neck Pain
1. Sleep 8+ Hours
Sleep is when our body rests, repairs and restores everything in our body--from our muscles and tendons to our cells. Our neck is working to hold our head up ALL day and needs to be horizontal to fully recover.
2. Bring Your Phone Up to You:
Instead of looking down for long periods of time, bring your phone to your eye level. This immediately reduces the amount of work the back of your neck is having to do.
3. Strengthen your Upper Back:
Strengthening your rhomboids, middle trapezius, lower trapezius and paraspinals in your back create a strong foundation for your neck. It is difficult to hold our bowling ball heads up all day, we need to use the upper back and not just smaller neck muscles.
4. Strengthen your Neck:
Again, we have bowling balls for heads. The average head weights 7.5lbs!! Muscles around the spine need to be strengthened just like other muscles in our body. These muscles get weak which often creates tightness sensation.
5. Change your Position Frequently During the Day:
Our spine craves movement and does not like getting stuck in one position all day. Move frequently, ideally on the hour if you can! Stand up, bend forward, shake it out, stretch side to side...anything that mixes it up.
6. Master your Desk-Set Up:
If you work at a desk primarily--sitting or standing--you MUST create the optimal environment if you have neck pain. It only takes a few modifications, but the benefits are ENORMOUS!! Trust me, I started working from our dining room table and started to get numbness in my thumb....within 1 week of a better set-up I was feeling great.
7. Deep 360 Degree Breathing:
Did you know many neck muscles are actually accessory muscles for breathing? That means breathing should mostly be from small muscles within our ribs and diaphragm, but with certain conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease our body needs help from neck muscles to get air in. For those with neck pain, the more you can try and get lateral rib expansion, belly expansion and back expansion...the less you will keep tension up into your neck.
8. Keep your Neck Relaxed when Lifting Weights:
For my active clientele with neck pain, they have a hard time turning off their neck muscles with lifting. The neck wants to help lift those heavy weights overhead. If you can consciously try to keep your shoulders down and relax while moving what needs to be moving, you will feel better after lifting weights.
9. Keep your Upper Back Mobile:
The thoracic spine is meant to be stiff to protect our precious organs beneath them, but not stiff enough to where it doesn't move at all. Stiffness in the thoracic spine often leads to tightness and pain in the neck. There are many easy exercises you can do to work on this!
10. See a Physical Therapist!
At the end of the day, if you have been suffering from neck pain and tension for awhile...you would benefit from a full evaluation from a Physical Therapist to understand exactly what is causing your problem.
Don't wait...there is pain relief waiting for you! Call 615-982-4062 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org today.