2 Ways to Relieve Neck Pain (And 1 Thing to Stop)

by | Nov 15, 2017 | Balance and Flexibility, Building Healthy Habits | 2 comments

Most neck pain not caused by trauma is usually the result of poor posture and weak muscles supporting our head. For example, sitting at our computers, or hunching over our phone for several hours can strain our neck, and shoulders. Additionally, common sources of neck pain can result from cycling (both static and sport) or freestyle swimming.

 

Why Stretching Doesn’t Stop Pain

Stretching a muscle, lengthens it beyond its normal position. As a result, your brain is warned: “Uh oh! Something is wrong. We’d better batten down the hatches.” In fact, stretching a muscle can actually make that muscle tighter, which weakens it. In our necks, this can diminish both static and dynamic balance, as well as basic movement.

Instead, strengthening these muscles repositions our head into a neutral, natural position. (NeckPainExercises)

 

foam roll neck

Foam Roller Neck Exercise

It’s important to realize that trigger point pain often accompanies neck pain. To explain, trigger points are sensitive “knots” within connective tissue (fascia). Notably, a foam roller exercise can often reduce the knots and reactivate the muscle

To begin, use a full-length (36 inches long), 6-inch diameter foam roller.

  1. First, place the foam roll on the ground, and lie on it lengthwise.
  2. Then, place your hands on your hips.
  3. Start rolling slowly sideways, keeping your torso parallel to the ground.
  4. In general, slowly roll to each side, pausing when a painful area is felt. Remain in place for about 30 seconds before moving again.

 

chin tuck

The Chin Tuck

The chin tuck is an effective exercise to ease neck pain. Significantly, it strengthens the muscles that pull your head into alignment over your shoulders.

  1. Begin standing, with your spine against a wall and feet out 3 inches,
  2. Next, bring your upper back and head backward until your head touches the wall.
  3. In the meantime, keep your chin down, so you pull your head straight back.
  4. Finally, hold your head against the wall for 5 seconds.

Repeat 10 times, for 2 sets

 

Don’t Do this Neck Stretch

Your head moves naturally in a linear manner. In contrast, when you rotate your head in a circular pattern, you override the protective mechanism that your body uses. With this in mind, research shows that this movement puts undue stress on your cervical spine. And it may also cause more compression of the arteries that take blood to the brain. (NeckCirclesCervicalIssues)

 

Bonus Tip to Relieve Neck Pain

Looking down at our phones can lead to neck pain and instability. Here’s a quick, simple remedy.

 

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