Our neck is a marvelous and extremely complex structure, and one of the most used parts the human body. It is also very fragile and stress, poor posture and long hours in front of the computer can stiffen the neck. When this happens, blood supply to the brain is reduced and energy levels drop. Furthermore, you might experience pain that will make daily habits more strenuous and uncomfortable.
Neck pain can be caused by numerous reasons, some of the common ones are bad sitting or sleeping posture, extra stress and sudden twists. If the problem persists, it can be a major cause for problems at work, at the gym, will interfere your daily lifestyle and can ultimately lead to health issues. Fortunately, there are various ways in which you can get relief from neck pain, with yoga being among the most efficient. Various researches have proved that neck-strengthening exercises prove even more beneficial than stretching. Here are nine simple & effective ways to reduce neck pain.
Check in With Your Muscles
If you really want to loosen up your neck muscles, it is not imperative to be an athlete. You can easily do various exercises, stretches and yoga poses while keeping an eye on your kids as they play around the house. One of the easiest exercises is head rotations, which can even be done while you are watching television. This helps stretch the upper trapezius muscle. All you need to do is rotate your head side to side. You can even use your hand to place it on the side of your head to apply extra tension.
Have a Relaxing Massage Therapy
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Massaging your neck and shoulders helps relieve tension and stiffness. With regular massage therapy, you can keep your whole body free from pain. To relieve neck pain, gentle massage sessions of the back, arms, legs and chest are required. Myofascial release and extensive massage of the head, neck, throat muscles and face should be done to promote full healing and restoration of the normal functioning.
In addition to providing relief from back pain, a massage therapy will help keep all your joints limber and cut down the chances of pulling a muscle. Moreover, it will help you improve your posture and flexibility, lower down your blood pressure and heart rate, as well as relieve stress.
Chiropractic is an approach that manipulates both the spine and joints in order to relieve neck and back pain. It is quite popular amongst all those who suffer from back pain as there is no medication involved. Following are some of the common chiropractic techniques:
- Cervical Mobilization – As per this technique, you need to lay down on your back in a relaxed position. The chiropractor will move your vertebra in the neck in a left to right direction and vice versa. And as per figure 8 movement, your head will be moved forward, backward and sideways. This is a smooth stretch that will help reduce the fixations or areas where normal motion has been restricted to cervical spinal segments.
- Cervical Manual Traction – For this technique, you can either lay down facing upwards or it can be done in a sitting posture. The chiropractor will gently pull your neck; this will stretch the cervical spine. This particular technique is combined with mobilization, often switching between the two or doing both at the same time.
Acupressure for Neck Pain Relief
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Neck and shoulder pain can be quite ominous and can hinder your day-to-day activities to a great extent. Instead of using the usual pain killers, you should look within yourself and take a step towards harmony between the mind and the body. In order to have relief from back pain, four key acupressure points are stimulated. Here they are in detail:
- Shoulder region – This is an important point and it is located in the shoulder muscle. Once this point is stimulated, it helps relieve stiffness in the neck and shoulders. It proves beneficial in giving relief from back pain as well.
- Occipital region – The location of this point is the occipital ridge. Once this point is stimulated, it helps give relief from dizziness, headaches and, most importantly, neck pain.
- Neck region – This region consists of a series of seven points (eyebrow ascension, deviating turn, fifth place, light guard, celestial connection, declining connection and jade pillow) on the head. Once all these points are stimulated, neck pain is alleviated
- Hands – The location of this point is between the thumb and the index finger. When this point is stimulated, it really helps relieve neck and shoulder pain.
Not many people are aware of the fact that the vertebrae in your spine require water. This helps maintain the height of the disc and spinal alignment, as well as reduce pressure on the spine. At the time of the birth, around 80% of water is required by each individual spinal disc. As we age, this percentage keeps on decreasing and leads to the degeneration of the disc. However, if you maintain regular hydration habits, you can help reduce further degeneration of the spinal discs.
Be Wary How You Use Your Phone
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Alarmingly, one of the ways in which you are aggravating neck pain and stiffness is by cradling your phone in between your neck and shoulder while you are having a chat or even while browsing the internet. Here are some tips on how to avoid this:
- Use a Bluetooth or hands-free headset.
- Take regular intervals.
- While texting or listening, make sure you keep your phone up high; this will prove helpful in decreasing the angle of your neck.
Get in The Pool
Swimming has therapeutic effects and it can offer relief from neck pain, reduce inflammation and ease neck stiffness. Here are some interesting tips:
- Use a warm swimming pool.
- Keeping the level of water up to chin level, move in varied directions.
- Do a stroke that is gentle on your neck while you are swimming.
Consult A Physical Therapist
A lot of people consider physical therapy as a treatment aimed at varied symptoms related to an injury. While it is correct, if you opt for physical therapy of the neck, then you can have the following benefits:
- You get to strengthen the weak areas of the neck.
- You get to identify the secondary causes of the pain as well.
- You get to learn how to avoid re-injuring yourself.
Go for a Neck-Supporting Chair
We already discussed that bad posture is one of the key reasons for neck pain. If you are able to maintain an apt posture while you are sitting or even sleeping, you get to keep neck pain under control. With the help of a headrest, you will be able to keep the cervical spine in a neutral position. So, make sure you have such a chair both at the office and at home.
Are the long hours spent at your desk and poor posture catching up on you? Go to BookYogaRetreats.com and choose a yoga therapy retreat that will help you reap good benefits for your body mind and soul. Emma is a Mass Communication postgraduate and has written several articles for health websites like Meliopharm.