Just another part of our body that can cause us pain – the neck. Whether it’s a knot from sleeping wacky the night before or a pain that’s been pretty consistent lately, having a stiff and tense neck can leave you feeling restricted in more ways than one. It shouldn’t hurt to look both ways when crossing the street or when you’re looking down to keep an eye on your little one. Check out these tips to see if they can relieve your neck pain.
1. Check if you’re breathing correctly
Yes, that’s right! You should not be breathing from your tummy but drawing out that breath from your diaphragm.
Don’t puff out your belly and don’t breathe from your upper body. Draw that breath down and in. You can check this by lying down somewhere
flat, placing one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Both hands should be moving equally as you visualize and execute breathing in and out.
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2. Do some stretches
If you only treat where the pain is at then you completely miss where the pain may be stemming from in your body.
You do not only want to stretch the back of your neck – where it can feel like most of your pain is coming from. You also want to address other parts of your body as well. Pay attention to the front of your neck. Some past surgeries or current occupations can cause you to start pulling your body forward and cause restriction on your soft tissue. Restriction in the fascia can put up to 2,000 pounds of pull, torsion, and restriction in your body. So, yes – the front of your neck is pretty important too!
3. Use different items to target pain
A small ball, rolled up towel, or yoga mat can be used to relieve neck pain. Use these tools when lying down. Place the item at bra-line (for women) or nipple line (for men) and lie down on a flat surface keeping the item in place. There are also some self treatment tools that can be used as well. The CranioCradle, DaVinci Tool, and tennis balls can all be used to relieve the tension where the head and spine meet. It’s important to be especially aware of this area because you could be constantly extending through your upper cervical.
4. Check your posture
Notice a pattern? Posture is so important! Make sure your shoulder blades are down and back when standing or sitting. Also, be more mindful of how you sit and how long you sit. Posture is not only beneficial to decrease your neck pain but for your back and hips as well.
5. Toss out your glasses
But if you do wear glasses or bifocals, make sure to be mindful that you’re not looking down into your lenses. This can cause strain on your neck when done frequently and for long periods of time. Make sure to keep your glasses on the upper bridge of your nose.
6. Strengthen back muscles
This tip should only be focused on once you straighten out your posture. Strengthening your muscles can help your body carry itself with a little more ease and a lot less tension. By waiting until you straighten out your posture, you will be strengthening you body to hold in the optimal position instead of imbalanced.
7. Pelvic floor and hips
Just like posture, it’s important to be mindful of how your hips are sitting as well. Make sure you are also aware of any tension you might be feeling in this area. The body is all one vessel that greatly relies on all parts of it to be taken care of properly.