Everyone knows that stretching, heat and exercises can help with neck pain and tightness. But have you heard about these four lesser known ways to relieve and manage your neck pain?
Yoga has been shown to reduce chronic musculoskeletal pain as it increases mobility and disrupts the chronic pain cycle. It involves alternating body positions, breathing techniques and meditation to increase muscle strength, flexibility and overall physical and psychological balance and inner harmony by connecting the body, mind and spirit. Yoga exercises for neck pain involves stretches, relaxation and body awareness to not only alleviate neck pain and improve cervical range of motion but also to decrease the level of depressive symptoms and thus better one’s overall quality of life. You can follow this link to Yoga Journal for some yoga poses for neck pain.
According to a study published in The Journal of Pain of the American Pain Society Tai Chi can be as effective in relieving chronic neck pain as conventional neck exercises. Tai Chi is a low impact mind-body exercise that originated in China from an ancient Chinese martial art Tai Chi Quan. Because it is gentle on the spine more and more people are starting to add Tai Chi to their neck, upper and lower back pain treatment and rehabilitation. Here is a link to a video showing Tai Chi Exercises for Neck and Shoulders.
The three main components of Tai Chi involve:
Meditation: Tai Chi requires you to be calm and tranquil which helps relieve stress and anxiety- common sources of muscular tightness in the neck leading to pain and restricted range of movement.
Breathing: Encourages relaxation through improved circulation and therefore more efficient oxygen delivery to the muscles and brain promoting reduction in stress and pain levels.
Movement: Rhythmical, slow and fluid movements in Tai Chi improve balance, coordination, flexibility and stamina with a minimal impact on the joints. By becoming more focused and aware of your body through the practice of Tai Chi you can improve your posture.
With the increasing evidence of Swimming’s has therapeutic effects on neck pain, it’s time to include this form of exercise into your neck rehab program. It can ease stiffness, increase range of movement and reduce inflammation. Depending on your symptoms an pain levels you might benefit from either gentle exercises in a heated pool or swimming laps using a stroke that is very gentle on the neck and does not include twisting of the neck.
There is a common perception that massage has to be painful to be effective. However, there is sufficient scientific evidence to prove that touch and relaxation massage are beneficial for chronic musculoskeletal pain. Even a gentle massage around the neck can have a soothing effect on the tense cervical muscles and reduce the excessive sympathetic nervous system activity through the release of endorphins – your body’s own natural pain-killers. Emotional and psychological health are major factors contributing to the persistence and severity of pain. Thus, relaxing your mind can help your body to relax as well and make your nervous system feel safe again so it can stop trying to protect you by using pain. Here at Mobilise we know how to use various massage techniques to address your symptoms and reduce your pain levels. Our therapists know how the nervous system works and are here to help you relive your musculoskeletal pain.