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What to do for neck pain

Do you spend most of your day at the desk working or studying? Do you drive for long periods or maybe you slept “funny” and now your neck is sore, stiff and giving you headaches?

There are several muscles attached to the cervical spine, skull and the shoulder complex that bend and twist your head. They allow for rapid and slow, big and small movements making it possible for you to look up and down, to the sides and over your shoulders. When overused or weakened due to poor posture or misuse, those muscles can get tight, restricting your range of motion and causing pain – dull, sharp or even neural in nature. Here are some tips from Harvard Health and the Cleveland Clinic on how to avoid and deal with neck pain. For more information, talk to an experienced Myotherapist at Mobilise Remedial Massage.

Sleeping positions

Sleeping positions are tough to change, however, you can practice becoming more aware of the sleeping position you start the night in. Harvard recommends two sleeping positions to prevent neck pain: on your back and on your side. Remember to keep your spine straight when sleeping on your side. You can achieve that by placing your pillow higher under the neck than the head. You should also support the neck curvature when you sleep on your back. You can simply use a small rolled up towel to give your neck that extra support.

Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach. This sleeping position causes your back to arch too much and your neck stays turned to the side for hours, which let’s be honest, your neck does not like.

Pillows

The choice of the right pillow that supports your neck while you are asleep plays an important role as well. Harvard recommends feather pillows (as they adapt easily to the shape of the neck) and memory foam pillows. If the pillows are too high and too stiff your neck most likely will not like it and you will wake up with a neck pain or tightness.

Ergonomics

To avoid adding excessive stress on your muscles, joints and discs make sure your computer screen as well as the phone and tablet screens are at eye level, use a headset or detached keyboard if possible and don’t forget to take breaks.

Exercises and Stretching

Regular stretching throughout the day and gentle exercises without rapid, jerky movements can help reduce your symptoms. Follow the link to our blog 5 Basic Exercises for Sore Neck and Shoulders  to see how to keep your neck muscles strong and flexible.

Heat

It has been proven that heat can help relieve musculoskeletal pain. It can be applied with heat packs, hot water bottles or warm showers. But remember: stay safe and not burn your skin!

Massage and Myotherapy

In our blog Top 5 Benefits of Massage we explained how massage therapy promotes relaxation and reduces pain by calming the nervous system.  A well trained and experienced remedial massage therapist will be able to decide what type of massage your sore neck would benefit from: deep tissue, trigger point therapy or gentle Swedish massage. Soft tissue manipulation will stimulate your brain to reduce the tone of the tight neck muscles and therefore relieve the pain of the muscle spasm. This allows your joints to move more freely and increases your range of motion.

Here at Mobilise we can both treat your neck pain and help you prevent the pain from reoccurring. Our therapists will perform a thorough orthopaedic assessment to find the cause of the pain which they will explain to you, they will also provide a hands-on treatment including massage, trigger point therapy or cupping and discuss a rehabilitation and treatment plan for you to follow to stay out of trouble.

Click HERE to book an appointment online with Kath or Leslie!