Neck pain is a common complaint for our clients and well, it’s a “pain in the neck !”
Some interesting facts and statistics you may not know about neck pain:
● 1 in 5 individuals are experiencing neck pain right now, with 54% of people having had neck pain in the last 6 months.
● 75% of the population will experience neck pain some time in their lives
● Only 21% of young adults have knowledge of “text neck”. (Bonus: Did you know people spend on average 4 hours a day looking at their cell?)
There can be several causes of neck pain … poor posture, injury, sleeping in a straining position, osteoarthritis; though it is rare, neck pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem. Most of the time, the pain eases gradually with home treatment (you will see several ways below), if your pain does not get better, is severe, spreads, or is accompanied by headache, numbness, weakness or tingling, we encourage you to talk to your therapist or see your doctor.
Here are some of our favorite ways to find relief at home:
(#4 might surprise you! Hint: the neck bone’s connected to the … pelvic bone?)
1. Open Up the Chest. Our society spends a lot of time on technology (phones, tablets, computers), so trust me when I say that most of us have chest tightness that is contributing to our neck pain. Here are three ways to open up the chest (using a pillow , foam roller or pool noodle)
2. Stretch the Neck. Give this stretch a try with slow, gentle and a prolonged hold in order to eliminate neck tension and stiffness. Tip: less is more and tip the chin in different directions to change where you feel the stretch. Neck stretch to find relief.
3. Stack for Success. Using multiple tools at the same time along the back can feel oh so good and eliminate tension. Our favorite spots – base of skull, upper back and mid back, but also base of skull and back of the pelvis (sacrum). Find the combination that works best for you. Amy shows you how to use multiple tools in her Stacking the Spine FB LIVE.
4. A Balanced Pelvis. Yep, you guessed it, we are back to creating balance in the pelvis. If the pelvis is rotated it will create a twist through the spine and all the way up to the neck. Create balance in the pelvis today.
5. That Pesky Psoas. The psoas again? Restrictions in the psoas are connected to most dysfunctions in the body. So, we encourage you do self-care regularly on the psoas even if you don’t think you need it. Trust me, it is likely restricted and pulling your body down and forward.
6. Stretch the Sides. Many of us are pulled down on one side of the body, but did you realize that your neck will move right along with it. This causes an imbalance and the other side of the neck will overwork to keep your head upright. We encourage you to include sidelying stretches into your weekly routine.
In practicing these exercises and using the strategies outlined, you should find relief and even prevent neck pain in the future. If you find yourself with the unfortunate “crick in the neck” and can’t seem to find relief, please call one of our qualified therapists at Natural Balance Therapy and we will help in whatever way we can or point you in the right direction.