We’re seeing a lot of stiff and sore necks at the moment so lets take a quick look at causes and what can be done to help…
A painful neck can be anything from sore and tight muscles through to sharp pain and/or tension headaches. Suffice to say that if your painful neck includes bad headaches that won’t go or pins and needles/numbness one or both arms, it’s time to see your GP for further investigation.
However, most neck pain tends to be because of poor posture, sitting in one position for too long or certain activities that set off your pain.
If your experiencing a stiff neck, tight muscles and possibly a tension headache, try these:
- Hot bath, shower to help relax the muscles
- Heat balm or heat pad (you can get one specifically shaped for the neck and shoulders)
- You might get more relief from applying a cold pack if you prefer
- Stretches – simple gentle stretches to help recover movement – try dropping the ear to the shoulder 5 times on either side, look over each shoulder and dropping the chin to the chest and gently looking up.
- See your pharmacist for help with medications that can help with headaches and pain. If you get repeated stiff muscles, consider a magnesium supplement or Epsom Salts baths.
- If you keep waking up with a stiff neck, check your pillow AND your mattress and be sure they are supporting you properly. No one pillow or mattress suits everyone so make sure you get something that does the job and suits you.
- If you work at a computer, make sure that you take a proper break at least every hour and get up, walk, move and stretch (as described above!) Check your set up with your chair and workstation.
- If you are on your feet a lot, check your posture, ensure your core is engaged and that you lift things correctly with a straight back and use your legs.
- Check your form in the gym if you like your weight training-a poor technique can lead to neck problems. Use the mirrors to check your posture, not your guns/mascara!
- Look after your arms! Check your driving position and keep your arms low on the steering wheel, be aware of resting your hands on top of the steering wheel as this is extra burden on your neck. Keep your arms as close to your body as you can when lifting and keep arm muscles engaged when pulling and pushing.
- Pilates or yoga can both help with posture and strength of the core and improve posture and suppleness and loads of things!
- Deep tissue massage and medical acupuncture work wonders on troublesome necks so come see us and say goodbye to your pain!