Three Easy Ways to Ease Neck Pain
So if you were to tell somebody, “Gosh, here’s my favorite three things to ease neck pain,” what would you tell them?
I have three favorite things to help ease neck pain.
Number one is – posture, posture, posture. If people would correct their posture, get that head out of the forward position, and really work on shoulders back, neck straight, that would relieve a lot.
So if it’s people setting a timer to remind them to check it, or have everyone around you constantly reminding you. Just let them nag you until you create a new habit for yourself, or some kind of reward system, or with the kids I always tell the parents to charge them money if they catch them in that posture. So posture number one.
2. Handle Upper Trap Tension
Number TWO is if you could handle trap tension; which means you could use the MOBO system to manage all of the trigger points, knots or tension that’s created in upper traps because that causes a lot of pain and tension into and up the neck and the head.
3. Attack the Suboccipitals
And then number THREE would be to absolutely attack the suboccipitals. Whether you’re using MOBO DUO, where you can do both, or some other tool, you need to mobilize that tissue. But you also need to create flexibility of the suboccipitals muscles and activation of the deep neck flexors.
That is what’s missing in people and that would help with the first thing I mentioned, which is posture.
So if you could open and mobilize the suboccipitals while you are creating a new motor or activation pattern for the deep neck flexors, that would be a home run. And that one you can do simultaneously with MOBO, you know what I mean? You can make it a mobilization and an exercise at the same time; which is way more effective.
Okay so if you didn’t have a MOBO what are a couple of things that you can add on?
Just to do some general exercise based chin tucks; trying to get those deep neck flexors to activate while you stretch and open the back of the neck. You can do those laying down. You can do those sitting. You can do those against a wall. Just something that reminds you how to put the neck in neutral from the exercise perspective.
Would it be good to look in a mirror while you do that so you can see where you are?
Yes you can, or just using some kind of feedback like you’re trying to pinch an olive. So you’re just remembering that you want the chin to go down, not straight back. Especially when you’re laying on the floor or you’re against a wall. So doing general mobilizations, just self mobilizations without a tool, and activation of those neck flexors.
And then I would probably also say people being able to stretch the muscles of the traps and the levator scap of the neck; which are just two simple stretches where you take your ear to your shoulder with some gentle overpressure.
Looks like this. And then the levator scap is nose to armpit. So the same side arm just drops that neck in and opens this area up
Alright, show me those again.
Okay, upper trap stretch is just a hand to the same side, the ear goes down, drop this opposite hand behind your back. So that drops the scap down, and then just gently pull until you feel a nice comfortable stretch. Don’t let any tingling, burning, neurological stuff occur.
Second one is levator scap, so it’s nose to armpit. Same arm, same side. gently bring that nose down into there, and then that gets basically this entire muscle belly of what we call the levator scap. And then so just gentle neck stretching. Gentle is the operative word.
About how many seconds would work?
You can hold for anywhere from five to ten seconds, and then repeat them three times.
Alright, and then how do you feel about adding hot or cold to the neck if it feels sore or stressed?
I like hot better than cold. Cold tends to make muscles clench up. Like if you’ve ever tried to text message somebody with your fingers when they’re cold you can barely type, right.
Everything is slowed down in the system. So when we use ice, it is usually for some acute trauma, some inflammatory response that’s currently occurring. So for general neck pain, discomfort, soreness, stiffness, use Heat.
Hot shower, hot pack, hot wash rag, maybe you just get it a little bit wet, throw in the microwave, and put it around you. So moist heat is always better. The body absorbs moist heat a little bit better. I don’t like icy hot things because they have an analgesic you don’t want to mask pain.
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