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Rest and Recovery Room FeatureAugust 24, 2022
Reasons for neck pain
Neck pain can be caused by a lot of reasons. In this hurry up society neck pain is increasingly common because of the amount of time we spend staring down at our laptops and smartphones. This looking down day after day causes the posterior neck muscles and upper thoracic muscles to have to overwork to keep our head somewhat up against gravity. This causes the neck to become misaligned and it can feel stiff as it no longer can move freely. This generally is the start of neck pain
On top of that sleeping with your neck in an awkward posture either due to a poor fitting or old pillow or just sleeping “wrong” will cause even more stress to the neck contributing to the pain getting worse and worse.
Finally, you can have an incident which causes trauma to the neck like an auto accident, fall, or sporting injury. These can trigger long term neck pain lasting for months or years.
How to cure neck pain fast
- 1st consider the severity and nature of the neck pain. If it is very painful, you have a loss of consciousness, pins and needles, numbness or tingling, weakness, cold arm, this shows that this could be a serious issue and you should seek medical attention. We offer free screenings with a physical therapist, to assess what is your best next step. Call 414-235-3660 to set up an appointment.
- You can try ice or heat at home. Due to the nature of the ice and heat available at home, they really do not go very deep. This may allow for some pain relief but will not actually solve the issue causing the pain.
- There are specific stretches that can affect the pain. However, the best stretches to do will depend on your specific neck injury. We would recommend that you seek out professional help for a tailored plan to assist you. As general advice, the stretches should be gentle and slow, avoid sudden movements and over stretching which may cause more damage to the affected area and slowing, and or slow the recovery.
- Strengthening especially of the lower trap to control the scapula and decrease stress to the neck with reaching. If you are unsure on strengthening exercises the team at Innovative PT or Innovative Personal Trainers can help tailor a program to your needs.
- In the short term, avoiding activities that cause or contribute to neck pain. This gives the injured area time to recover. How long should you avoid these activities depends on the severity of your injury. The team at Innovative PT can help ensure that you recover faster by using a variety of solutions such as manual therapy, cupping, stretching, exercises and modalities (ultrasound and electrical stimulation). With our physical therapy approach, we will help you recover from neck pain and return to doing everything you want to do. We do not like to tell you to stop doing the things you love but would rather work with you to allow you to do those things without suffering from pain or worsening your injury.
- Sleeping can cause increased symptoms of neck pain. If you have increased neck pain/stiffness in the morning or have trouble sleeping or getting comfortable when in bed your sleeping posture, bed or pillow may be to blame. You want to have a bed where it supports your entire body in a natural alignment. Next, you need a good pillow to support your head and neck. This allows your muscles and joints to rest in the proper position. If your neck is not supported it will place extra strain on your neck muscles at a time when they need to rest and recover. Finally it is generally recommended to sleep on the side or back as stomach sleeping causes you to torque your neck to one side or the other contributing to discomfort in the morning.
- Poor posture which generally is forward head, rounded shoulders, slouched posture puts a lot of stress on the back of the neck and upper back as they have to hold up your head which is 12-15#. If you question how hard that is just put a 12# weight in your hand and hold it out from your body for a minute. Then you will understand why your neck is hurting.
- Carrying heavy items like bags or children on one side can place greater stress on one side of the body over time. To compensate for this, your body will change its posture to help with the load. Unfortunately, this can contribute to neck pain. Try to vary which side of the body you carry your bag or children.
- The final tip I have for reducing neck pain is to get a massage. This will help by increasing blood flow to the area and is a great way to assist with recovery. The rest and recovery room at Innovative Health and Fitness has massage chairs and massage guns to give you a good start.
It is important to seek professional help when you are suffering from neck pain. Sure sometimes the neck pain will go away by itself in a couple of days or weeks, but if it is not getting better or the pain keeps returning our team of therapists are here to help. To find out more we offer free screenings where you will speak to a physical therapist to answer questions you may have and find out what is stopping you from getting the life you want. Please call 414-235-3660 or visit this link to set up a free consultation.
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