Aug 20th, 2011 by Kathryn Merrow
Do you have a stiff neck? Here are eight ways you can get that tight neck loosened up.
1. Massage. If you have massage does your massage therapist massage, warm and loosen the muscles on the front of your chest and arms and abdomen? Does she or he or has anyone checked to see whether you have flat arches on your feet? Did you know that flat feet can cause neck pain?
2. Posture corrections. Neck muscles can pull your head forward. I hope your massage therapist works on the muscles in the front of your neck and on the sides of your neck and not just in the back? Do you sit and stand in a good, neutral upright position or is your head ‘forward’? You can tell if you have a forward-head posture if you always catch your reflection in the mirror or a window with your head leading the parade.
3. Ice or cold therapy. Cold therapy is excellent for necks. It works well for both nerves and muscles. Go to the right hand side of this page to the Categories. There is a category for ice and heat and there are articles there that will explain more.
4. Strengthen your back from knees to head. Maybe an exercise specialist could help you get your head
back where it belongs (if this is the case) by helping you strengthen the muscles of your upper back and the back of your neck. Or go to http://SimpleStrengthening.com to find articles about how to do this yourself.
5. Create long muscles in front. Your goal is to create long muscles in the front of your body and stronger, shorter muscles in the back (except for your calves; they should be soft.)
6. Stretch. Stretch the front of body muscles–arms, legs and torso. Make them loooong. That means arms and legs move behind you (arms up and back.) Neck and upper back stiffness and pain can actually come from your lower
body and the muscles in the front of the body.
7. Use a different pillow. Ideally you are sleeping on your back and using a neck roll. Maybe you need a smaller neck roll? If your neck roll is too firm or large it will aggravate your neck. I make my own neck rolls from bats of fiberfill. They are easy to cut to size and readjust as needed. Just roll into a pillow case. And they don’t cost much.
8. Change your position: Sometimes I find that only sleeping on my back can be straining on the neck muscles for me, too, so sometimes I prop my head carefully to keep my neck in line and sleep on my side. In my case, that also means propping my ribcage with a thin pillow to keep my spine straight and another pillow between my knees.
Here is the link to several other articles I wrote (CLICK HERE) to help you get rid of your stiff neck or neck pain naturally.