If you are a hard working individual with an 8-hour job behind a desk, the cashier, or anywhere else for that matter, there’s a good chance that you’ve had consistent pain in some parts of your body. Aside from lower back pains, we typically go through neck pains. It is no major health concern, but it sure is uncomfortable.
What Are The Causes Of Neck Pain?
There are various reasons for us to develop an aching pain in the neck and don’t worry, it’s not just because you are getting old. Neck pain is triggered by a few factors that you could already be guilty of doing.
Most commonly, neck pain is a result of constant pressure exerted in the area. That could mean you are keeping your head low too much while working from your desk. It could also be the result of conditions such as degenerative disc disease, a pinched nerve or even a herniated disc. It might also be from a previous injury.
In certain conditions, neck pain could be caused by common infections such as ones in the throat, spine bones, and meningitis. For cases like these, it would be best to get the opinion of a doctor as to what you should do. They’ll give you the proper medication but on your part, you could do a few simple self-neck massage techniques to relieve the pain.
While simple, these neck massages have been tried and tested already. With enough practice, you could relieve yourself of the pain in a few minutes or so. Here are 6 neck massage techniques you should try out.
This technique relies heavily on relaxed breathing. Make a fist with your right hand then place the index and middle finger knuckles under your right ear. Breathe in slowly and while you are breathing out, turn your head gently to either the left. Hold that position for a single breath.
Once you are done, fix your head to the center. Now repeat the process but this time, using your left hand on your left ear. Turn to the right then hold again for a single breath. Repeat the process for up to seven times. Do not apply any pressure from your knuckles as your head’s motion will do the work.
Self-neck massages are not always directly focused on handling your neck with care. For this massage, you are going to focus on the large area of muscle across the shoulders and down the back called the trapezius muscle. You will also need a sock and a one to three soft balls; however, a tennis ball is your best bet.
To do this, simply place the ball inside the sock. Then place the toe end of the sock on your left shoulder while the other end should be looped under your left arm. Ideally, you will use the ball to apply pressure on the muscle and there are a few ways to do so.
The easiest is to simply pull the sock from both ends while rolling the tennis ball on your back. Another would be to roll the tennis ball by moving around a chair while leaning back. Lastly, you can lay on the ground and move the ball as you please. Once you are done with one side, do it around the other.
It might be a bit far from your neck but the trapezius muscle is connected to your neck muscles. As such, relieving the pressure here can do wonders for neck pain.
Find a comfortable position and place your left hand on the back of your neck. Ideally, your palm should be at the back of your neck and your thumb should be parallel with your other fingers. Think of it as if you are cupping your nape but your fingers should be spread out a little and it should remain planted.
Once done, gently squeeze your neck. After a few squeezes, carefully turn your head to one side and then hold it in that position for about a second. Face front once again while doing the gentle squeezing motion. Now, turn to the other side and repeat the process for about seven times in each direction.
You are basically releasing the pressure from your neck muscle through the motion. Remember to not apply heavy pressure as you end up hurting yourself even further.
Find a towel, scarf or a belt. Hold it from both ends and then raise up to shoulder height in front of you. Carefully raise your hands over your head and move the item you are using slightly behind you. Do this technique properly by keeping your elbows as straight as possible while you are moving.
Once your arms are behind you, lower them slowly while still keeping hold of the item. Do take note that this might feel uncomfortable especially if you have a stiff body. Slowly pull down your arms behind you up until you reach a point where it seems like your shoulders are locking down. From there, take several deep breaths.
It may seem complicated at first but you could adjust your arms to make it less comfortable. Do several breathing cycles until you feel the tension on your shoulders disappear. Like technique number three, this technique targets the muscles on the shoulders instead of the ones on the neck.
Raise left or right hand and once it’s up, hold down your neck. Ideally, your hands should be upside down. The key for this self-neck massage is to place your palm firmly at the back of your neck. Your index finger and thumb should be right at the top of your shoulder muscle. Your remaining fingers should then gently clasp your neck.
From this point, simply do a squeezing motion for your neck and shoulder muscles. Once you are comfortable with the exerted pressure, you could do a gentle rubbing motion on your neck using your fingers. Do this for a minute or so, then use your other hand to balance out the pressure from both sides.
This is one of the simplest self-neck massages you could do. Simply use both hands to clasp your neck gently. From there, squeeze gently then move your head from left to right slowly. This technique is especially effective for pain caused by a stiff neck.
Tips For A Successful Self Neck Massage
The neck is a rather sensitive muscle. Always do these exercises with the utmost care and caution. The key is to not rush the massages as you could end up pulling a muscle. Remember, gentle squeezing is more effective than heavy pressure.
If you feel uncomfortable while doing these exercises, it could be because your skin is dry. Feel free to apply small amounts of massage oils or ointments to smoothen the surface of the skin.
How To Avoid Neck Pain?
Even if you do these self-neck massages again and again, the ache will likely come back if you continue doing what causes it in the first place. If the neck pain is caused by simple stress and physical activity, always make sure to take a rest every once in a while. If you feel the pain coming up, do a few stretching exercises that target your shoulder and back.
If you are fighting something more serious such as a previous injury or an infection, consult with your doctors regularly as they could provide you with better options. There could be underlying issues with your neck pain so it is always best to get check out as soon as possible.
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