Types Of Self Massage For Neck Pain
Its not always possible to get to the massage therapist when you feel knotted muscles or tension in your neck. As with injury, sometimes the tension and neck pain happens when you least expect it, and your therapist is booked for weeks. Luckily, there are plenty of self massage for neck pain techniques that can offer relief from neck pain.
Benefits Of Self Massaging The Neck
- Improved Neck Strength And FlexibilityHave you ever woken up from a long night of sleep only to wake up with a piercing pain in your neck or shoulders? In most instances, your muscles got tight, pinched up, or were stretched out too much. It hurts! Self-massaging the neck will help reduce these painful morning routines.
- Improved Blood CirculationWant to think better, faster, and clearer. Self-massaging helps to stimulate blood flow and the neck just happens to be where the brain is. Since the brain needs adequate blood flow, it makes logical sense that improved blood flow would help you think better, faster, and clearer.
- Reduces Pain In The Neck, Shoulders, And BackSelf-massaging your neck will obviously help to reduce pain in your neck, but it will also help reduce pain in the surrounding areas including your head , your shoulders, and your back.
- A massage feels so good, it is easy to melt away from all the troubles and cares that have stressed you out. Your focus is on your body, not your problems. What you will see is a decrease in stress and pain, helping to improve your overall mental health.
Ways That Massage Can Help To Manage Neck Pain
Massage is worth the cost. Its one of the best ways to manage neck pain and the associated symptoms by relieving the area and strengthening the underlying muscles to prevent further injury. It has grown in popularity over the past few years as increasing numbers of people seek alternative therapies, whilst further research into the full-body benefits of massage has also brought massage into the spotlight.
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Trigger Point Massage Therapy
Other popular treatments for neck pain include trigger point and acupressure based massages such as Japanese Shiatsu and Reflexology. Yes that’s right, some therapists will press parts of your feet to help relieve pain in your neck!
Trigger point massage techniques use a slightly different method from the conventional strokes of oil based massages. Instead of using long flowing effleurage, therapists focus on applying a medium level of sustained pressure to very specific points on the neck, using the tips of their fingers. These pressure points are believed to be connected to physical and mental energy channels which become blocked over time through unhealthy living.
The Best Way To Massage Your Neck
Neck massages are the most common and effective way to alleviate tension. There are many different ways to massage your neck, but the standard method is circular motions with steady pressure. This will help you to release pain and tension in your neck muscles. You should also try out a combination of light, deep, and side-to-side movements for better results.
In order to massage your neck, you’ll want to start with some warming up exercises. It’s important that you make sure your muscles are warm before beginning your neck massage. There are a couple of ways to do this, such as using a hot shower or heating pads. Once your muscles are warmed up and you’re ready to go, you’ll want to begin by massaging the front of your neck. This is where the majority of tension typically accumulates in the afternoon and evening hours. Start at the top of your head, and then slowly work down. Apply pressure towards the back of your head as well. You can continue with these steps for about three minutes before switching sides for two minutes.
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Using Specially Designed Self
There are a variety of other self-massage tools designed to target specific muscle groups more accurately. These include:
Additionally, if you receive professional massages, self-massage may prolong the benefits and provide relief in between sessions.
Apply Pressure With Movement
Return to the standing position, looking directly at a wall. Take your right hand and cup it around your neck, thumb facing downward with the fingertips on the midpoint of the back of your neck. Squeeze gently and lean your neck away from your hand . While your head is tilted, breathe deep and hold it for two or three seconds. Exhale and slowly return your head to the upright position. When finished, switch hands and repeat the process in the opposite direction. Continue to do this until you feel the pain in your neck and shoulders start to leave .
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The Devil Is In The Details
In simple terms, this chronic affliction results from hunching forward with rounded shoulders for extended periods of time over a hand-held mobile phone or tablet. And desktop users arent exempt. Tech neck can also result from holding your head unnaturally far forward to stare at a desktop computer monitor.
This unnatural posture, over time, can cause repetitive strain and injury that presents as neck pain, shoulder pain, upper back pain, chronic headaches and increased curvature of the spine. The soreness can range from chronic, nagging discomfort to sharp, stabbing, localized pain.5
No single muscle gets full credit for tech neck, says Jessica Crow, LMT, registered yoga and meditation instructor based in New York City. Crow paints a mental image of whats going on. The human head weighs 10 to 12 pounds, and with every inch the head moves forward and out of alignmentbalanced on top of the neck and shouldersit doubles in weight, essentially. The muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc., have to work that much harder to keep the head up.
Holding this unnatural forward posture results in overstretched, hypertonic, fatigued muscles in the posterior neck and upper back. In the front of the body, muscles can begin to shorten from being in a slack position for long periods of time, says Donald Wolfkill, LMT, owner of Customer Performance Massage in Wexford, PA.
Set Up An Ergonomic Workstation
If most of your work is done digitally , youll want to make sure that you are positioned properly to avoid straining your neck and slouching forward. A couple of tips:
1. Ensure that the top third of your screen is at eye level.Ensure that your monitor is placed 18 and 24 inches from your face. This promotes an upright head and neck posture.
2. Make sure your keyboard is at elbow height. This avoids a keyboard that is too high, which would make you elevate your arms and shoulders, straining the muscles in your neck.
3. Put Your Phone DownConstantly looking down at your phone can cause an enormous amount of strain on your neck. Try to minimize the amount of time your spend texting and emailing on your phone. If you cannot avoid this, be sure to take breaks frequently .
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How Massage Therapy Is Applied For Chronic Neck Pain
There are numerous types of massage, with variations in techniques, strokes, and pressure applied by the hands and other methods. Even in cases where only the neck is symptomatic, the massage is typically applied to the neck, shoulders, and back, because these regions are all connected.
Two of the more common types of massage to address neck pain include:
Swedish massage is the most common type in Western culture. It mostly focuses on long, steady strokes, which are typically performed in the direction of blood flow to the heart. Kneading and friction motions may also be included. One of the main goals of Swedish massage is to promote relaxation throughout the entire body.
Deep tissue massage typically uses deeper strokes and friction to work on deeper layers of the muscles and connective tissues. Also known as connective tissue massage, there are a wide variety of definitions for deep tissue massage, depending on the therapists techniques and philosophies. Compared to Swedish massage, a deep tissue massage commonly focuses more on an area of chronic pain.
Numerous other types of massage and variations also exist. For example, some massage therapists use special oils or other scents for aromatherapy, which in some cases might enhance the relaxation or enjoyment.
Works With Your Body Holistically
Studies have shown that regular massage has the additional benefits of improved circulation, stimulation of the lymphatic system, and heightened alertness, which ultimately makes for improved overall quality of life. This means that incorporating regular neck massages into your routine can enhance your wellbeing as well as relieve pain.
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Other Benefits Of Neck Massage
A reduction in neck pain from arthritis, and an increase in range of motion, are not the only benefits of massage. According to Massage Envy, regular massage also improves your posture and flexibility, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and promotes relaxation and stress relief.
Now that you know a few ways to help reduce your neck pain, we hope you put them to good use. Ultimately, we hope you are better able to nod your head and become a Champion of Yes to conquering arthritis!
Reduce Neck Pain From Arthritis With Massage
Neck pain is one of the most frequent pain conditions, second only to back pain with a reported 30-50% of adults experiencing it. And those living with arthritis know all too well the discomfort that can come from simply shaking their head Yes or No.
However, according to research done at the University of Miami School of Medicine, daily self-massage, coupled with regular massages from a therapist, can reduce neck pain caused by arthritis.
Participants in the study, who were already diagnosed with neck pain due to arthritis, received weekly moderate pressure massages, along with directions on how to complete those same massages on themselves daily.
The results of this study showed that participants experienced significant reductions in neck pain associated with arthritis, reduced pain brought on by neck movement and increased range of motion in their necks.
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Two Tips To Remember When Self Massaging The Neck
Whenever you are massaging your neck, always use a high-quality lotion to help your fingers glide. Nothing is more painful or irritating than fingers/hands that will not slide easily. Better yet, get a CBD massage cream that can help reduce inflammation in its own regard.
Secondly, use a warm towel to help relax your muscles during your massage. Make sure it is not too hot so that you can leave it on the affected area for longer than two or three minutes. If you cannot do that, it is too hot. You should make sure the muscles in question are warm before you start massaging. The same goes for performing mobility exercises – always warm up!
Efficacy Of Massage Therapy
Some studies have found that neck massage can provide some neck pain relief and improved range of motion, especially when performed by a trained professional a few times a week for several weeks. These results tend to be temporary.1,2
While some studies have found benefits for treating neck pain and stiffness with massage, other studies have not. Further complicating matters, there are a wide variety of massage therapy types and challenges with measuring how massage therapy is applied, which can make it a difficult treatment to study. Some research has indicated that applying a moderate-level massage is more beneficial than a light-touch massage.3
More research is needed to determine whether neck massage is beneficial for reducing chronic neck pain and stiffness, and whether the results can be sustained. Even though massage benefits may be temporary, it may still play a role in managing painful flare-ups and helping to improve quality of life.
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What Is A Crick In The Neck
A loosely defined, non-medical term, the phrase crick in the neck is often used to describe muscle knots in the neck. Once developed, you may suffer pain and stiffness around your upper back, neck and shoulder area.
Knots can occur suddenly and unexpectedly, but are usually simply down to muscle fatigue. If you get a muscle knot in your neck or upper back, you may find it painful to turn your head left or right. Your neck may also seem like it is slightly out of joint and needs to be clicked back into place. Overall the muscles around this part of your body will feel tighter and less mobile than usual.
In most cases, and especially if you have not been suffering from any other illnesses, waking up to unexpected neck pain is not serious. A neck muscle knot is usually caused by an extended period of poor posture or over-exertion, such as sleeping or sitting at a desk for several hours in a bad position.
Tense neck and shoulder muscles are usually a short-term condition and fix themselves in a day or so. However, massage therapy can be a great way to relax tight spots and relieve pain from muscle knots quickly. In a minority of cases, the sudden onset of severe neck pain may be associated with a more serious underlying condition – in such cases you should seek advice from your doctor.
Try one of the following treatment styles the next time you wake up with a stiff neck.
Common Cause: Muscle Strain
This is one of the most common reason or neck pain. Some of the muscles in your neck include the levator scapulae, upper trapezius and the sternocleidomastoid. These muscles can get strained by activities you do every day, such as:
- Excessive Cell Phone usage, esp in poor posture.
- Awkward sleeping positions or using wrong pillow.
- Neck injury from sports, slip and falls, car accidents or whiplash.
- Poor posture, especially postures that tilt your head to one side or jut your head forward.
Related: Pulled muscle in upper back
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Massaging The Back Muscles Of Your Neck
Try to keep the pressure as light as you can. Too much massage pressure may be harmful. Add more slight pressure until you feel the right kind of pressure on the neck. Make sure that you are not overstretching your neck since it may cause pain and discomfort.
- Put your left hand on the neck muscles located behind your left ear. Use soft fingers to apply some gentle pressure onto the area. Slowly turn your head to the right while applying the pressure. Make sure your fingers dont move, and that its just your head that is moving. Repeat on the other side.
- Use your fingers to massage the same area of the neck with gentle circular movements to increase blood flow while releasing tension. See this video for more detailed instructions.
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Exploring Classic Thai Tui Na And Trigger Point Massage
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Giving Massages For Back Pain
This massage targets the upper & lower back. The muscles could be strained due to being seated for a long period of time in an unergonomic position.
Seated Levator Scapulae Stretch
Begin in a seated position and grasp the bottom of your chair with your right hand. Bring your chin in towards your chest and rotate your head towards the left shoulder. Then using your left arm gently push your head down looking towards your left armpit until you feel a slight stretch along with right side of your neck. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side Aim for 3 repetitions of this stretch on each side.
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