How Does Neck Pain Occur
There are numerous causes associated with neck pain. Common causes include:
- Degenerative disc disease.
- Holding the neck in the same position for a long duration.
- Repetitive neck movements.
- Emotional stress.
Neck pain may also be caused by infection, such as meningitis, tuberculous, or an infection impacting the vertebrae, spinal bones. You are further at a higher risk of experiencing neck pain if you play contact sports, have been in a motor vehicle accident, or participate in other activities where a neck injury is more likely to occur.
Benefits Of A Shoulder And Neck Massage
In our daily routines, we are subconsciously putting stress on our body. Signing a cheque, clicking the computer mouse, driving on the road or even using the mobile phone can cause muscle tension and tightness in our neck and shoulders.
Parents often get neck and shoulder pain from carrying their baby. Mothers in the postpartum stage are especially vulnerable to injuries because hormonal changes in pregnancy have left the ligaments and joints looser. This repetitive strain injury is likely to get worse and can lead to a slumped posture, putting more tension on the neck, shoulders and back.
Applying pressure on the muscles around your neck and shoulders helps to reduce muscular tension and ease day-to-day stress. A massage therapy can do more than just relaxation. Here are 4 therapeutic benefits from getting a neck and shoulder massage:
You Might Get Sensory Injury
This happens more often than people may realize, and it is painful. Sensory pain can be due to a mistake made by the massage therapist, or it could have been there for a while already and it just got worse. Even those with psychological and emotional pain can make you vulnerable to massage pressure and pain.
Those who are most likely to suffer from this are people with neurological problems that makes them more sensitive to massage pressure. This is the reason why some people are more vulnerable to feeling pain after a massage.
This problem can be avoided by talking with your massage therapist and letting them know of the condition you have. Doing so allows your therapist to make the proper adjustment so you dont have to put up with more discomfort.
Sensory injury is a delicate matter and needs urgent attention. If youre exhibiting the symptoms then its important that you take the steps to get healed as soon as possible. While the odds of getting this condition alone from a neck massage isnt that high, its still best not to take that risk.
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How To Give A Neck Massage
This article was co-authored by Justyna Kareta. Justyna Kareta is a Certified Master Massage Therapist and Owner of Lush Massage, a massage studio based in San Francisco, California. Justyna has over nine years of experience as a therapist and specializes in Lomi Lomi Hawaiian Massage and CranioSacral Therapy to soothe the nervous system and facilitate deep healing. She received her massage therapy training from the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, is certified by California Massage Therapy Council, and is a member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 13 testimonials and 93% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 813,081 times.
People who sit at desks or drive for long periods of time often experience a lot of pain in their neck and shoulders. Giving them a neck massage is a great way to relieve that tension. Massages can also improve blood circulation, ease headache pain, improve someone’s mood, and give an energy boost.XResearch source Giving a good neck massage is a wonderful gift, whether to a friend, loved one, or a professional massage client.
Complexity Of The Upper Trapezius Muscle
The upper trapezius is a complex muscle in that the muscle crosses over a dozen joints. Therefore, any shift in the spine such as poor posture or muscle imbalance can significantly affect the muscle. And as mentioned above, shortening of any one of the joints will involuntarily contract the upper trapezius and produce knots and pain.
Equally important, the upper trapezius is innervated by the spinal accessory nerve, which is also very intricate. In most cases, nerves travel from the spinal cord directly to the muscles. However, as the name implies, the spinal accessory nerve is unique in that it is composed of two parts: from the spinal cord and from the brain. This is the only nerve in our body that enters and then exits the skull which then innervates to the upper trapezius muscle and the sternocleidomastoid.
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Frozen Neck And Massage Treatment
While a stiff neck can be a nuisance, it usually isnt a cause for panic. If the stiffness gets more extreme, however, it can lead to a sensation of the neck being frozen in place, limiting movement and significantly affecting your quality of life.
Fortunately, massage is one of the best alternative medicine approaches for treating neck stiffness. Massage is proven to improve both neck mobility and reduce neck pain.
Relieves Migraines And Headaches
It’s quite discomforting to have muscular pain in your neck and shoulder and on top of that headache is added to the mix, you’re in for a world of pain. Stress headaches and migraines are common problems that also affect the neck region and are super uncomfortable!
But why does one experience a migraine because of his/her neck pain? Its because the head and neck are located close to each other and they also exchange pain impulses. This implies that the pain is felt in both regions of the body.
Headaches and migraines may be relieved by getting a good neck massage. This is accomplished by relaxing and releasing muscular tension. Muscle relaxation allows more blood to reach the brain, reducing headaches.
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When Massage Can Go Wrong
Massage is mostly safe, but there are potential problems that could arise such as the following:
- Stress the nervous system a bit: this is likely to happen especially if youve never tried it before. The slight feeling of discomfort is normal. However in some cases the pain is more apparent due to improper massaging. In these instances youre going to feel discomfort as your nerves take a hit.
- May distract some patients from using other treatments: while massaging is effective in getting rid of pain, it is not meant as a substitute for other types of treatment. If youve got a serious neck injury, have it treated first as a tough massage could make the injury worse.
- May worsen injuries: this is related to the point made above. The whole point of massaging is to assist in your recovery. It is not the only means to treat injuries, though it is a better alternative than taking painkillers all the time.
- Might lead to new injuries: this is something that most people dont take into consideration. However it is possible especially if youre not careful about the massage therapist you choose. You could also injure yourself if you do the massage incorrectly.
How To Treat Neck Pain
Treatment of your neck pain frequently depends on the root cause. When your neck pain just wont go away, ensure you book an appointment with your doctor. However, many home remedies can help manage your neck pain and eliminate it. Neck pain doesnt have to become your new normal. The following provides an overview treatment options for your neck pain.
Moving the neck can make your pain worse, especially if certain movements cause your pain in the first place. Avoid intense activity or any activity that may increase your pain. Some movements can help increase blood flow to the area and help stretch or strengthen the area, which may help in some cases, especially since a lack of movement may lead to increased stiffness or weakness.
2. Use Heat or Ice Therapy
Various studies have shown ice application to reduce inflammation and pain . Make sure you place a cloth in between the ice device and your skin. Aim to ice the area for 10-15 minutes, with 45 minutes in between applications. Heat can further help by increasing blood flow to the area and relaxing tight muscles. You may choose to alternate between the two, since both have their benefits.
3. Physiotherapy and Exercise
4. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
5. Lifestyle Approaches and Changes
Many self-care methods can also help treat and prevent neck pain. When you take care of your general health, youre less likely to experience pain. Some general lifestyle tips include:
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Simple Exercises To Perform
These 3 exercises will help to encourage your body to be in more of an upright posture. Its important to do these daily to combat the forward head posture position we undoubtedly get into on a daily basis.
Half Kneeling Position
The half kneeling position places the pelvis and lumbar spine into an optimal position which directly influences the neck and head to be in a proper position, relieving abnormal mechanical stress on nerves that innervate the upper trapezius. To perform, get into a half kneeling position, as shown in the picture. On the kneeling leg, you should not be putting any weight on the knee cap, instead you should be feeling slight pressure on the bone under the knee cap. Make sure your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Rotate your pelvis back . You may hold onto a stable surface to maintain good balance in the beginning. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on both legs. This stretch can be progressed by raising your arm up on the side where the knee is on the ground.
Swedish Massage For The Shoulder
The final technique a person can use to deal with shoulder pain is called, Swedish Massage, and it works well for ones requirements.
The premise of this shoulder pain massage technique is to help alleviate some of the underlying pain a person is feeling. The techniques press in the right places to increase blood circulation and ensure the shoulder is getting enough rest for pain relief.
How is this done?
Once the oxygen starts to increase in ones body, the blood pumps harder and faster ensuring it reaches to the shoulder. This is critical for healing any part of the body including your shoulder area.
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What Is Neck/shoulder Pain
In a 2011 study done in Canada, the prevalence of chronic pain for adults older than 18 years of age was 18.9%. Chronic pain prevalence was greater in older adults, and females had a higher prevalence at older ages compared with males. Approximately one-half of those with chronic pain reported suffering for more than 10 years. Can you imagine having neck or shoulder pain for more than a decade?
Your neck has a pretty big job: holding your head up all day. Of course, this puts your neck under almost constant stress, and over time, you can develop soreness due to weakened muscles in your spine, degenerative disc disease, and arthritis. Sometimes neck pain is the result of a pinched nerve, which can cause a condition called cervical radiculopathy, or pain felt in the shoulder.
Although you might have a sore neck now and then from sleeping on your pillow wrong, severe neck pain happens over time and comes from the uneven distribution of your heads weight over the spine. Neck pain can limit your range of motion and make the simplest things, such as turning your head, a very difficult task to accomplish.
Treatment For Neck And Shoulder Pain
You cant live with this stinging pain. It can decrease your ability to focus and work productivity. Treatment depends on how severe your neck and shoulder pain is. For severe and persistent pain, consult your physician. Some emergency situations associated with neck and shoulder pain, such as heart attack, require immediate hospital visits.
However, For mild to moderate pain, you dont need to visit a doctor. There are home remedies that relieve your pain. Some over-the-counter analgesics such as Tylenol can treat your pain. But drugs have side effects associated with them, such as Tylenols long-term use can damage the liver.
What about massage to treat your neck and shoulder pain? Massage is a harmless way that does many good things to your body. People are using it for centuries for the management of pain. An article published in Evidence-based Complementary Alternative Medicine suggests that massage therapy may provide immediate effects for neck and shoulder pain.
But visiting a massage spa or salon every time can too add stress to your life. What about getting a massage in your home? Yes, its possible. Here are the devices that let you have a massage anywhere, even in your bedroom.
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Will Massage Help Neck Pain
Massage isnt only a wonderful way to relax. It also is an excellent part of routine health and wellness care. It further can help alleviate neck pain through improved range of motion, decreased pain, and decreased muscle tension. A 2013 study indicated that massage therapy is a viable treatment option for neck and shoulder pain with a significant number of individuals reporting improvements in their symptoms after massage therapy treatment .
Before seeking out massage therapy for your neck pain, it may be best to check with your doctor, especially if youre experiencing any other symptoms besides pain in the neck. If your doctor agrees that massage therapy may be right for you, they will often refer you to a massage therapist. At your first appointment, youll undergo an initial assessment which will determine a treatment plan unique to you and your situation. Throughout your treatment, ensure you provide feedback to the massage therapist so they can adjust accordingly. You should never be in excruciating pain and if you are, let your therapist know.
Neck pain doesnt have to stand in the way of your health and happiness. Take care of your general wellness and when neck pain arises, rest and find ways to relieve your pain. If it persists, book an appointment with your doctor. In turn, they might recommend massage therapy to help alleviate your discomfort.
Swedish Massage For Neck Pain
Swedish massage works to lengthen and relax muscles and tissues, making it a great choice for those suffering from neck and shoulder pain. One trial showed notable symptom improvement for neck pain patients receiving regular Swedish massage. While, patients receiving Swedish massages were able to reduce their pain medication more than participants who did not receive massage.
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Back Rescue Cervical Neck Traction Device And Trigger Point Massager
- Price: $
- Details: This massager holds your head and neck in a relaxed state, while massage prongs shaped like fingers provide a pressure massage on neck muscles. Each side of the massager contains different-sized massage prongs.
- Pros: Users say its beneficial for relieving tension headaches and neck pain.
- Cons: To use this manually operated massager, you must be in a prone position.
How Poor Posture Affects The Upper Trapezius Muscle
The average person that works in an office sits up to 12 hours a day. In addition, we sit in our car and in front of the TV, and while looking at all of our electronic devices. All of these activities cause us to slouch, which brings the shoulders forward and causes the upper back to hunch. This will result in the head to come forward. But in order for us to see forward, we lift the head up, which causes compression on the back of the upper neck where the skull meets. This mechanical encroachment causes pressure on the pathway where the spinal accessory nerve enters and exits the skull. When the nerve is irritated, it sends signals to the muscle and causes contraction, in this case, its the upper trapezius and another muscle in the front of the neck called sternocleidomastoid. Over a period of time these micro-contractions lead to trigger points and cause pain. To make matters worse our body curls forward when we are in pain. This vicious cycle continues and causes more muscle spasms, pain, and poor posture.
This is the main reason why traditional treatments only work briefly. It is imperative to address the root of the problem the shortened soft tissues between the upper neck and skull thats causing compression that innervates the upper trapezius.
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Let’s Get Those Muscles Relaxed
Now that you’re aware of the advantages of a good neck & shoulder massage, it’s time to give it a try. At BodySense, our talented therapists provide a high-quality massage experience, that leaves our clients feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Take a break from your mundane activities and book a session with our Christchurch masseuse today!
When To Speak Up
Its important to establish open communication with your therapist. Before your appointment, talk to them about any concerns you have regarding your body and discuss the pressure you prefer.
Your therapist will check in during the massage, but if you feel uncomfortable or want them to try a different pressure, speak up. The massage shouldnt feel painful at any time.
Let your therapist know if there are any places you want them to use a different type of pressure on or avoid altogether. Voice your intentions for the massage. A massage to relieve deep muscle knots will be quite different from a massage to stimulate relaxation, so keep this in mind.
Its also important to let your therapist know if you have any medical concerns or injuries.
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