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Neck Pain Relief

Timeless Fitness Tips...

Do your neck and shoulders ache at the end of the day? Things you do every day that may seem harmles can actually cause much tension in your neck. These include sitting at the computer, driving your car, or even curling up with a good book in the wrong position.

Consider this: Your 12 to 15 pound noggin is under the pressure of gravity all day, with only the spine and tightly wound muscles for support. But don't worry - all you need for relief is five minutes a day of "active relaxation".

Here is a move to give yourself some neck pain relief.

Lie on the floor with legs on a chair seat and a 1-1/2-inch thick book under your head. With neck parallel to ground, elbows out and fingertips resting against abdomen and keep chest open. Relax, but at the same time focus on the sensation of releasing the weight of your head and letting go of tension.

Neck Pain Relief

Checking for Red Flags

Before you try to self-correct your neck and shoulder pain, check for symptoms that may require professional medical attention. Sometimes serious diseases masquerade as minor problems.

  • Neck pain radiates into the arms or jaws.
  • Pain comes with tingling or weakness in the legs or arms.
  • Neck pain follows a recent injury or exertion.
  • Comes with other symptoms of illness (headache, fever, muscle aches, stiffness in the neck, nausea).

Your Pillow and Neck Pain Relief

The support your neck does or doesn't get can affect not only how you sleep, but also how you feel all day. Pillows that are too big, small or stiff can misalign the head and neck, aggravating pain problems. Find a pillow that adequately supports your head and keeps the contour of your neck in its natural position. Also, try not to sleep on your stomach; doing so turns your head to one side or the other, torquing the neck which causes problems.

Stress and Neck Pain

Sress is a major factor in neck and shoulder pain. Reducing stress at home and work can ease the pain. You may need to see a counselor to help you cope better with the stressors in your life.

Ice It

When neck and shoulder pain brings you down, placing a cold compress or ice pack over the area can be helpful. Do not leave it on longer than 15 minutes. In addition to ice packs, a gentle massage on the head, neck and shoulders will help soothe uncomfortable spasms and provide additional stress relief.

How about an angel stretch?

Extend your arms forward. Bend your elbows and place your fingertips on your shoulders. As you inhale, open your elbows out to the sides. Draw your shoulder blades together in the back of your body. As you exhale, bring your elbows forward and toward each other in front of you. You should feel your shoulder blades stretching in back of your body. Continue for three to six breaths as long as there is no real pain. This exercise should feel good as it releases tension from your neck and shoulders.