Step 1: Keep Going with Regular Activities
We need to move our bodies because it’s an important part of maintaining our physical health. Movement and exercise can help to heal stiffness and pain, and a lack of movement can make your problem much worse. Being confined to your bed can de-condition your body and muscles, but if you have a fracture, it is essential to be immobilized for some time so the fracture can heal. But when it is neck pain you should continue with your regular activities and exercise because backing off from any activity can be causes of shooting pain.
Step 2: Ensure Safe Movement of the Neck
Teach your body that movement is not going to harm you. After the danger of re-injury has passed, it is best to show your body that it can move again in different ways without injury. To begin moving your neck:
- Sit and start to turn your head side to side very slowly and pull up to make sure it doesn’t get uncomfortable
- If sitting on a chair is uncomfortable, then lie down on your back and try it without gravity pulling on your head
- Give a gentle touch to your chin or forehead to help turn your neck
Step 3: Strengthen the Deep Neck Flexors
Chin tucks are also an effective exercise to help relieve neck pain and retrain the muscles of your neck. This exercise helps to activate the neck flexors through behavior therapy and facilitate your muscles in the back of your neck. This is similar to the system that occurs when you use the striated muscle of your arm to lift something by your hand.
Step 4: Releasing Your Tight Muscles
To release the tight muscles, you can start doing self-massage for a few minutes. Don’t force it; just do it gently.
- Sit or lie down and massage your neck where it hurts, gently
- Use your fingers to rub the areas and begin with a few circles in each direction
- Strum back and forth across the fiber or knot
- Find the tenderest spot and press gently until your body begins to resist
- Hold this for 30 seconds or up to 3 minutes
Step 5: Make an Appointment with a Good Massage Therapist
If you’re not sure what to do, make an appointment with a physical therapist. You should also make an appointment if any of these apply:
- These exercise cause sharp shooting pain.
- You have significant numbness or tingling in your arms, hands or face.
- It is not just neck pain.
You can see a physical therapist directly, without waiting to see your primary care physician. This is because only a physical therapist is able to determine the best and the most cost effective solution to your problem.
- A physical therapist can identify immediately if your problem is more complicated.
- They can also determine if you need an evaluation by a physician or surgeon.
- Physical therapy can help you with neck pain, headaches, numbness, or tingling.