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.
With neck pain, you should continue with your regular activities and exercise because backing away from all activity can be the cause of shooting pain. With fractures, however, it’s essential to be immobilized for some time so the fracture can heal.
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
- Straighten up to remove the pain if it’s uncomfortable
- If sitting on a chair is uncomfortable,then lie down on your back and try it
- 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 facilitates tendons that turn off 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, 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.
- Rub the muscle knot in a ‘strumming motion’.
- Find the most tender 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, or if any of the following apply, then you should set an appointment with a physical therapist:
- These exercises cause any sharp, shooting pains
- You have significant numbness or tingling in your arms, hands or face
- It isn’t a typical, or minor, neck pain
You can see a physical therapist directly, without waiting to see your primary care physician. A physical therapist is more able to help you to find a cost-effective solution to your pain. A good physical therapist will also be able to help you with your pain quickly, whereas your primary care physician may not be able to. A physical therapist is a good choice because:
- 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