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How to treat neck pain and head aches

How to treat neck pain and head aches

How to treat neck pain and headaches

In order to gain some relief from neck pain and headaches, it is important to recognize what are the common neck pain causes. Remember that in addition to neck pain symptoms you may also experience pain and numbness in the shoulders, arms and hands.

Neck Pain Causes

Remember that the soft tissues of your neck are usually injured when they are over stretched. see my blog on How do injuries heal? with either a single forced forward bend and twist movement of the neck, activities involving repetitive forward bending and twisting movements of the neck or activities involving prolonged periods of forward bending and twisting (such as slouched sitting)

Here are some examples of day to day activities which are common causes of neck pain;

single forced forward bend and twist:

  • lifting heavy and/or awkward shaped object,
  • pulling firmly on tree branch / weed / rope, heavy lift over -head,
  • heavy or awkward pushing action,

repetive forward bend and twist:

  • sit ups on a ball, lat pull down, rowing, see my blog on how to prevent neck injury when exercising for more examples
  • gardening, painting, paving etc,

prolonged periods of forward bending and twisting:

  • long periods sitting at a computer ( Note laptop is worse than desk top; particularly when using whilst sitting on the couch or sitting up in bed ),
  • long periods of reading (particularly long sitting in bed or when reading on the couch with book held on lap ),
  • long periods of slouched sitting whilst sitting on couch to watch TV, driving, or long distance air travel.
  • falling asleep in awkward positions; on the couch ( both in upright sitting or in sidelying with head on arm rest) and sleeping with two pillows or with one thick/firm pillow. see my blog How to choose the best pillow for neck pain

Neck pain and stiffness treatment

treatment by a physiotherapist or other health professional

  • massage of neck muscles, neck joint mobilisation and manipulation, dry needling and acupuncture etc and instruction in appropriate neck exercises that will stretch and strengthening the neck without excessively stressing neck soft tissues.

Modify day to day activities so as to avoid forward bend and twist strain of neck

  • lift, push and pull with upright neck and spine keeping all objects that are handled close to the body
  • see how to prevent neck injury when exercising for modifications to gym based exercise
  • when performing activities that are low to ground, get on all fours or lay on chest in order to get down low and avoid forward bend of neck
  • read at a desk (with a book stand etc) or when reading in bed alternate between sideling, face down or on back with book held above face
  • use a low back support when sitting in car, plane and office chair see how to treat lower back pain and avoid sitting on soft couches see How to choose a couch that will support your lower back pain
  • sleep with a pillow that will keep your neck in a neutral position (same position as when standing)

Remember the body requires time to recover from this type of injury (anywhere from weeks to months) so even when you are pain free continue with the above modifications to your day to day activities.

Alot of the information above has been taken from the book Treat Your Own Neck 5th Edition
Treat Your Own Neck 5th Edition

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