An estimated 7 out of 10 people will experience neck pain and many are looking for neck massages at home techniques that they can use to relieve discomfort and stiffness. If you're among those who experience a chronic type, you may benefit from the lasting effects of keeping your spine aligned and balanced through upper cervical care. Massage can also provide neck pain relief if done correctly.
Neck pain may be due to overwork and poor posture. Your everyday activities, including working on your computer, looking down on your smartphone, reading, or watching in bed without adequate neck support, may all contribute to muscle strains. In addition, if your neck feels tight, your neck muscles are experiencing tension and knots and becoming dense.
Some cases of neck pain can go away on their own or with a little TLC through neck massage or rest. However, knowing some self-massage techniques may come in handy should another unwanted neck pain episode happens.
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Neck massage has many benefits, but if you're wondering if it can help relieve neck pain, the answer is yes! Below are some of its proven benefits:
Your body has areas with dense muscle fibers, which are also called trigger points, and neck massage can temporarily help ease the pain in these muscles. These points can develop in different body areas; stress and fatigue make them denser. But if the muscles are left that way, muscle weakness, pain, limited range of motion, and low metabolic endurance can follow.
This leads to a localized energy crisis, causing significant discomfort to your body. Different types of massages can help loosen the muscles and ease neck pain, some of which you can do by yourself if your schedule can't fit a visit to your trusted massage therapist. These are:
This is a type of massage that applies pressure to areas of muscle that have knots or spasms. This is one of the most common techniques for neck massages at home. This pressure helps release the muscle from the contraction. Here's how to do it:
You may be familiar with this type as it usually gets offered in your go-to massage place. But Shiatsu self-massage may be effective in relieving neck pain caused by tension knots. You may use this method to help with your neck or shoulder pain. But regularly doing them may help you avoid tension and accompanying muscle pains. Try these simple techniques:
Prepare your body
Warm up before you apply any pressure to your neck. This can relax, loosen, and improve your neck mobility before starting any neck massages at home.
Work on the sides of your neck
Place your right hand at the base of the left-hand side of your neck. Using your fingers, Press into the muscle and pull your hand firmly across the area of your lower neck and upper shoulder towards your collarbone. Repeat this 4-5 times on both sides.
Start loosening up the right side of the neck
Place your left thumb at the top of the back left-hand ridge of your neck. Rotate the four other fingers of your left hand towards the right side. Then, move your head forward and squeeze the middle of the neck by pinching and raising the muscle using your thumb and fingers.
Remember that the pressure from your thumb should be more than the rest of your fingers. After each squeeze, move your fingers and thumb lower down. All movement should be towards the base of your neck. Do this at least five (5) times. Repeat the process on the other side, with the thumb mostly doing the work.
Stretch your head back
Same as the previous position, place both your thumbs on the upper left and right-hand ridges of your neck at the base of your skull. Tilt your head back as far as possible while remaining comfortable, with your fingers resting on your head. Be mindful as this can be painful at first, so it's best to start slowly and gently and build up pressure gradually. Massage this area for 1 to 2 minutes.
If your pain persists and it's making you more uncomfortable, make an appointment with your go-to massage therapist, or you can also seek upper cervical care to have your upper spine alignment checked.
This type targets the back of the neck. If you experience minor neck pain at the back side of your neck, you can use your scarves or a thick towel and twist them several times until you have one big knotted piece of cloth. Grab the ends and use the knotted material up and down your neck to ease muscle tension. This is another common technique that people use for neck massages at home.
This can be used when there is pain in the side of the neck. To do this:
These are four of the most common neck massages at home techniques that you can employ.
If neck massages at home are not providing the relief you are seeking then your next step should be getting a more thorough evaluation of your neck. Did you know that taking care of your spine health is as important as taking care of your other body parts? Your upper neck, in particular, is highly susceptible to misalignments from accidents and injuries, which can lead to unnecessary pain and discomfort, including neck pain. If you notice your neck pain happens instantly or is getting worse, a visit to an upper cervical specialist is recommended.
It's not uncommon for neck pain to stem from a misalignment in the spine. Most commonly a misalignment in the top bones of your neck, the C1 (atlas) or C2 (axis) vertebra. Even the slightest misalignment can prompt significant issues to arise, including neck pain. Upper cervical care is gentle and precise and can bring longer-lasting relief from adjustments which can help alleviate neck pain.
Remember, this can only be done by a professional, so you will need to seek the help of an upper cervical specialist near you.
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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.