Are you a weekend warrior or a certified outdoor junkie? If you are, you might not be a stranger to neck pain—one of the common complaints of people across the USA, regardless of age, occupation, and level of physical activity. Thankfully, nowadays, several options for neck pain relief are readily available. So, do you happen to know one or two of these options? Have you tried seeking the help of healthcare professionals like an upper cervical chiropractic doctor? Are you familiar with some valuable tips on preventing an achy neck?
Let’s help you stay in good shape and avoid painful health complaints so you can enjoy doing your favorite activities with our comprehensive guide.
Common Causes of Neck Pain Among Active Individuals
It is not hard to figure how why many weekend warriors and hobbyists complain about an achy neck. Naturally, most of these individuals engage in strenuous activities and even have previous head or neck injuries. Some even report neck pain because of their heavy backpacks stuffed with their clothes, cooking utensils, survival tools, etc. Additionally, some very active people complain about an achy neck because of the following concerns:
Physical overexertion is a common problem among active and outdoorsy people. All the tiring walks, hikes, runs, and other activities can push the body to its limit and trigger stiffness or pain. Additionally, too much physical activity can stiffen the cervical muscles and joints, causing you to experience noticeable discomfort when you move or tilt your head.
A fall or slip can don’t just cause apparent physical injuries. Sometimes, they can lead to invisible problems like cervical subluxation – a key issue addressed by upper cervical chiropractic doctors. Notably, any changes in your uppermost neck bones’ alignment can result in the irritation or compression of nearby nerve roots. This can cause a searing or shocking pain coupled with a numbing sensation or pins and needles.
Physically active individuals like hobbyists, weekend warriors, and outdoor-loving people are highly susceptible to slipped discs. While slipped or herniated discs often afflict older people, the American Society of Neurological Surgeons notes that these can also develop because of excessive strain or injury. Sadly, when you have a disc herniation or bulging on any part of your spine, you become more likely to experience terrible bouts of pain in your cervical area.
5 Neck Pain Relief Tips and Tricks for Every Outdoorsy Person
As a hobbyist, weekend warrior, or outdoor-loving person, you want to be in tiptop shape before doing any physical activity. With that in mind, we thought of rounding up some quick and highly recommended tips and tricks to help you curb your symptoms and avoid any disruptions when you go hiking, running, swimming, or doing any physical activities.
#1. Include simple neck stretching exercises in your routine
Before heading out on a trip or engaging in rigorous activities, we suggest doing simple neck stretching exercises. You might find it helpful to spend at least 15 to 30 minutes stretching your neck and the rest of your body to release tension buildup in the muscles, encourage blood circulation, and minimize risks for injuries.
#2. Check your outdoor gear
If you plan on hiking, mountain climbing, or going on camping trips, you must check some of the outdoor gear you will bring along. Be sure that they’re not too heavy, or opt for backpacks equipped with specialized straps, hip belts, or shoulder support straps. These add-on safety features will provide you with additional support to avoid straining your neck and back.
#3. Develop a conditioning exercise routine
Besides stretching your neck, you should also consider doing conditioning exercises weeks before a physically challenging activity. This will help you prepare your lungs, heart, muscles, joints, and bones and lessen your risks for injuries. Here are some examples of conditioning exercises that you might find helpful when preparing for your upcoming activities:
- Walking the stairs
- Jump rope or jumping jacks
- Superman pose
- Calf stretches
- Knee-to-chest stretches
#4. Know when to take it slow
It will be virtually impossible to enjoy spending time outdoors or engage in extreme sports or other adrenalin-pumping activities when you have achy body parts. That’s why doctors, upper cervical chiropractic physicians, and physical therapists often remind patients to give the body enough time to heal or recuperate.
Learn to listen and interpret body signals that indicate trouble. Additionally, it would help if you dedicated a couple of weeks to rest and recharge your body. Your short time off from extreme physical activities will help you step back and trace possible causes of your painful symptoms. It might also come in handy in finding a suitable neck pain remedy such as atlas bone corrections, acupressure, acupuncture, and physical therapy.
#5. Work hand in hand with an upper cervical chiropractic doctor
Several case studies have proven that C1 and C2 bone adjustments can sometimes lead to chronic pain. Unfortunately, this form of postural imbalance affects a significant fraction of the population. It can develop from car collisions, poor posture, and disc degeneration disorders. Thankfully, through spinal manipulation techniques like upper cervical chiropractic, you can correct the problem and ease the topmost neck bones to return to their original alignment.
Upper cervical chiropractic adjustments can also relieve tension in your neck muscles and joints and remove pressure on irritated nerve roots. If you think your neck pain stems from misaligned C1 and C2 bones, we suggest exploring upper cervical care. This might be your key to living pain-free and avoiding disruptions while doing your favorite physical activities like running, camping, swimming, diving, and more.
Find a friendly upper cervical doctor near your location so you can undergo an initial cervical spine assessment. This way, you can begin seeking natural and long-term neck pain relief.