What is Surfer's Neck? Let's Get to the Facts

Surfer's Neck, upper neck pain

Riding along the waves is fun and games for many surfers until upper neck pain kicks in. Like every other sport, surfing also comes with consequences that might affect a surfer's performance and life outside the activity.

The tissues of your neck work together to keep you still above water. However, these parts can experience severe stress or strain from too much paddling or unforeseen wipeout, leading to an unfortunate number of people no longer enjoying their favorite pastime due to soreness on top of muscle aches.

Don't give up on surfing just yet! Surfer's Neck is a common injury that doesn't have to stop you from catching waves. Instead, continue reading for more information about what it means and how upper cervical chiropractors can help get rid of your pain with their professional help.


What is Surfer's Neck?

Surfing is a sport with many potential risks, one of which is the "Surfer's Neck." An intrinsic injury surfers can experience at least once in their lives, it happens when you spend hours paddling on top of waves while constantly tensing up muscles located all over your back and neck. Unfortunately, this upper neck pain-inducing condition occurs more commonly amongst those aged 40+.

The paddling position not only compresses the nerves on your neck and back, but also puts too much pressure on the upper cervical muscles. In addition, the back of the neck muscles is in constant contraction, causing soreness and spasm. 


Symptoms of Surfer's Neck – What You Need to Know

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of Surfer’s Neck. Neck pain and tightness are common symptoms of Surfer’s Neck – but they’re not the only ones. If you have a Surfer's neck, you might also encounter the following symptoms:

  • Headaches. Headache is a widespread symptom for people suffering from Surfer's Neck. The headache often develops into painful migraines, especially for those who have severe cases of the condition.
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Weakness and stiffness in the muscles
  • Back pain 
  • Tingling sensation from the neck to the rest of the body

Surfer's Neck, upper neck pain

Reason Behind Your Neck Pain When Surfing

Riding a massive wave isn’t the primary cause of a Surfer's Neck—but the overexertion of force from paddling while your stomach is on the board. Intense paddling and constant head lifting can significantly affect your upper cervical spine. The same thing happens when you exert too much force and pressure when using your feet to push your body against the water. The force can add more stress to your cervical spine, arms, and shoulders. 

But these paddle movements are essential to keep you and your bodyboard afloat in the water. We understand that these side effects may come along with any type of ocean sports, so don’t let Surfer’s Neck discourage you from continuing. We’ll provide you with some tips to help you prevent getting Surfer’s Neck.


Simple Ways to Prevent a Surfer's Neck

Do you miss the pain-free feeling of seawater splashing on your face as you surf through a majestic wave? You can still enjoy surfing like you used to. These are few things you can do to help ease and get rid of the pain in your upper neck:

Before Surfing: Do Warm-up Exercises

Warm-up exercises help prepare you physically and mentally before you go to the waters. You can do this by simply rolling your neck back and forth in circles. This exercise will help prepare your neck muscles for the activity. 

During Surfing: Make Some Adjustments 

  • Do not overextend your neck when paddling.
  • Activate and use the muscles on your abdomen when paddling to reduce tension in your lower back.
  • Make sure to massage your neck gently before and after you go surfing. A great massage can help improve the healing process.

After Surfing: Do Regular Exercises to Strengthen Your Neck 

Do not forget to do some cool-down exercises after surfing to loosen up those tight muscles.

If you have a solid and healthy neck muscle, your spine will likely be safe from injuries. So, every surfer needs to engage in activities or exercises that train the neck. Pick training and practices that relate to flexion and neck extension, especially if you surf regularly.

With all of these tips, you’ll become more equipped to combat or prevent a Surfer’s Neck. When you apply those strategies before, during, and after surfing, your neck would be safe from injuries and pain.


How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Help with Any Neck Pain

Upper cervical chiropractic uses precise techniques that can help loosen up the joints on your upper cervical area. This type of care deals with muscle spasms and strains that contribute to Surfer's Neck. Upper cervical chiropractors do this by making precise adjustments of the upper cervical bones.

They safely conduct and administer care and adjustments to your neck. Some studies and trials show that upper cervical chiropractic can help improve neck pain problems through neck adjustments. Also, upper cervical chiropractic care is perfectly safe for all ages.

Upper cervical chiropractors will create an appropriate care plan according to your case. The best way to determine the upper cervical chiropractic plan you need is to see the nearest chiropractor in your area. Don't delay your pain and suffering any longer.


Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Areato schedule a consultation today.

Find an Upper Cervical Specialist In Your Area

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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.