It was the little things that caused the most trouble – the way you cradled the phone between your ear and shoulder, the way you fell asleep watching the nightly news, the way you craned your neck to see if you could merge into the left lane, and the way you whipped your head around when you heard a crash followed by a disconcerting “uh-oh”. They were thoughtless, seemingly harmless acts that you didn’t think twice about at the time. But then, as you found yourself continually kneading the base of your neck and shoulders, you began cursing the offending habits, hating them, because you had somehow developed a pain in the neck.
A pain in the neck is a nuisance that is becoming more and more prevalent now that so many individuals spend so much time in front of the computer, in the car or simply hunched over in general. Often, the pain, not content afflicting just the neck or upper shoulders, moves into the head, turning a stiff soreness into a resounding ache. And while most turn to medications for relief, relying heavily on brands such as Bayer, Excedrin and Motrin, there’s rarely any long-term help. Suffers accept the nagging discomfort as an unavoidable part of the modern world, but they shouldn’t.
Simple, at-home steps can be taken to reduce neck pain. Strength training, for example, has been shown to relieve soreness better than aerobics or counseling. The moves that assuage are no more complicated than slowly shrugging with a weight in each hand, arms extended at either side. Similarly, stretching the muscles along the back of your neck – pulling your chin down and in – or building your core muscles can rectify some of the underlying reasons for the pain. You don’t have to rely on medication to relieve a pain in the neck – you just have to take the time and learn the moves to eliminate it.