Neck pain is becoming more common toady as we spend more time sitting at desks for work and leisure. Whenever you sit your head automatically is dragged forward as you concentrate on your work or computer screen.
The neck as not designed for prolonged postures of this nature, hence tires out and tightens ... causing you pain. But it is not just your neck that you need to worry about, your neck may feel sore or tight, you need to look further away for answers.
What are your neck muscles?
The muscles of your neck also include those in your upper back. The majority of upper back muscles attach into the base of your skull and hence will affect your neck. These upper back muscles support the weight of your head on your neck. The neck muscles themselves are more for moving your actual neck.
Your have muscles in the front and back of the neck, as well as the small intrinsic muscles which attach between each joint.
The neck and upper back are a very complex area, as it requires numerous muscles to turn your head while supporting the weight at the same time.
What causes neck pain?
Pain may occur from strains, sprains, injuries or even as muscles tighten over time from work, prolonged postures and other daily activities.
However the majority of neck pain is caused by your upper back. As the muscles tire from work they will tighten. The tension that develops pulls your spine out of alignment and spinal imbalances develop.
These imbalances stop your neck and spine from functioning correctly. As a result the tension in muscles and joints continues to increase as you continue on with your activities. Then one day you turn quickly, sleep in an uncomfortable position, or do nothing that you can pin-point ... and pain occurs.
This situation may have been developing for weeks, months, and years or even longer. These spinal imbalances develop with time; they are not an overnight occurrence. They also allow trigger points to develop which can create even more problems.
Trigger points are tight knotted fibers within the muscle. They commonly refer pain away from the area and hence are felt more as headaches, arm pain or even pain around the face. All of these symptom areas can occur from the muscles in your upper back and shoulder area.
What other areas cause neck pain?
It may sound strange, but even your lower back can cause pain in the neck area. Your pelvis twists and distorts when spinal imbalances occur. These pelvic distortions cause a twisting throughout the spine which can in turn create pain in your upper back and neck.
Think of how you walk ... your left leg moves at the same time as your right arm. The same occurs with your spine.
If the pelvis and lower back are not moving correctly, if the muscles and joints are out of balance, then these spinal imbalances will also affect the movement, muscle and joint tension of your neck and upper back. This is why neck pain is a complex issue.
What is the first step in removing neck pain?
To get long lasting relief, you first must find the cause. The cause of your pain is the spinal imbalances that allow your spine to twist and distort. The trigger points and tight muscles will be creating your pain, but it is the underlying causes (spinal imbalances) that are the key to long term results.
Most people first want to reduce or ease pain. This is simply achieved by releasing trigger points. Trigger points can cause up to 75% of your pain, so working on these is advisable. Trigger points are released by placing pressure on the points for a few seconds. Chronic trigger points need a little more help, but still are simple to remove.
The next step is using techniques to correct the muscle and joint imbalances. These are the true underlying cause and the most common reason why so many treatments fail.
If you only look at your neck as the source of pain, you may miss 90% of the problem. Spinal imbalances affect the entire spine and hence to remove your pain you must make sure your spine is balanced from tip to base.
The good news is these imbalances are very easy to detect. Once you know which imbalances you have, you then can correct the imbalances by performing the right combination of corrective neck pain techniques and stretches.
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All material herein is provided for information only and may not be construed as personal medical advice. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information is provided with the understanding that the publisher does not enter into a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.
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