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Neck pain?

Having a pain in the neck is a real pain in the neck. Although there are a number of reasons one can have neck pain, this 5 step guide is a good place to start and will certainly help many greatly.

Here's the 5 Step Guide...

Step 1 - Go to the source.

From my experience, the place you feel the pain is not the source of the pain. Most often neck pain originates from the lower neck in the upper thoracic spine. This means that all the stretching in the world won't help because most neck stretches only stretch the upper neck muscles.

Step 2 - Drink more water.

Being dehydrated never helps anybodies tight muscles. Most people don't drink anywhere near enough water. What's enough? A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight and divide by 2. This is the number of ounces of water to drink each day.

Step 3 - Warm up.

The golden Rule of stretching is that you should never stretch a cold muscle. Same applies for the muscles in the neck. Shoulder shrugs, slow and controlled for about twenty reps is a good start to get these lower neck muscles warmed up.

Step 4 - Start at the bottom.

Do some foam rolling of the upper thoracic spine and loosen up the area between the shoulder blades. The muscles that connect your shoulder blades to the neck are the main culprit for most cases on neck pain.

Step 5 - Add a little traction.

Roll a towel up so you have a roll about the size of a softball and place it under your neck while lying on your back. This works best on the floor and not on a bed. Lay on the towel and let the weight of your head create traction on the neck for about 5 minutes.

Bonus Step - Put your phone away. Staring at a little screen for hours a day is not helping your neck at all!

If the above steps don't seem to help please feel free to cal my office at 651-430-3229.

Dr. Hanson

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