In this article, I would like to talk about a problem I suffer from for a long time: Chronic Neck Pain.
I want to share how I solved it for myself first and for my clients.
But first, before we continue: HOW do you know if your PAIN is CHRONIC?
Simple: Do you suffer from it on and off for more than 3 months? Yes? Then it’s chronic. But do not worry about the name, there is a lot you can do that you can’t even imagine, it all depends on your motivation and willingness to change some of your behaviors.
Simple to say eh? Yes, it actually requires a lot of patience, but again there are no secrets and medications that will solve this problem unless you start with ACTION, ACTION, ACTION.
Follow this holistic approach and you are sure to cover the majority of root causes of this annoyng issue.
I also prepared some simple exercises for you at the end of the article.
ROOT CAUSES OF CHRONIC NECK PAIN :
- Emotional Stress
- Mechanical Stress (Weak Muscles- Posture)
- Poor Physical Activity
This part of the body is very close to our brain so is very sensitive to emotions. Thoughts can tense our muscles in a millisecond. If this tension is maintained for a long time, let’s say 8 hrs of office job, for days and months eventually you will get pain.
Here my strategy that works best is to pay attention and to be aware of your breath. In the next articles, I’ll show you how to breathe with your diagram (actually your natural way) without activating your shoulder and neck muscles.
However, if you don’t know yet how to use your diaphragm you can start to pay attention just to the length of your breath. The longer the expiration (breathing out) better the relaxation is in your body.
You can see a simple stress relief exercise here in one of my past Instagram posts.
Your posture at work, or when you stand or walk can put a lot of stress on your joints and muscles. This can be optimized by a trained eye from a therapist.
There is no “perfect posture” for our body but if you suffer from the pain we know that your posture can be a factor.
Be aware of your spine when you sit, walk around, or stand. Are your shoulders rounded, is your chest closed?
These are the type of questions you have to ask yourself when you suffer from this pain
Awareness is key here.
Furthermore can be that some of the muscles around your shoulders need to relax or need to be stronger, most of the time is a combination of the two.
Just a massage most of the time wonts solve the problem in the long term.
When we talk about inflammation we enter into a huge chapter, but let’s stay simple and talk about inflammation from the food we eat. I saw from experience that diet influence directly our nervous system.
In my case, my neck pain was caused by a mix of Emotional Stress and Inflammation from Food. Which food? Gluten mainly. I got to a point I was having headaches/migraines every day and I didn’t know that was the bread and the daily pasta I was eating for a long time… (you know I am Italian so it was difficult to realize it)
Got rid of the bloody gluten, and my mind was clear, and my neck was relieved.
Now I’m not saying that all of you who suffer from neck pain should get rid of gluten, but is worth a try, at least for 1 week, and see how you feel.
You find wheat, barley, and rye. Try to replace it with quinoa or brown rice for example.
POOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Any physical exercise is an anti-inflammatory exercise per se. So get active after your finish your meal, go for a walk.
As soon you start to engage in proper daily physical activities like walking, running, pilates, yoga, and calisthenics (body workout) you will feel stronger and happier.
I know you get tired at home after work… and you don’t feel to move anymore.
Or do you arrive too late at home just in time for dinner?
Ok, a have a solution, move in the morning! From 6 to 7 am? (Is actually the best time for men since our testosterone is on fire ) And then you are free to start your workday.
Start low and increase 1% every day. Is about consistency not quantity, remember.
Some neck pain relief exercises for you : click here
Until the next post,
Stay active and healthy