So, my neck has been giving me a hard time since before Christmas. I go to the chiropractor and get adjusted, but about two weeks later, I'm back in the same boat again. It's getting so bad its causing headaches and a lot of discomfort. I've been trying to do some stretching and have been rolling my head around to loosen up my neck. Does anyone have any other ideas? I simply can not afford to jet off to the chiropractor every other week...
Get a tennis ball or golf ball and use it on your upper traps and scalenes. Put it behind you on a wall, and DRIVE it in any knots. Press hard for at least 10 seconds, move off and repeat 2-3 times. I usually stand in a narrow hallway and put my foot on the wall to get leverage. It sends shooting pains up into my skull a bit, and really tests my tolerance for pain, but what can you do. Stretch your levator scapulae in between, and do gentle "side to side" or "front to back" neck stretches. Try to avoid "rolling your head around", I don't think that will help. Loosening up the knots should.
FWIW when I do this, I literally sweat, curse and sulk like a baby but MAN does it feel good after. Relieves all the tension in my neck/jaw. But you have to be regular. If I go more than a week without doing it, the pain will come back. Alternating between rolling and stretching, rolling and stretching is key. If you pull on a knot it gets tighter, so you need to "press" it out, to loosen it up.
Hope this will help you.
I have chronic neck tension/stiffness that goes away when I sleep on the couch (until my hips hurt, then the cycle starts anew). I'm 99% sure it's my pillow + sleep position. I just ordered a whole slew of different side-sleeper pillows from Amazon and am hoping that one will do the trick. My point: what's your sleep position like? It's so easy to put strain on your neck muscles through bad alignment.
Do you eat sharp pointy things? (I'm thinking of something like pumpkin seeds, because potato chips and corn chips are not part of paleo diet, right?)
I wasn't able to keep my neck adjusted, when I met a chiropractor at a social event and she said 'oh that's your ileocecal valve.' okaaay. She gave me a pamphlet about it and said stop eating sharp things (and non-paleo things) and your neck my stay adjusted. And it did. And she's been my chiro ever since.
Anyhow, it might be worth looking into.
Don't necessarily recommend this one, but here's one website about it: http://healing.about.com/cs/conditions/a/aa_ileocecal.htm
Cervical vertebrae require balanced muscle tension in your neck and upper back/shoulders to be able to hold their adjustment. I have had a lot of neck problems in the past and spent $100's on Chiros with no benefit. I needed to start looking at my emotional triggers before my neck would hold. Every time I felt angry or frustrated my shoulders would start tensing, I would clench my jaw and end up with chronic neck pain and tension headaches. I taught myself to be aware of these emotional triggers and concentrated on balancing the muscles using massage and myofacial release therapy. I also had to look at overall posture like crossing my legs and slouching, as a twisted sacrum, leg length difference, foot problems, etc, will cause the neck to overcompensate. Problems with your feet can reverberate all the way up your body.
PS. the tennis ball idea works really well. Grab yourself a book on Trigger Point therapy- great self help info.
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