Stress: A Real Pain in the Neck
There are all kinds of things that cause neck pain. Anything from car accidents to simply sleeping the wrong way can be the root of serious chronic pain. We know stress certainly seems to be one of those major causes but it may not actually be a cause as much as an aggravator. Chances are you might already have some neck issues from a past injury or from having poor posture when you sit at your desk all day. Stress, however, will definitely exacerbate any and all of these problems. Sure, the answer to the problem sounds easy enough…just be less stressed! Right. Easier said than done. Here are some tips on how you can curb your stress and give your neck a break, as well.
- Massage – Whether you give yourself a neck massage or decide to go all out for a full body massage, the benefits cannot be denied. Not only will you feel less stressed and more at ease in your own body, but you will also feel less physical tension in your muscles and you’ll feel more fluid. Movements become easier and less painful. Breathing feels deeper and more fulfilling. You feel lighter. Massage really is something that everyone should have access to. Even if you can only get your hands on your own neck, don’t hesitate to do so. Manipulating those muscles and pushing some of that stress out will do you a world of good.
- Chiropractic – Having a professional chiropractor give you a spinal adjustment is almost as freeing as massage – and in some ways, it’s even better. If you have had chronic pain for a long time, you know how desperate you can be to find relief. When it feels like your C1-7 vertebrae are fused together or grinding on each other like Miley Cyrus and her friends at a club, you know you need serious help. From that point, it will only get worse if you don’t get help. A chiropractic adjustment will realign your vertebrae and give your spine a fresh start. Sometimes all you need is to find your balance again and your chiropractor is a great place to go for help.
- Yoga – If your stress is killing your neck, break out the yoga mat. You don’t have to sign up for a class or run to the gym every time your neck hurts; there are plenty of videos online that can guide you and lots of websites that cater to those of us who enjoy yoga but don’t want to be on display. In the privacy of your own home, learn some simple yoga poses and stretches that will kick your stress in the butt. You won’t have to pull any muscles or break your back in the process, either. With poses like “corpse pose” it doesn’t get much easier.
- Swimming – Swimming is a great exercise for neck pain and for alleviating stress. Because the bouncy of the water makes you essentially weightless, your movements require little to no effort thereby causing zero strain on your neck. It’s also great for stress because being in the water has been proven to calm people down. So when your neck is aching, go for a swim and enjoy some easygoing, fun exercise.
- Supplements – There are some great supplements available to help reduce stress. Herbs like chamomile, passionflower, and kava can be taken as tea. Magnesium is a mineral but it’s also a natural muscle relaxer. You can add more to your diet by eating dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, avocados, bananas, and dark chocolate. You can also purchase all of these as supplements, such as in Relax Already. Just take as directed each day to help ease the burden of your stressed out body.