Does it ever hurt to turn your neck? If the source of the pain is muscular, this little muscle magic trick can help. Keep in mind, a professional massage therapist with appropriate training can test whether your pain is muscular or joint based. That answer helps steer us in the right direction for the best and fastest solution. But, until you can get that testing done, this little trick may help and it shouldn’t hurt.
If you’ve had a massage with me and described neck pain, this process may seem familiar to you. If you don’t need it now, save if for later. Who else do you know who has neck pain and wants relief? Feel free to share this with them now.
Muscle Magic Trick for Neck Pain/Tension
Ideally this is done lying down on your back in a comfortable position with your head as flat as possible without a pillow. You can also try this seated.
This is a Quick and Easy 3-step process:
Before we begin, we establish your baseline (where we’re starting from so we can measure the change you’re going to.) With a __slow__ movement turn your head to look over the shoulder of the side with pain and stop before it hurts.
Notice: How far can you turn your head comfortably right now?
Make a mental note of that answer.
Next: Let’s imagine the pain you feel is in the right side of your neck, in this example. Then our magic trick will be working toward the left, the opposite side.*
1. Turn your head halfway to the left. Raise your left palm to the corner of your left forehead. This is the working position for the hand.
Remember, your neck is still strong even if it feels tight and painful in areas. You only need to exert 10-25% effort for this to work.
2. With the head turned left and the left palm against the left forehead, try to turn your head a little more to the left, but resist it with your left palm. This is the working movement for this trick.
3. The last piece is breath. Taking a deep breath in. While you’re holding that breath press your palm against your turning forehead, matching pressure, for a count of 5 seconds, 4 one thousand, 3 one thousand, 2 one thousand, 1 one thousand and then exhale.
Repeat the steps two more times.
* (If pain is toward the left, all instructions apply to the opposite, right, sides.)
Finally, let’s look for change.
Notice: How far can you now turn your head comfortably now?
Compare with before you started.
- Is the pain better? Awesome! It worked!
- Is the pain worse? Not awesome. Put some ice or heat on it.
- Is it the same? If so, it may be from tension from other muscles, a misaligned joint, or another reason.
If it’s worse or the same, seek help from a professional; your bodyworker/massage therapist, chiropractor or your doctor. Meanwhile, feel free to contact me for a Complimentary Consultation to help you troubleshoot to feel better sooner.