This Video explains with the help of 3D animation how your neck functions and explains the triggers that cause you pain and discomfort..
Everyone has had neck pain or knows someone who has a stiff or sore neck. There are many reasons for ongoing neck problems ranging from inherited tendencies, poor posture, occupational positions, sporting activities or stress. Worry over a brief or extended period of time will cause muscle tension and pain in the neck. The pain levels can range from irritation to severe. This is because there are more neurological connections between the emotional centres of the brain and the muscles of the neck, jaw and shoulders than any other muscles in the body.
Many of the muscles in the neck start at or between the shoulders, so any tension in the shoulders or upper back will have a direct effect on the neck. Commonly, this is because our posture is awry. If our shoulders and or our upper back are dragging forward this puts a lot of strain in the muscles of the upper back and shoulders. This tension travels up into the neck.
When slouching forward in poor posture, your head tilts back causing compression of the vertebrae and tightening of the neck muscles. These tight muscles will drag on the base of the skull commonly causing headaches. If the upper back and shoulder muscles are not strong enough and if there is not enough muscle tone, the muscles will go into strain and then into pain. Strengthening the upper back and shoulder muscles will strengthen the neck.
Pregnancy, age, sporting wear and tear, posture occupational positions or recreational activities can contribute to strain or damage to this vulnerable zone of the body. If children have neck problems or headaches have them treated by an experienced cranial osteopath when they are newborn and monitor them throughout childhood.
Your neck is an essential and vulnerable part of your body. Keep the muscles loose so they don’t jam up and realign your posture to minimize any perpetuating factors coming up from your back or shoulders. As with most stretching, it is best to do it when you are warmed up.
Be very gentle and careful with these neck exercises and if you experience any dizziness or become light-headed then stop immediately. If you have an ongoing neck problem consult an osteopath or doctor for a proper diagnosis. Then you can confidently carry on with the full Stretch for Life home program.