Terri blames her chronic neck pain on the car accident she had ten years ago, or maybe on her noisy kids or stressful job. This morning she blamed her pillow or maybe she just slept wrong. So she rubs and rolls and tries to pop her own neck but it still aches. The hot shower feels good and so does putting a bag of rice in the microwave and then wrapping it around her neck. Over-the-counter meds help for a while but nothing's helping this time so she reluctantly decides to visit her favorite caregiver.
Hold it, Terri! There's plenty you can do for yourself that you haven't tried yet. First of all, if you haven't seen your MD recently, do so to make sure the pain is routine neck discomfort. It probably is but let's just be certain it's not something more serious.
Second, no more rubbing, rolling or popping. They don't help that much anyway. Instead, use the ice and isometrics described in Blogs 5 and 6. They're free and very effective. The isometrics not only relax aching neck muscles, but they also strengthen them and safely "seat" neck joints into their proper positions.
Allowing someone else to pop your neck is risky business. Two arteries that aren't present in the rest of the spine, travel through small tunnels up the neck vertebrae to the brain. Applying quick and forceful motion to those vertebrae can bump, squeeze or even sever the arteries, causing unfortunate folks to suffer neurological events. One large hospital reports seeing such injuries as frequently as monthly so let's find a safer way to deal with your neck pain.
Add spine shape improvement, postural correction, and a brisk walking program to the ice and isometrics and Terri's on her way to a spine-healthy life.