Neck pain is one of the most common issues of our ordinary modern life which can be very discomforting and troubling. Doing any type of activity which forces your neck bones and muscles to overwork in an unsuitable position can cause muscle strains, whether this is hunching over your computer or putting too much pressure on your neck and lower back muscles while lifting things up.
What Are the Causes of Neck Pain
An adult human head weighs about 10 to 11 pounds (4.5 to 5 kg). Your neck bones and muscles are strong enough to carry your almost heavy head around and help it move. However, sometimes these strong muscles may suffer from various dysfunctions, such as:
Overwork and muscle strains
a condition which may be the outcome of sitting at your computer desk, reading, or working on something while your back is hunched.
Worn or injured joints
damages caused by aging, osteoarthritis, collisions, or any issue that can wear down your joints or injure them.
serious conditions such as herniated bones, rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, cancer, or any other serious condition can also put extra pressure on your neck muscles and bones.
What Are Neck Pain Symptoms
The pain in the neck bones and muscles can lead to muscle spasms and tightness, difficulty in moving your head, discomfort from holding your head in one place while working or driving for a long time, shooting pain into your back, shoulders, and arms, different types of headaches, and in some cases weakness or numbness in your shoulders, arms, hands, or even legs.
How Can Massage Therapy Help You with Your Neck Pain
Every day, thousands of people around the world visit their massage therapists complaining about their neck pain. Massage manipulations can reduce neck pain discomforts through:
Reducing pain and tension
Massage therapy can soothe the muscles’ pain and reduce the muscles’ tension and stiffness. Moreover, too much pain can freeze your neck and prevent from moving your head or doing your daily routines. A pain reduction in your neck, shoulders, arms, and back can improve your everyday life quality.
Promoting blood circulation and healing process
By increasing blood circulation and warming up the muscles and other soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments, strain and tension in this area can be reduced and the healing process of the nerve impingement, tension, and inflammation can be accelerated. Furthermore, blood flow can deliver higher levels of oxygen and nutrients to the cells that are damaged. Better blood circulation can also remove unwanted products such as lactic acid which is the cause of pain in muscles suffering from spasms.
Strengthening the health and preventing against other injuries
By supporting and reinforcing muscles and joints, massage therapy can both heal the injured muscle and also prevent other injuries. Better overall health can support the body to act stronger against any invasive cause.
In What Ways Can Neck Massage Be Applied
There are a great number of techniques and methods which can help to reduce the neck stress. The two most common neck massage approaches include Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage.
Swedish massage is actually the most common type of massage in Western culture. The massage consists of long and firm strokes and frictions applied in the direction of blood circulation using massage oil and lotion. This is actually the most regular type of massage and its main purpose is to relax the whole body.
Deep Tissue Massage
As conveyed in the name of this type, deep tissue massage applies deeper strokes and frictions on the tissues and muscles of the affected area. Deep tissue massage is an umbrella phrase for a wide range of different techniques and methods, all dealing with deeper layers of muscles and tissues and more chronic muscle tightness and pain.
Both massage approaches address neck issues and pain, the first considers the whole body including the affected area and the latter is more focused on the affected area. Deep tissue massage can cause a little inconvenience and soreness as it deals with deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. However, in case of experiencing too much alarming pain in any massage type, tell it to your massage therapist immediately.
Relieving pain and strains in various ways can improve the health and wellbeing of someone who suffers from neck strains and injuries. There have been studies on the relation of neck pain and massage therapy which have led to supporting evidence that confirms the effectiveness of a complementary treatment such as massage therapy on reducing the patients’ pain. Needless to say, any type of massage therapy should never replace the appropriate required medical care or distract the patient from obtaining more adequate health care.
In general, applying massage therapy on the neck and shoulders area is relatively safe, although in some cases it can lead to temporary soreness or a little swelling. However, it should never be performed on sensitive skin conditions or when there has been a recent surgery. Moreover, massage pressures should never be too hard to too painful. Needless to say, the neck is the nearest area to the head, spinal cord, and nervous system. Any inaccurate pressure movement on this area can cause serious irreparable effects on the whole body.