Are your neck pain and shoulder stiffness hindering your work and productivity? This can be due to prolonged sitting posture in front of computer or tv, sudden jerk, wrong sleeping positions in one direction for a long time, exertion or vigorous exercising. Worn out joints and damaged cartilage are the other reasons that cause neck sprain and spasms. Sometimes the pain happens at one location or can disperse to other areas stretching towards the shoulders and extending towards the arms or back. Though pain is not a severe condition, sometimes it might alleviate to levels that it becomes uncontrollable. There is no particular medicine that can cure the pain but only balms can be applied to have a soothing effect. This methodology is not a new concept as it is being practiced from the medieval times similar to reflexology. Both the treatments are easy to practice and relieve neck pain besides relieving other body parts.
Major causes of neck pain
Of the many causes of neck pain, some are mainly due to lifestyle issues while others are simply due to an injury. Some of these causes are
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Poor sitting posture
- Poor sleeping mattress
- Lack of adequate cushioning in pillows
- Poor sleeping patterns
- Wrong exercising postures
At times, the reason of neck pain can be serious and this is due to meningitis, inflammation of the neck, arthritis or cervical spondylitis.
What is acupressure?
Acupressure is a technique that involves usage of manual pressure through fingers instead of needles to relieve pain. It is a gentle alternate therapy through which muscles are massaged and stimulated to overcome pain in areas that are not generally cured with medicines.
Key pressure points for neck pain
Before trying to acupressure the key points in the neck and the body, certain steps need to be followed to avoid any serious injury to your neck. Choose a place where you can sit up straight and it should be quiet. The setting must be comfortable instead of a loud place. Relax and take a deep breath before starting to massage the points. The points should be pressed and massaged in a circular motion or in up and down motion to increase the pace of treatment. Massage for 3 to 4 minutes and if a sharp pain is felt beneath the affected region stop immediately. If effective, massage can be practiced anytime throughout the day as it is not harmful in any way. Here is a list of the key pressure points for neck pain. Jian Jing or the shoulder vein Jian Jing or GB21 is a muscle that is located somewhere in between the beginning of the neck and the shoulder. The point in the muscle needs to be massaged in circular motions to get relief. The pain in this area is mostly because of picking a heavy object or due to spasm. However, the same should not be practiced in case the women are pregnant. He Gu on hand He Gu point or L14 is the curve between the forefinger and thumb. According to the reflexologist, stimulating this area helps relieve pain in many areas of the body including the neck. Pushing the area with thumb points or gently massaging the area using pain-relieving cream is will help overcome headaches and stifling pain the neck. Wind pool Wind pool or GB20 muscle is just below the nape of the neck. To know the exact point of the neck, put both the hands at the back of the neck and using the thumbs find the depressions at the edge of the neck muscle. UB10 or heaven’s pillar The heaven’s pillar is located just at the base of the neck on either side of the skull. It is just 2 inches away from from the top of the region where the backbone begins. Stimulating the area relieves neck pain, stiffness and also cures the inability to turn head. Occipital region The point is located on the occipital ridge that is just below the ear or the depression of the ear. Massaging this point cures headaches, neck pain, and associated dizziness. Celestial window The celestial window is another point that is key to relieve neck pain and stiffness. It is situated just below the earlobes. Pressing the points from both the sides of the skull will help overcome stress and tension in the muscles. Zhong Zu (ZE3) Zhong Zu is a triple energizer which is located in the groove formed by the tendons of the 4th and the 5th finger. To acupressure on this point, use firm and deep pressure on the point using the figures.
Acupressure coupled with other neck relief measures such as cold press, warm water treatments, oil massages will significantly reduce the pain. Besides, practicing yoga and natural therapy are other means that will cure the issues. Need more ways to take care of your neck in the comfort of your own home? Head over to GroomandStyle.com for a review of some of the best neck massagers. Keeping a check on sleeping patterns and its associated pains is another way to dodge any likely injury. Also, consulting a doctor is essential if the pain becomes severe and is not treated using acupressure and other methods. If the neck pain is due to car accidents or other accidents then it is recommended not to treat the pain yourself and get medications as it might be a serious issue and massaging the area might not alleviate the issue. For instance, swelling in the affected area is a key signal that it is not because of spasm or other cause of a normal activity. Therefore, this could signal a serious injury to the muscle.