What is Causing Your Neck Pain?

Most of us lead busy lives. Life has become so demanding and it can be a right pain in the neck.  The following sets out a potential answer to what is causing your neck pain. We sit in cars, sit at work and sit at computers. In between we look…

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Heat or Ice for your pain? Which is better?
Heat or Ice? Which is better to help your pain?

Most of us lead busy lives. Life has become so demanding and it can be a right pain in the neck.  The following sets out a potential answer to what is causing your neck pain.

We sit in cars, sit at work and sit at computers. In between we look down at our phones. It can all exacerbate pain in the neck.  Ongoing pain in the neck is often linked to posture and how we carry ourselves.

What is causing your neck pain & What can you do about it?

Beat The Discomfort

Neck pain can also result from a road traffic accident causing Whiplash, a trip, or fall.  All of these symptoms can be treated and pilates is a great way to beat the discomfort and prevent future injury. 

Any pain can be distressing and interfere with daily life. You might have localised pain in the back of the neck and upper shoulders or stiffness and difficulty moving the neck freely.  Tension-type headaches and the feeling that holding your head up is an effort are other symptoms of weak neck muscles. 

When certain muscles become underactive and weak, others become overloaded. This results in neck and shoulder pain.  Of course, with good head and neck posture the strain on the joints and muscles is reduced. This boosts the body’s defences against pain and discomfort in this area of the body.

The Secret To Sorting Neck Pain

The secret to sorting all of this out is often found in your deep neck flexors! 

These muscles support and move the head.  When they are in tip top condition the pain and discomfort is reduced.  When you aren’t holding your head and neck in the right position you may end up with a ‘poking chin’ posture. But if your deep flexors are working properly they will draw the head into the optimal position.

Using a variety of exercises and positions, pilates is a fab way to wake up and strengthen the deep neck flexors. This will help encourage  your body back to a neutral position. The neutral position is when your body is held as it is supposed to be and the joints and muscles are under least pressure.

Increase Support

Get the deep neck flexor muscles more active to increase support around the head and neck.  With ongoing pilates practice, you’ll reduce discomfort and improve posture. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want good posture?

Pilates is a great place to start.  During a pilates session your instructor will encourage and remind you to engage your deep neck flexors.  Examples of what you will be asked to imagine are:

> Holding a small piece of fruit underneath your chin

> Having a piece of string attached to the back of your head and someone is gently pulling it towards the ceiling

Pilates in Lancaster

By following these cues, you will lengthen the neck, drawing the chin gently towards the chest to engage your deep neck flexors.  

By practicing regularly, the strength of these crucial muscles will improve.  This will carry you through everyday activities including prolonged time at a computer and driving. If you take part in sport, this can also get a boost. 

To summarise, with good head and neck posture, you will reduce the strain on the joints and muscles of the neck. The net result is less pain and discomfort plus better performance at sport. 

There are some great exercises for activating and strengthening the deep neck flexors. You can book a one off, private or small group session with Tess at our Lancaster clinic who can guide you through how to start improving both your posture and your strength. 

Getting a grip on the strength in your deep neck flexors can help you cope with the ever expanding demands of daily life.  You won’t feel as stiff after being static for long periods of time because you have a better posture. Pilates can really benefit you and improve many symptoms, so if you’re not sure whether it’s for you, get in touch and we can answer all your questions.

Tess is based at our Lancaster clinic. Details of the Lancaster Physiotherapy clinic can be found online here.  For private Pilates sessions please call us on 01524 874649 or email us: lancaster@truephysio.co.uk

Highly experienced professionals with physiotherapy qualifications deliver the Pilates classes at True Physio.  The NHS points out that anybody can call themselves a Pilates teacher. Put the effort into finding an experienced instructor who has the skills to help you reach your goals.

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