People who live with chronic stress experience a variety of symptoms, such as tense muscles and headaches. Over time, recurring muscle tension often leads to neck pain. If your sore neck is negatively impacting your quality of life, there are several ways to relieve your discomfort. Explore one or more of the strategies below before making an appointment for chiropractic care.
Top Relief Tips for Stress-Induced Neck Pain
1. Stretch Your Neck
Daily neck stretches are soothing, help loosen your muscles, and aid in proper alignment. Dedicate 10 to 15 minutes each day to tilting your head from side to side, then forward and backward. Slow, gentle shoulder rolls and side rotations also make your neck muscles more limber. With regular practice, many people see improvement in function and mobility.
2. Engage in Low-Impact Exercises
Low-impact aerobic exercises take your mind off everyday worries. They also warm and strengthen the muscles of your neck and upper body. If you’re currently sedentary, begin walking for 15 to 30 minutes per day, then graduate to bicycling, swimming, or water aerobics. Active adults should consider trying a step machine, elliptical trainer, or pilates. If you have any questions about your health or fitness, consult with your primary care doctor.
3. Try Meditation
Meditation is an excellent way to calm the mind, control anxiety, and reduce stress. When you’re in a zen state, your muscles are less likely to be tense. While experts in mindfulness-based stress reduction recommend 45 minutes of practice per day, just 5 minutes daily provides mental health benefits. Those who are new to the practice should begin by watching online instructional videos or downloading a meditation app.
4. Take a Warm Bath
Warm baths encourage the body to release calming endorphins and improve blood flow to the muscles. They also enhance oxygen intake. By exposing your neck to soothing, hot water, you’ll help it relax and heal itself.
5. Get a Massage
The gentle touch and peaceful atmosphere of massage therapy will help decrease the anxiety and stress that often leads to neck pain. Kneading motions characteristic of the Swedish massage technique increase blood flow to muscles and relieve tension from the entire body. Deep tissue massage helps loosen the neck’s deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue.
If you still have discomfort in your neck after trying these remedies, it’s time to consult a chiropractor. Dr. Jennifer Barnes, DC, of Heberle Chiropractic of Ontario County, NY, will ease your tension by helping you achieve better spine alignment and a balanced nervous system. To make an appointment to discuss your neck pain, call (585) 394-3420. For information about Dr. Barnes’ experience, visit the practice website. Read happy patient reviews on Yelp.