I went to my favourite health food shop today just before starting my shift at the the clinic and the two members of staff were chatting about having neck pains and headaches. I gave them the following self help advice to ease some discomfort and I thought writing this down would be a good point of reference not only for the people I was talking to today but for anyone who is feeling in pain and discomfort to use when needed.
Before I start I just like to mention that this isn’t a replacement for seeking out medical help nor should it be ignored if symptoms persist, don’t leave it longer than 2 weeks until you see a qualified professional. The tips shown can be used in between treatments unless otherwise recommended by your practitioner. Please feel free to take and reject some of the suggestions given and stop immediately if you feel pain.
- Pressing on acupoint
If any movement is causing you pain try pressing acupoints before you try moving and very gradually while continuing to press and knead these start to move your neck and increase the range of movement within your capacity. Here are a list of acupoints to try:-
Located on the back of hand and proximal to the head of the second and third metacarpal bones. Press and knead this acupoint while doing some of the exercises listed below. Press and knead both sides for 3-5 minutes
Located on the back of hand and proximal to the head of the fourth and fifth metacarpal bones. Press and knead this acupoint while doing some of the exercises listed below. Press and knead both sides for 3-5 minutes
This point is not specifically used for neck pain but is a good addition if you’re feeling irritable, stressed, and experiencing headache/migraine as a result. This point is located on the back of foot, in the depression felt distal to the 1st and second metatarsal bones. Press and knead both sides for 3-5 minutes
- Self massage on neck
Palm heel pinching neck
Interlace your fingers and grab the back of your neck and knead. Experiment with the pressure. This is to encourage local circulation to tissues to speed healing and encourages a mild stretch. Do this for 1-3 minutes
Palm heel pinching neck is a warmup for this technique. Interlace the fingers and stick out your thumbs and place thumbs behind neck. Slowly squeeze thumbs closer to each other working up and down neck. Do this for 1-3 minutes
Grab neck and turn head
With your right hand grab on to the back of your neck with a firm grip then turn your neck to the right. Repeat on the other side. Do this for 1-3 minutes
Finger circle temples
Using the first and second fingers place on temples and make small circular motions
Thumb slide across forehead
Place thumbs on centre and top of forehead then slide across, work your way down to the eyebrows.
- Mobilising and stretching for neck
Lift your shoulders up to your ears, then back and down. Repeat 10 times then reverse the movement. Can be done seated or standing.
Comfortably let neck hang forward and slowly take the head to the right, then back, to the left and back to the hanging forward position. Do 10 repetitions starting with small movements and gradually increasing the range of movement, repeat on other side.
Neck stretch 1
Interlace fingers around back of head and pull down until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds.
Neck stretch 2
Turn head to right about forty five degrees, use right hand to grab the back of head and pull down until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.
Lie on bolster
This is good for neck pain and headaches caused by periods of sitting eg office work which cause the shoulders to move forward causing strain on the neck leading to headaches. Place a bolster on the floor or bed and lie on it keeping contact with your whole spine.
Give this a go and please let me know your thoughts