Real Relief for Neck Pain Requires Addressing Muscle Imbalances
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Relief for Neck Pain

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Relief for neck pain can be obtained (or prevented) by paying attention to the function of the muscles that are giving you pain. Muscles function best when they are in an optimal position and evenly balanced compared to any opposing muscles. They do not work well when they are either stretched out or very tight. In that state, they pull on the bones unevenly and place additional stress on the discs and joints in our neck, back, and shoulders. If this continues for an extended period, joints become inflamed and may even cause spinal discs to bulge.
neck shoulder pain

If that happens, the nerves supplying your shoulders, arms, and hands become irritated. So the cause of pain and discomfort in your shoulders, arms or hands, may originate in your neck or upper back. The good news is that simple changes in your daily routine can dramatically reduce this inflammation and reduce or eliminate the pain.

upper back pain

The Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders
The area of the upper back, neck and shoulders includes a very complex group of joints and muscles and the motions those joints go through are even more complex. Most people do not understand that the curvature of the lower spine plays a vital roll in the position and function of the upper spine. To really deal with that pain you will need to consider the entire spine from top to bottom. Only then can you get the upper back neck and shoulders to feel right, function properly and be free of pain.

That may sound pretty involved but just knowing what is wrong and how to address the problem correctly is more than half the battle - keep reading.

Relief for Neck Pain - What Not to Do

neck muscles image

It is best not to start any exercise program without first knowing your imbalances. The reason is that muscle imbalances are caused by exercising the wrong muscles relative to other muscles. If you don't know how you are out of balance you could do the wrong exercise and make your situation worse.

If you can avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and seek more natural means to combat pain you will avoid their side effects and be better off. Remember, pain medications only cover the pain which is a signal to your body. They do nothing to treat the real cause of your condition and nothing to help your body heal itself.

Relief for Neck Pain - What to Do
Medical devices such as X-rays and MRIs are a great help in diagnosing a condition you might have, but they can't identify the cause of the condition. They can't they tell you how strong or flexible a muscle is. They can't tell you why your pelvis, spine neck and shoulders are the way they are, and they certainly can't identify muscle imbalances.

The only way to identify muscle imbalances is to have a physical assessment designed specifically to look for muscle imbalances and associated postural dysfunctions. Once you have had this assessment, it is easy to work backwards to correct the problem, because each dysfunction has a certain set of imbalances - almost like a syndrome. It is consistent and predictable regardless of age, gender or activity level.

relief neck pain
You can find relief for your neck pain

The only way to correct your muscle imbalances is with corrective stretches and exercises tailored specifically to you and your condition. The good news is that even in the worst cases; our bodies are never that far out of alignment. But if you are in pain, those imbalances need to be addressed and - having the cause corrected - the pain will be gone.

Steps to take if you want relief from your neck pain:

  1. Stop working out until you know where your imbalances are. Doing even a balanced workout may prolong your recovery and keep you in pain. A workout that increases the present imbalance will probably make things worse.
  2. Stop doing the sport or any physical activity that you normally do - running, swimming, golfing, yoga, or Pilates until your know where your imbalances are.
  3. Seek professional help from someone who is trained in muscle imbalances and postural dysfunctions - and beware, many health care professionals are not aware of this approach.
  4. Deal with your neck pain with various approaches. Along with the physical, consider the mental, and nutritional perspectives, get enough rest etc. Check with the "Free Doctor Advice" section of this website and make any appropriate changes.
  5. Look for natural alternatives to your NSAIDs.
  6. Keep an open mind about techniques you may not have heard of before, such as Muscle Balancing TherapyTM
  7. Do your homework. Learn about what works and what does not. When is spinal decompression appropriate for the neck? When will spinal manipulations give you the biggest benefit? Ask questions.

For some really good information on neck pain, read about the amazing neck pain cure with a 93% success rate that your chiropractor, doctor, and physical therapist may not even know about.

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