Acupressure For Neck Pain

acupressure for neck painAcupressure for neck pain is an alternative choice when you aren’t a huge fan of contemporary medicine and you, unfortunately,  feel some discomfort with your neck, you might want to check it out. Acupressure is an ancient form of touch therapy that makes use of the principles and art of acupuncture and Chinese healing. It involves using the fingers to press certain points on the body surface that can trigger your body to release chemicals in the brain that can naturally provide you with neck pain relief.

How Acupressure For Neck Pain Works

When the key acupressure points are identified and pressed, endorphins are released by the brain which work like a natural morphine. It paves way for letting loose of the discomforting muscular tension, promotes blood circulation, and stimulates your body’s natural-healing abilities.

Acupressure for neck pain, or any pain, as opposed to acupuncture which utilizes needles, makes use of gentle, yet firm, pressure of the hands and perhaps also the feet. But basically, acupressure and acupuncture use the same key points within the body.

Acupressure is particularly effective since studies have shown that stimulating the acupressure points for neck pain can stop the delivery of pain impulses from the spine to the brain. Study has it that these points possess a lower resistance to electrical current. Thus, stimulating them can actually alter electrical activity.

Acupressure Points

Each acupressure point basically possesses different characteristics and ways of functioning. A local point is where you actually feel pain or tension and you can, with acupressure, stimulate that particular point. Actually, that same point can provide relief to a different part of the body, and in that case, the local point becomes the trigger point. In Chinese medicine, acupressure points are parts of the body in which the flow of Qi or Energy and blood can be manipulated to control bodily functions to give further pain relief.

The Point For Acupressure For Neck Pain

You can easily spot the point for applying acupressure for neck pain relief. The acupressure point for your stiff neck is actually situated at the back of your hand, in between the bones on the hollow surface behind the knuckles of the first and middle finger.

Don’t zero in on the precise location of a point. Consider each point as being at the center of a circle with the width of around three fingers. Direct pressure on any point inside the circle will have an impact on the main point. Additionally, put as much pressure as it takes to make you comfortable. Hold it for about a minute until you feel an increase in warmth, a pulsation, or a softening of a certain tissue or muscle.

You can stimulate the acupressure points for stiff neck pain relief simply by using finger pressure which is as good as acupuncture. Firm and gentle pressure from your finger or thumb can make you feel instantly relaxed.

Unfortunately, you cannot entirely rid yourself of the neck pain by the mere use of acupressure. It is just a temporary type of a ‘first aid treatment’ and the effects of acupressure for neck pain are semi-permanent.

From High Tech To Text Neck

neck pain from texting Text neck syndrome is an increase in the overuse of neck muscles causing neck pain due to our computers becoming more high tech and a whole lot smaller. If you are an avid user of any of your hand-held mobile devices and are experiencing neck pain of late, perhaps you, too, are suffering from text neck.

With the advances in technology, desktop computers are now longer our only option. Thus, cases that involve eye strain or neck and shoulder pain due to poor posture while sitting up in front of a computer have downsized as our computer gadgets have ‘down-sized’. Hand-held devices and gadgets now are more portable and much smaller. Case in point: mobile devices namely smart phones, portable gaming devices, MP3 players, e-readers, tablets, etc.

These electronic devices we have today are almost always the size of our hands and actually one of neck pain causes, thus text neck. Text neck is especially the experience of those who contort themselves into highly unnatural positions as they use their hand-held devices.

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Text Neck Definition

Florida chiropractor Dean Fishman coined the term ‘text neck.’ Dr. Fishman also founded the Text Neck Institute. Text Neck™, according to Dr. Fishman is: “an overuse syndrome or a repetitive stress injury, where you have your head hung forward and down looking at your mobile device for extended periods of time…This is a global epidemic not just from texting, but from using all sorts of wireless media.”

When you text or read from a handheld device, more often than not, the head is tilted forward. The head is actually around 10 to 12 pounds, and as it tilts forward, the neck muscles tend to flex to carry the head’s weight. Truth be told, every inch you move you head forward from its natural standpoint, its weight increases by 100%. That said, the more you extend your neck, the heavier the weight it has to bear.

Text Neck Symptoms

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As mentioned above, if you experience text neck, you experience neck soreness and tightness, and you actually also get headaches. If you leave it untreated for a stretch of time, chances are, you’ll develop an inflammation and permanent arthritic damage along with an increased abnormal curvature of the spine. This can occur even more so with young ones since they have naturally larger heads in relation to the body size as compared to adults.

So, the symptoms of text neck include headaches, neck pain, shoulder and arm pain, and even compromised breathing.

Recent studies have confirmed that there is a link between the amount of text messages sent every day and the pain felt. Those who had more text messages sent experienced greater discomfort.

Avoiding Text Neck

Just like any other injuries that involve cyclic or repetitive movement, you can prevent it from happening if you take frequent breaks and bring your neck back to its natural position. Whenever you text or read from the mobile device that you have, instead of looking down, just try to occasionally bring the device upward so it is aligned with your eyes.  Dr. Fishman has developed a mobile app that you can install to help you align your mobile device to the right angle. That way, you can prevent text neck from occurring.

Check out this video for more information on text neck:

Is Your Neck Pain Due To Computer Vision Syndrome

computer vision syndromeComputer Vision Syndrome or CVS is causing suffering and neck pain, you may have CVS. This is a fairly new medical condition recognized in the health care field. Being on the computer pretty much all day and staring at the monitor continuously can seem pretty harmless, but it can actually be one of the major neck pain causes.

Going online for hours and hours is fairly commonplace to many young adults these days. Often times your job requires it.  Studies found out that 50 to 90 percent of people whose work require them to look at a computer screen for several hours have at least one symptom of Computer Vision Syndrome.

Computer Vision Syndrome Symptoms

Blurring of or double  vision, irritation, drying  and reddening of the eyes, headaches, and shoulder pain are also among the disturbing symptoms of computer vision syndrome, which is a short-term condition brought about by extensive use of computer. An article on the American Optometric Association website states: “The level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount of computer use,”

Cause of Computer Vision Syndrome

Similar to other repetitive stress injuries or repetitive strain injury, Computer vision syndrome is the effect of repeating the same motion over and over again. And even though young people are usually the ones who stare at computer screens practically all day, middle-age people and older are frequently the ones experiencing the symptoms. The reason behind this is that the younger you are, the more focusing power you have. However, if you leave a visual impairment untreated, chances are, you will develop CVS symptoms no matter what age you are.

At the root of Computer Vision Syndrome is usually poor lighting, bad posture, monitor screen glare, inappropriate viewing distance. And, untreated vision problems such as astigmatism or farsightedness can be a cause. Also, aging can have a huge effect on the your ability to focus on objects and this generally starts at the age of 40.

Most of the symptoms will resolve after getting away from the computer, but some may still persist that can ultimately cause diminished visual abilities. And if you don’t do something about it, it gets worse by the minute as you stare right at your computer.

The eyes need to adapt to changing images appearing on the screen whenever you’re looking at a computer monitor in order to produce a more lucid picture for your brain to interpret. Thus, your eyes are constantly focusing and moving back and forth.

Preventing Computer Vision Syndrome

Luckily, you can  do some things to prevent or correct this problem. Proper positioning of the computer monitor (4 to 5 inches below eye level and 20 to 28 inches away from the face)is essential. Lighting should be altered in order to trim down the glare from the computer monitor screen. Furthermore, take breaks away from the computer.

Another essential tip to heed is the “20-20-20 rule” which requires you to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of staring at the monitor. And poor seating posture can bring about computer-related neck pain so always maintain proper sitting position.

In addition to taking the preventative steps mentioned above, be sure to have your eyes checked. At the root of CVS is uncorrected problems with your vision.
You may not be able to avoid looking at the computer for a significant amount of hours, but you can always do something to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome which can cause annoying neck and shoulder pain.

Best Way To Sleep To Avoid Neck Pain

Best way to sleep to avoid neck painBest way to sleep when you are plagued with irritating neck pain and neck tension, and avoid aggravating your existing pain is to change sleeping positions or use sleeping aids such as specially designed pillows. While there are some neck pain causes that you can’t control, such as aging and wear-and-tear, you can help to minimize or prevent neck pain while you sleep. And that’s good news.

 Positioning The Best Way To Sleep To Avoid Neck Pain

Considering that you spend six to ten hours in bed, finding the best position to sleep in to prevent or minimize neck pain is rather essential. The two sleeping positions that work best are on your back or on your side.

Stomach-sleeping arches the back, making it tough on your spine. It also keeps your neck turned to the side, which can lead to increased neck stiffness and pain in the morning.

For most of us, we developed certain sleep habits and have our favorite sleep positions that we have been using since we were kids. And, if we start off in a better sleep position to reduce neck pain, chances are we are going to wake up in our favorite position in the morning!

But, if you can at least start off sleeping on your side or back, it’s at least a step in the right direction. And, even in the right position it is important to get the right support in pillows.

Pillows Help The Best Way To Sleep To Avoid Neck Pain

Pillows are very important in you are looking for the best way to sleep to avoid neck pain. Choose the wrong pillow and you can end up with more pain than you started off with.

If you sleep on your back, you need to make sure you have the right pillow to support your neck in the right places. You really need to steer clear of pillow that are high and stiff. These will keep your neck in a flexed position overnight and you will wake up with more pain and stiffness.

Dynatronics Concept 2000 Pillow, Medium

Because you have a natural curve to your neck, you should choose a round pillow to support that and a flatter pillow to cushion your head.  You can buy a special pillow that has built-in neck support and that is indented for your head to rest in. Or, you can tuck a small neck pillow into the pillowcase of a pillow that is softer and flatter.

Another option is to use a feather pillow. A feather pillow conforms easily to the shape of your neck. The bad thing about feather pillows is that they tend to ‘collapse’ over time and should be replaced each year. In the ‘old days’, housewives used to open the feather pillows, wash the feathers and add more inside new pillow ticking.

A more modern option is a memory-foam pillow. The memory foam conforms to the contour of your neck and head, providing support in the right places. You can even get cervical pillows that are made with memory foam. Memory foam pillows are purported to encourage proper spinal alignment while you sleep.

Best Pillow For Side Sleepers

Avoid Neck Pain

Side-sleeping is another best way to sleep to avid neck pain. If you are a side sleeper, you should look for a pillow that is higher under your neck than your head. This helps to keep your spine in good alignment. Another pillow you should have is a flatter pillow that you can put between your knees to also help in keeping your spine aligned. Full-length body pillows are great for draping your arm and leg over to maintain a healthy spinal alignment.

Best Neck Pillow For Leisure And Travel

If you are someone who spends time reclined in a lounge chair, you may want to invest in a cervical neck pillow that is shaped like a horseshoe. This helps to support your neck and prevent tilting your head from one side to another.

Jobri Travel Memory Pillows, BetterNeck Neck, 13w x 10l x 3h, Ivory

Sammons Preston Heels-Off, Medium/Large, 7.5H x 24W x 17D

The cervical pillow is also great for travel. Take it on the plane or train or in the car. Be careful not to get a pillow that is too big as it may force your head forward which will worsen your neck pain. When traveling, you can’t always find the best way to sleep to avoid neck pain but the cervical pillow should help.

Work Related Neck Pain

work related neck painWork related neck pain is becoming more common these days with more of our jobs becoming computer-based. If most of your day is spent at a computer, pay attention to how you are sitting.

Are you sitting with your shoulders slumped and your head extended toward your computer monitor? And are you in that position for long periods of time? Better watch out- you may soon be on the hunt for some neck pain relief.

Jobs High Risk for Work Related Neck Pain

The research indicates that women in general are at high risk for work related neck pain. Many women with neck pain develop chronic neck pain which is pain lasting more than a month. The most common affliction is called trapezius myalgia, which is a chronic muscular pain and tightness that extends down the back of the neck and moves out toward the shoulders.

Jobs that may lead to chronic neck pain are those that require repetitive work, typically at computer keyboards. These jobs are primarily in administrative offices, post offices, and banks. In these positions, there is overuse and misuse of the neck and shoulder muscles.

Treatment of Work Related Neck Pain

The usual treatments for chronic neck pain include massage, chiropractic treatment, medications, electrical nerve stimulation and exercises of various kinds. The response to these treatments varies and is somewhat inconsistent. As a result, there has been a lot of research into neck pain treatment. And the evidence is building on the effectiveness of neck strengthening exercises.

Neck Pain Relief With Strengthening Exercises

At the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, Danish scientists completed a study to determine the most effective treatment for women suffering from the work related neck pain caused by trapezius myalgia. Study participants were assigned one of these three treatments:

  • Strength training focusing on the neck and shoulder muscles
  • General fitness training in the form of riding an exercise bike without holding on to the handlebars
  • Health counseling

The two groups that exercised did so three times a week for 20 minutes each and for a total of 10 weeks.

The results? The group receiving the strength training had, on average, a 75% reduction in the pain they felt during the study period and for 10 weeks following the study. The women receiving the general fitness training had slight improvements. The group receiving the health counseling reported no improvements in their work related neck pain.

If you are suffering from chronic work related neck pain, or if you at a risk for it, you may want to check with your doctor about seeing a physical therapist for training in neck-strengthening exercises.