Do you suffer from neck pain? Find out how to attenuate them with the help of a massage and the right movements, to be done comfortably alone
Sedentary life, cold strokes or strain and muscle tears are just some of the causes of neck pain, or those annoying pains that affect the muscles of the neck and head, often radiating towards the upper arms and back. The problem can have different degrees: they range from a slight stiff neck, characterized by a slight discomfort in the rotation movements of the neck, up to total immobility, accompanied by nausea and dizziness. In almost all cases, however, a massage is enough to alleviate the symptoms of neck pain: find out in this article how to do it without the help of an expert.
Neck pain: what are the causes
Before proceeding with a self-massage, it is necessary to identify what are the causes of stiff neck, so as to intervene in the best possible way. In many cases, neck pain is caused by:
- wrong posture assumed during the day or night;
- absence or excess of physical activity;
- cold strokes;
- sudden or abrupt movements that can cause trauma (whiplash);
However, if you are very often faced with a stiff neck and persistent pain, you could be in the presence of more serious diseases, such as chronic neck pain, cervical arthrosis or a herniated disc. In these cases it is necessary to consult a doctor.
How to perform a self-massage on the neck and shoulders
If your neck pain is the direct consequence of a particularly stressful period, we advise you to intervene with a nice daily massage, perhaps to be combined with a few minutes of stretching. Are you not particularly knowledgeable in this matter? Follow our instructions.
First of all, you need to be aware of the fact that to get a good massage you need to free your mind from other thoughts. The muscles could in fact remain tense and the massage would be useless, if not harmful. So breathe deeply and clear your head: now you are ready to start! Start with neck circles, first in one direction and then in the other. Raise your shoulders as much as possible and then, exhaling, let them fall. Place your thumbs at the base of the head and perform light circular frictions towards the outside. With the head slightly bent forward, wrap the back of the neck and massage with soft pressure. Keeping the neck down, gently pinch the left trapezius with your right hand, in the part of the muscle that starts from the nape of the neck to the collarbone.
Perform semicircular movements, moving your hand along the entire line of the muscle, from the collarbone to the nape of the neck. Perform these movements from bottom to top and vice versa. Massage the area using your thumb and forefinger and apply a little massage oil. Repeat the previous 3 points on the other side as well. Then place your left hand on the right trapezius remembering to keep the opposite arm relaxed and at your side. Now move to the lower back. With your hands outstretched and fingers pointing down, perform quick movements, alternating circular and linear strokes.
Self-massage on the neck and shoulders in a few minutes
If you have a particularly busy life and are thinking of treating yourself to a massage in the office, perhaps on a lunch break, here is a faster alternative. Drop your arms along your body and drop your head on your neck. Then bring both hands behind the neck and apply light pressure with your fingers from top to bottom. During the operation, slightly swing your head. Grab the back of the neck with one hand and massage vigorously, tilting the head back slightly. Cross your hands behind your neck and "pinch" the muscles. At this point, massage both sides of the neck with your knuckles. Take care to massage both the front and the back. Tap your chin, neck, and shoulders in front and back, as if your body were a headboard. Release your shoulders by rolling back and forth.
Relaxing self-massage for neck and shoulders
If you need to relax the area of the neck and shoulders, which are contracted due to bad postures assumed at work, you could instead think of another type of massage. Start by gently brushing the left muscle between the neck and shoulder. Place your fingers along the trapezius and maintain constant pressure. Inhale and exhale, flex your head on the opposite side. After having thrown out all the air, stay in apnea for a few seconds. Then return to the central position. (Repeat this step 3 times). Inhale again and as you exhale, turn your head away from the muscle. Throw out the air and wait a few seconds before inhaling. Throughout the massage, keep your fingers constant pressure on the muscle. Also repeat this step 3 times. Carry out some circling in one direction and the other. Repeat the sequence on the opposite side