Thank you to all of you that let me know on my facebook page what you’d like me to blog about next.
A popular topic was “How to manage back, neck and shoulder pain”. So here’s some hints & tips for you:
1. Check your posture
Lots of aches, tension and stiffness is due to repetitive positions we hold or movements we make during the day. Take notice of when you experience pain, tension or stiffness and whether there is something you can do about it.
Typical changes we can make include checking how we sit, particularly when driving or using a computer, phone or handheld device.
It’s amazing what a difference simple changes make. I always make sure throughout the day that I consciously check I’m not raising my shoulders unnecessarily. It’s a common thing to do. Check your shoulders now. Can you lower them? Does it feel better when you do? I bet it does.
Also check your sleeping position. Is your mattress supporting you in the right places and are your pillows supporting your head. Stiffness in the morning might not be just from old age.
It’s so important that we keep our muscles strong and our joints mobile. Walking and swimming is great as it’s gentle on our bodies.
Yoga and Pilates are both highly recommended as they help strengthen the back, the core and all the other supporting muscles.
3. Take care when lifting things & avoid sudden movements
This is when most people injure themselves. Having supple muscles from exercising and using the correct movements is essential to prevent injury.
Pilates teaches you how to move correctly to avoid straining your back, neck and shoulders. Tips like using your core muscles rather than just your shoulders when shutting the car door or pushing the supermarket trolley prevents unnecessary tension on our back, neck and shoulders.
4. Reduce Stress & Tension
Exercise can help with this but also make sure you have some time each day to reflect, let your mind wander, read a book or whatever you enjoy doing. When we are relaxed our central nervous system and muscles relax which reduces pain and tension in our bodies.
A massage or complementary treatment such as Reflexology is great for promoting deep relaxation, reducing tension and also pinpointing which parts of the body are reacting. Quite often people come to me with neck pain but aren’t aware how tight their shoulders are and how they can release this tension. Knowing all the areas of your body that are affected really helps you focus on reducing the stress you are putting on your body.
The AOR hand reflexology video is great to watch so that you can treat yourself or friends and family at home. The spine reflex is shown at 4 minutes.
Reflexology & Indian Head Massages are both really great treatments for back, neck & shoulder pain.
Reflexology is great because all of the body systems including bone, nerves, muscle and connective tissue and the blood circulation of the area can be affected. Reflexology can bring the body systems back to their normal level which aids the body in reducing its muscular tension and other symptoms. There is suggestion from some research studies that pain thresholds and pain tolerance may be increased after reflexology.
Indian Head Massage techniques applied directly to the upper back, shoulders, neck, face and scalp relaxes all the muscles in those areas as well as increasing blood circulation. Deep relaxation is also brought about through the massage techniques and pressure points which reduces blood pressure, stress and tension.
So get checking that posture and exercising regularly and why not try a complementary therapy too to help you target and maintain any problem areas.