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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Stretches and Cervical Traction for Neck Pain Relief

Cervical Traction for Neck PainWhen neck pain strikes, usually it will take a day or more to recover. If you find yourself coming home from work with sever neck discomfort or waking up with a stiff, sore neck in the morning then here are a few techniques and tools you can try to relax and stretch out those sore muscles.

Rest then Restore

Begin the healing process with the use of cold and heat compress. Usually you would start with cold compress for ten to fifteen minutes to calm down any swelling within your neck. A few hours later you can begin to apply some soothing heat to your neck for about thirty minutes to let it seep into all the layers of muscle tissue in your neck. This will encourage your muscles to relax and stop muscle spasms. To find the best resting and sleeping position for your neck is very important and a small roll under your neck can instantly do you a lot of good. You can roll up a small towel and put it in you pillowcase on top of your pillow.

Deep Stretches with Cervical Traction

One tool you can use to get a deep stretch in your neck that actually elongates your cervical spine and takes pressure of the structures in your neck is referred to as cervical traction. This is basically a unit that you place your head in and it stretches your neck for you. If you have a pinched nerve in your neck this is the best tool for taking that pressure off of it and releasing the nerve. As it is stretching your cervical spine it is stretching all the surrounding layers of muscle and connective tissues from the base of your head to the point where your neck meets your shoulders. Cervical traction works also to increase fluid and oxygen exchange for your intervertebral discs that work as shock absorbers for your spine. As a result, if you have been diagnosed with a herniated or bulging disc in your neck, this unit works to retract that bulge back in. Degeneration of the spine happens with the combination of poor posture habits, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor body mechanics. This lifestyle over years naturally wears at our spine and as we age our spine tends to compress and shorten. To counteract this doom of an aging spine we can incorporate more physical activity, stretching, and improve posture. If you add cervical traction to this routine then you will be doing a great service to your neck by giving it the space it needs to breath again.

Neck Pain Relief Stretches

Stretching your neck each day will improve your chances of keeping neck pain at bay. Every stretch yo do be gentle and ease into it then hold 30 seconds and repeat three times. You can start by stretching the side muscles of your neck. Sitting or standing, reach one arm behind and to the side of you. Place your other hand on your head and use it to gently pull your head. You should feel the stretch down the sides of your neck and into your shoulder. Side Stretch for Neck Pain ReliefAnother really easy stretch you can do while in your chair at the office or when standing is to bring your chin to your chest then press your head down with two hands. This will stretch the back of your neck and you can also used the palms of your hands to gently pull your head away from your shoulders for an added deeper stretch that is similar to cervical traction.
Stretch the Back of Your Neck  Now that you have stretched out the back and sides of your neck you can go the opposite direction to stretch out your throat and chest. To do this most effectively, begin by kneeling on the floor with your legs together and sit down on your heals. bring both of your hands out behind you and rest on your palms with your fingers pointing out. Now bring your head back and arch your back up to increase the stretch. This is a great stretch for people who find they are hunched over a lot at work and it encouraging the natural curve of your neck.
Chest Opener

 Proper postural alignment while at your desk is important to learn when suffering from neck pain. When you are hunch over in your chair or even just bent forwards slightly with your head over your work, you are increasing the weight of your head on your spine. When your neck is lined up properly with your shoulders and your shoulders are rolled back then the weight of your head is distributed evenly through your spine.  This will reduce muscle strain and prevent injury and neck pain. Proper posture together with daily stretching and cervical traction can give a lot of relief from neck pain after a long day at work. If you find your symptoms getting worse you should always consult a medical professional before attempting any self treatments.  

About the Author

Regina is passionate about fitness and health as she has been working in the health field for over five years. You can read her blog devoted to neck pain relief that targets tight muscles and pinched nerves in the neck with stretching routines and tools like cervical traction that stretch deep layers of neck tissues.    

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