Have you ever rolled over in bed and thought “Did I just lift my entire body with my neck” because of the intense pain in your neck? Well I did. And right smack in the middle of the holiday season craziness.
That's right even therapists hurt themselves at inopportune times. I woke up with a severe neck spasm the week of several holiday parties. You know the week where both kids need to go shopping for party foods and presents. This was not the week to walk around like a robot (as my son kept telling me I was doing).
The good news is that I know how to stop this muscle spasm and restore my normal neck motion without having to make an appointment with someone.
I can remember, while I was in college I would wake up with a stiff neck that at times was bad enough I’d hold my head up with my hands to manage the pain. The only way I could stop the neck pain was by calling to make an appointment for an adjustment. I asked the medical person once why I kept waking up with such severe neck pain. He told me these things just happen when we sleep hard, i.e. staying in one position. So I assumed that I would forever have to make appointments every time I had neck pain.
Since that time, I can tell you I have improved my neck strength which stopped my neck from spasming for years, pre-child. Post-child I’m still working on restoring my neck strength.
BUT the big message is that even though I’ve slacked off, with my posture and neck exercise I still know them. So when I woke up to that all to familiar neck spasm, I was able to start calming the spasm down before I even got up.
Laying as flat as I could get comfortably, I put pressure on the spasm with my hand and started my gentle range of motion exercise. After several minutes the pain was much less and I was able to rotate my head more. I was able to ice my neck and do the rest of my posture and neck exercise starting that very day. Without having to see a medical professional. Then after only a couple of days my neck was 100% again.
Frequently I get asked why do injuries keep coming back?
The short answer is certain parts of our body that are prone to certain injuries. For instance, some people naturally have very tight stiff muscles and some people (like me) naturally have very loose flexible muscles. Both of those body types will lend you to certain types of injuries. For me, if I stay on top of strengthening muscles then my body is more stable which stops my back, my neck and my knees from hurting. The time I spend working out helps me do all the things I love i.e. teaching my son how to punch, play soccer, and swim.
But my big message for today is...just because you are prone to waking up with neck pain doesn’t me you have to call a medical person every time. You can learn how to treat yourself at home.
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WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald