Relieving Stress and Neck Pain

neck painTwo of the biggest problems that affect the human race both on a physical and mental scale are stress and neck pain. We spend so much time getting wound up by factors that are often out of our control that we end up overwhelmed and panicking about things with no idea how to resolve them. As a result we become stressed and the associated nervous system often causes a series of physical problems, such as back and neck problems.

When you’re stressed you also put a lot of, well, stress on the body and for many the only solution is to take painkillers, travel around in the car or on a plane with a hooded travel pillow (pictured), to provide support throughout the journey, or to get an expensive sports massage so that they can still go about their business. Your body essentially goes into a mode whereby it has to fight against the stress or succumb to it which, if anything, only contributes to making the pain or stress worse.

It’s important to add at this stage that the onset of stress and anxiety doesn’t always mean that you’re going to develop back or neck problems, but it is a common occurrence.

The main cause of neck pain is anxiety. During intense spells, you find that your body begins to essentially tighten up, like a coiled spring. Your muscles become tight and you find that your body starts to ache, you might even start to feel little niggling injuries that you’d expect professional athletes to be picking up, not the likes of yourselves. You might also find that you pick up little illnesses such as coughs and colds partly because your body is so busy fighting off the stress and anxiety that it takes its eye off the ball in terms of your immune system.

Neck pain can, obviously, occur without the onset the of stress and anxiety, and is often the result of one of two things – your every day lifestyle, such as the way you sit at your desk at work for hours on end or the way you sleep; or just the way your body is constructed, putting pressure on the nervous system.

From an employer’s point of view, it’s vital that you take note of the previous paragraph whereby it was mentioned that neck pain can be caused by the way people sit at their desks. Changing the chairs in your office to an ergonomic model can be particularly helpful for your employees, allowing them to sit more comfortably in a chair that has been designed specifically to support the ‘pressure points’ such as the lower back, shoulders, neck and also their arms.

It’s been suggested that there are three main solutions to neck pain, although not all are guaranteed to relieve the problems on a full-time basis, they may just mask it. A massage, mentioned in the opening to this piece, is one of the best and most effective ways of resolving neck pain. It’s often a particularly expensive solution, so make sure you can afford it before you book yourself in, but getting professional treatment to get out all of the ‘knots’ can make you feel much better, relieving the stress on the muscles.

Another option is to have a long, hot bath. This might sound like a pretty lazy solution to your problems, but hydrotherapy does work by taking all of the pressure of the body and combined with the heat can help the muscles to relax, taking the tightness out of the body.

A third option is one that either gets you going, or makes you cringe – exercise. It might sound ridiculous to suggest that plenty of movement can help relieve the pain, but using up the energy stored in your muscles having been laid up in bed or thinking that exercise won’t help, can actually make it harder for them to find the energy to tense up.

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