Neck and/or back pain may seem to be a part of life for some of us but it does not have to be that way. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, neuromuscular massage, and other forms of body work there are simple and effective daily strategies to reduce or altogether eliminate the suffering. Here are a few examples:
1. Roll a golf ball on the bottom of each bare foot for 3-5 minutes per day. The self-massage releases tension in tight connective tissue on the bottom of the foot that can affect posture and tension in the whole spine all the way up to the head! You may notice a reduction in lower back pain and neck pain almost immediately!
2. Massage the soft tissue and muscles below your collarbone and closest to the shoulder, called your pectorals. These are often tight and restricted from rounded posture, causing tension in the neck and shoulders. Massage each side for two minutes with your fingers. Also you can stand in a doorway and stretch your pecs by spanning the door frame and gently leaning forward.
3. Stand with heels together, toes turned out, tall spine, upright posture, with your arms down but away from your side and the palms of the hands turned out as far as you can. Contract and squeeze your legs, buttocks, midback, and rear shoulders as hard as you can for five to ten seconds. Relax and then repeat.
4. Massage the back of your neck and then flex (bend) your head forward, trying to touch chin to chest. Put the palm of your hand against your forehead and apply light pressure while trying to push your chin away from your chest. This strengthens the weaker neck muscles in the front to relax the tight ones in back.
5. Set a timer and break up periods of prolonged sitting. As the saying goes: "Sitting is the new smoking" and it leads to wider derrieres and loss of postural muscles!