These three causes of neck pain may surprise you. According to Practical Pain Management, neck pain has an annual prevalence rate exceeding 30% among adults in the US; nearly 50% of individuals will continue to experience some degree of chronic neck pain or frequent occurrences.
Too many times people will complain of neck stiffness and pain on the backside of the neck. The mistake is to think the problem is on the back side.
Is it a Symptom or a Cause of Neck Pain?
What you feel with muscles is the symptom, the cause is rarely felt. When balancing your head there are muscles on all sides of the neck which allows the head to rotate, bend forward and backward.
The 3 Key Areas that cause pain on the back of the neck
- Front of the neck– Tight muscles on the front of your neck can cause pain on the back of the neck, Stiff neck especially in rotation, and the inability to look up.
- Chest muscles– Tight chest muscles will cause the head to lean forward and the shoulders to round. The pain usually appears at the base of the neck to the mid back area.
- Stride when walking– the shorter the stride when walking, the more the head leans forward for momentum and the chest muscles will shorten causing the shoulder to round in.
How can you solve this neck pain?
You can stretch your chest muscles in a doorway.
Place one arm against the door frame. usually, the whole forearm with the elbow bent. Use your feet to rotate your body away from the arm against the door. Do not twist your body, use your feet or you may get a spasm in your side. Hold for 5 seconds as you feel your chest letting go. Then repeat 10 times.
Start with looking up every day.
Lay your chin in the palm of your hands, Literally, feel the weight of your head in your hands. Using your hands, gently push up your head and hold for about 5 seconds. Only go as far as it is comfortable, no forcing it. Breathe out and pet the front of your neck to relax. Repeat this 10 times. This will take a lot of pressure off the back of your neck.
Practice walking in a hallway so you can hold onto the wall if you lose your balance.
Do this barefoot so you can feel how your feet contact the floor. As you step through, the toes of the back foot should be pushing you forward and your leg straight. If this is difficult, you can see my calf stretches in videos on my YouTube Channel. These will not be like anything you have ever done in a gym or physical therapy.
I have specific neck stretches for neck muscles and chest in videos on my YouTube Channel.
Life After Eliminating the Causes of Neck Pain
Once you start making changes you will see a major difference in how far you can look up and rotate which will give you relief from your neck pain. You will start thinking better with increased blood flow to the brain. Backing your car will be easier as you can rotate your head to see where you were going. Most importantly, as you age, your friends will mention that you are not looking like an elderly person, hunched over and in pain. You will be able to share with them what you have learned about the causes of neck pain and how to resolve them so they can live pain-free, too!