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The 7 Ways To (…Naturally) STOP! Annoying, Daily, Irritating Neck And Shoulder Pain…From Disturbing Sleep And Causing Severe Headaches!
In this Special Report on Neck And Shoulder Pain (and stiffness) I share with you 7 very powerful principles and strategies you can make-work for you – some over time and others almost instantly. They’re in no particular order, and they all have only one thing in common: They all work. There’s a great saying that goes: Small hinges swing big doors. And it’s often the simplest advice that wins in the end. Truth is, without knowing your neck pain or your history intimately, I cannot tell you which of these will work best for you. And even if I did know the root cause of your neck pain, there are no guarantees that any one single strategy will work. But over the last decade, I’ve been able to narrow down what really does and doesn’t work when it comes to easing neck and shoulder pain (and the stiffness either brings). And the 7 principles you’re about to read are included in that. But imagine this …how great it would be if you try just one of these “tips” every day…within a few weeks you could have all 7 of these incredibly powerful strategies for easing Neck and Shoulder Pain, “in play” and working for you – giving you back the active and healthy lifestyle that you’ve lost, or are in danger of loosing. So here’s my challenge to you …now that you have this knowledge in your hands, take time every day to try out at least one of these 7 strategies. It really won’t take long and most of them won’t cost you anything but few minutes of your time. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much better and healthier you will feel for doing so.
1.Use Ice (…Not Heat) To Stop Pain Ice is by far the best way to ease knee pain. My tip, use ice whenever you’re feeling achy or painful, such as at the end of a very busy day. Apply and ice pack for 10 minutes or so, little but very often (every hour). And when to use heat – my tip would be to apply a hot water bottle on a morning when your neck and shoulder is likely to be feeling more stiff, than painful. Again, 10 minutes should do it
2.Sleep With One Soft Pillow Might be difficult at first, especially if you are used to two pillows. But, if you can persist, it lowers the amount of stretching and the tension that brings, happening at your neck. Frequent headaches, migraines and constant shoulder tension (…and even an unhealthy looking posture) are a sign of spending 8 hours every night in the wrong position. Drop down to just one soft pillow and you will notice a difference.
3.Avoid Reading For More Than 20 Minutes In Bed The reason why is because your head looking forwards and down at a book or Kindle, is increasing tension in muscles. It’s a bit like stretching an elastic band too far – eventually it will “fray” and even snap. Worse, at this late time in the day, your muscles are already tired and weak. And by placing them under even more tension so late in the day, will make more tension and headaches through the night, inevitable.
4.Choose Sensible Footwear Bizarre choices of footwear include high heels, sandals, flip-flops and plimsole style trainers or shoes. Why bizzare? Because they’re all proven to ADD to pressure and stress on your spine. It’s because there’s a lack of cushioning to absorb shock with these types. So your spine and joints have to take all of the impact every time your foot lands on the floor (…not good for your hips either). If you can absorb some of the shock by wearing nice soft, well fitted and cushioned shoes/trainers, then you could reduce your neck and shoulder tension by as much as 20-25%.
5.Avoid Carrying Your Back Pack Or Bag On One Arm, Or In One Hand For this, you’re going to need to completely ‘flip’ everything you’ve likely done for years when it comes to carrying bags. And this one is a very common mistake that adds to neck and shoulder tension. Carrying a workbag or even shopping bag over one shoulder, means that the weight is not evenly distributed. And the result is one side of your body is under more pressure than the other. Guess what happens to the side of your body carrying the extra weight all these years? (Likely to be the side you’re feeling the pain and tension the most). More, if you carry the bag over your left shoulder all the time, you could end up with a curvature of your spine and it would mean that your left side is working too hard taking the weight of the bag every day, and certainly much harder than your right side. And this would cause tension and pain, not to mention a funny and unhealthy looking posture.
6.Ensure Laptop Screen Is Set At The Correct Height When you’re sitting (remember anything more than 20 minutes isn’t ideal) and your laptop or table isn’t at the right height, then what can happen is you look downwards. And in doing so, your spine becomes more and more rounded. This stretches the muscles, puts more force on the joints and more pressure on the discs. All of which are very sensitive and likely to cause you pain in the neck and shoulder area.
7.Get Physical With Physical Therapy There isn’t a faster way to END neck and shoulder pain than by going to see a physio. Getting to see a hands-on specialist physio means you’re going to get very fast access to care that will soothe and relax those tight aching muscles, loosen and lubricate stiff, stuck and painful joints, and strengthen your body so that you can go back to doing the things that you love. You can often leave a good physio with concerns eased and physical pain reduced, inside 30-40 minutes. Combine all of the “tips” in this Special Report with a trip to see a “hands on” private physio, and you will see a dramatic drop in the neck and shoulder pain (and stiffness) you are currently suffering from.
Bonus “Tips” Section: 1.Daily Lower Back Exercise Rituals Closely linked to going to see a good physio – because you want to be sure that any exercises you are doing are right for you and will work. And YES the title does say back exercises – it’s because the strength of your lower back dictates the position that your neck and shoulder will take up, whether you are walking, sitting or lying in bed. If you can get into the routine or good habit of doing simple stretches and strengthening of your lower back muscles, you will benefit right through your 40’s, 50, 60’s and beyond. In the same way that you brush your teeth twice per day to keep them clean and avoid pain, you need to look at working on your back in a similar way. Particularly as you’re now in the 40-60 age bracket where your muscles lose strength and flexibility.
2.Avoid High Heels Here’s why. Wearing high heels will increase the pressure through your knees and through your spine by about 25 X. Reverse that, and it means if you wear a nice soft cushioned pair of shoes instead, your body would be experiencing 25 times less pressure and force placed upon it. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that this unwanted stress and pressure, doesn’t make it all the way up to your neck and shoulder level. It absolutely does. And just imagine how much relief you’d feel if you could take that type of stress (a reduction of 25 times) off of your neck and shoulder tension, right now? But understand that it’s a cumulative effect. This pressure builds up from wearing the wrong footwear over a period of weeks and years and results in a weak spine and more pressure on shoulder muscles, somewhere around the age of 40-45.
3.Do Regular Pilates This is the 100-year-old tradition that if you do regularly, can really transform your health. Pilates is joint number one on my list of the most important things that anyone can do to prevent shoulder and neck pain. And incase you were wondering, Pilates is a series of exercises designed to improve muscle tone and control. Understand that it’s the latter (control) that is often missing from lower back muscles and the root cause of most people’s knee pain and stiffness. So, by joining a class, or doing these exercises every day on your own at home, you’ll steadily increase your muscle control, and with it, slowly decrease your muscle tension and pain. We recommend all of our private patients to do these exercises and go so far as to create personal plans for each of them.
4.Stretch Yourself At The Beginning And End Of Every Day Another daily ritual that will transform your health. Along with Pilates, Yoga is a must! Now that you’re in the 40-60 age bracket, everyday you wake up your body is tightening and losing flexibility. So you must do something to reverse it or at very least, slow it down. And it’s Yoga that you need to find - fast. It’s a series of stretches designed to make your body more supple and more flexible.
5.Stay Hydrated This is the BIG Office worker mistake that could be zapping your energy. One really simple way to avoid this is to cut out the stuff that makes you dehydrated in the first place. Things like excessive coffee, tea, alcohol and energy drinks will make you dehydrated as consequence of drinking too much of them. And being dehydrated can cause muscle aches and pains, fatigue and dizziness. So, it’s important that you keep your water intake up in an attempt to ease off any extra or unwanted tension in your neck and shoulder muscles. My tip, drink water little and often throughout the day.
6.Avoid Sleeping On Your Stomach There isn’t a more effective, faster route to self-inflicted damage to damage your neck and shoulder. Avoid this position like the plague. Every part of your neck and shoulder joint is twisted and in the wrong position. And if you sleep like this, it’s no wonder you are suffering from chronic, daily annoying pain in that region.
7. Change Your Mattress Every 5 Years This is the bedroom question that I get asked every day. People want to know about their mattress and what type they should sleep on. Almost impossible to answer as the question is too generic. But what I can say is that if you haven’t changed your mattress in the last five years then it’s about time that you did! And invest as much as you can in finding the most comfortable one that works for you. After all, if you’re going to spend a third of your life in it, might as well get the best one that you can. And the key isn’t to finding a firm one or a hard one - finding the right mattress is about finding the one that works best for you and your spine. Hint: I’d say changing your pillow (and volume) would be a miles better place to start than an expensive mattress.
8. Avoid Sitting For More Than 20 Minutes At A Time There’s so much ‘gossip’ that surrounds neck and shoulder pain. But this is FACT. You and I were not designed to sit. It goes against every basic, fundamental rule of the way we originally evolved as humans. When you sit there is approximately 10x more pressure pushing down on your spine from your head than when you stand tall – meaning pain and tension in the neck and shoulder region. And it’s because most of us slouch, or flop, meaning that the muscles in your spine (called your core muscle group) that are designed to protect you, just don’t work.
Conclusion So, there you have it: 7 things (plus 8 big bonus tips) that you can do TODAY to improve your posture, general health, as well as Ease Your Neck and Shoulder Pain. There’s obviously so much you can do too, and I could go much more indepth on ways to end Neck and Shoulder Pain than the principles I’ve given you here, but these fundamentals, if you apply them rigorously and are disciplined, will make a huge difference to the quality of your life. In the weeks ahead I’ll be sending you even more tips and advice on how to restore your active and healthy lifestyle and will share with you how Physiotherapy can make a huge difference to your life. I hope this is the beginning of a great, long-term relationship where myself and my colleagues from the Better Health Team become the source of leading edge health advice for you and make a real difference to your life. Dedicated to Restoring Your Health,