We've all been told things along the way with varying degrees of truth... Whether you're a seasoned athlete, weekend warrior or just getting started, here are 5 of the most important things you need to know about your neck and upper back!
1. JUST BREATHE!
The way that you breathe effects the muscles in your neck and upper back. Many people breathe more into their shoulders than into their "stomach" (diaphragm) which means that you're using your neck muscles to lift your rib cage over and over throughout the day. Learning to properly breathe can help calm down the muscles in your neck if you're experiencing pain.
2. PARTNERS WORK TOGETHER
The movements of your neck and upper back help each other or balance each other out. For example, try arching your upper back and your head naturally comes forward. If you're struggling with neck pain there is a good chance that your upper back is involved.
3. YOUR POSTURE IS BAD...
No matter what your grandmother or mother told you, "straightening up" isn't the best advice. In fact, no one posture is best BUT you should be able to tolerate many different postures throughout the day and be moving frequently. If you can't get into or are afraid of different postures its a good chance your neck needs some help.
There are many different types of headaches but some of the most common (the ones on the side and back of your head) are often due to tension and stress in your neck. Ibuprofen might make it feel ok for awhile but we can help keep you from getting headaches!
5. YOUR BODY WANTS TO PROTECT ITSELF...
Any time your body feels “threatened” it automatically responds to protect that area by creating an internal“brace.” When you have knee pain your body will naturally try to protect it by limiting it’s movement. You still want to move which puts your knee in a tug-o-war between what you want it to do and how it’s trying to protect itself. This is not a game of tug-o-war you want to play!
At this point you're probably thinking, "well, what do I do about it?" Luckily, we can help! Stay tuned to your email for helpful tips to take care of your neck pain or join us in the Tri For Health Facebook Group