In my experience, the vast majority of people with neck pain have a limited ability to breathe correctly. People have a habit to use their neck and shoulder muscles to help with breathing, instead of using the diaphragm and abdominals.
Considering that we humans take upwards of 20,000 breaths per day, that’s a lot of extra work for your neck and shoulder. The quickest, easiest way to get your neck feeling better is to help it relax by learning how to breathe properly – using your diaphragm and abdominals.
Practice like this: Lie on your back and rest your hands on top of your belly button. Breathe in SILENTLY through your nose, trying to fill up an imaginary balloon in your belly – fill up the belly, sides and back. Then exhale gently ALL THE WAY – try to get all of your air out. Repeat for 3-5 minutes once or twice a day to help relax your neck !
2. 30 MINUTE SITTING RULE
Your body was NOT designed to sit all day. Slouching increases the force that the weight of the head transmits through your neck TENFOLD.
When we sit for long periods, the muscles that support our spine get lazy, making it harder to support our neck. So, the neck muscles start working harder to help to hold up the head and end up becoming overworked all day, every day.
Limit sitting to no more than 30 minutes at a time and take a break by standing or walking. When you do sit, sit upright, preferably with your back supported by a chair, with your head directly above your neck. And practice taking a few breaths into your belly, sides and lower back throughout the day to keep those core muscles working.
3. ROM EXERCISE
Maintain your breathing using your diaphragm and abdominal muscles. This will help keep your neck muscles as relaxed as possible and your diaphragm doing it’s job. If you start to breath with your chest – slow down, adjust, and resume the exercise.
4. CHECK THE PILLOW
● The pillow should not be too high or too low, and the curve of the neck should be
● If you are a SIDE SLEEPER: make sure the pillow is enough to support the head so
that your neck is in neutral and not dropping toward the side.
The fastest way to take care of your neck pain and stiffness is by going to see a
therapist. A therapist who can listen to your story, assess your neck and find out
EXACTLY why you are having problems. They can then come up with a plan to fix it
so you can get back to living your life and tackling your passions pain-free or at least
When looking for a therapist, you owe it to yourself to find one who is willing to spend quality, one-on-one time with you for the amount of time that is needed to address your problem.
An hour of massage may not always be the most efficient way to address the
issue. The truth is, if your therapist does not spend the appropriate amount of time
to perform an assessment and take a good case history, how is he or she going to
know you, your condition, and the kind of pain you are experiencing.
Combine all these tips from this special guide with a visit to a right hands-on therapist,
and you WILL see a dramatic drop in the neck pain and stiffness you are currently