Why Do I Constantly Get Muscle Tension In My Neck And How Can I End The Pain And Soreness?

Do you often wake up with a stiff neck? Feel like you always have soreness across the shoulders? Notice you can't turn your head like you should be able to? Sometimes feel the tension going right up into your head, causing a headache? Or even find it often difficult to work on the computer or drive for a long period without having your neck tension increase?

Many people suffer from tightness, spasm or sore muscles in the neck. Often times if you feel the neck you can find hard nodules which are knots in the muscles or what I call trigger points. It is very common.

Usually the source of the problem actually stems from the neck spine and nerves in the neck. Why is this so? Well, to start, the nerves control our muscle function. If there is pressure on nerves in the neck your muscles are not getting proper communication, so they get imbalanced and don't work like they should. Next, a spine that is misaligned will not only contribute to possible direct pressure on a nerve by a spinal bone or bones misaligned but also it can create an uneven ness in the spine so that the muscles are not balanced. For example, if your spine is not straight u and down from the front to back and has a curvature to the side then the side the curve is toward has a constantly stretched and tense muscle. The opposite side will have a shortened muscle. Simply because of mechanics you may be able to tilt more to one side whereas the other side is limited.

Let's take another example of the forward head. From the side view our spine should have smooth flowing curves. The neck should have a C-curve of 40-60 degrees. This keeps the spinal cord relaxed and the nerves that come off it free of interference. It also allows your spine to with stand the forces of gravity at it's best. It has been shown that for each inch of forward head drift or carriage can cause 10+ more pounds of gravitational forces pressing down on you. Not to mention those muscles in the back of the neck that now have to work harder to hold the head up and in alignment.

So you can see from just two examples how misalignments can cause tension on the muscles and/or put pressure on the nerves causing pain and blocked communication of the brain and spinal cord to those muscles.

How can I get rid of this neck pain and tension?
Fix the cause - the unwanted misalignments and nerve pressure.

Get your spine treated by a Chiropractor or Osteopath. A Massage Therapist or Physical Therapist can help as well. The Chiropractor or Osteopath can adjust or manipulate the spine into it's best position. They may also use muscle stretches or trigger point release techniques as does a Massage Therapist or cervical traction, electric muscle stimulation or postural exercises that a Physical Therapist may do as well.

Be aware of your posture - remember posture is a window into your spine. If your posture reveals a forward head carriage for example then your spine has lost some of the normal curvature and is out in front of your center of gravity. Make sure your work station is ergonomically correct and also be aware of things that increase neck tension and stress.

Sleep with a good neck pillow. I recommend one with support for the normal cervical curvature (normal neck alignment). Arc4life offers a wonderful neck pillow called the Cervical Traction Neck Pillow. Forward head posture is the most common misalignment I see. A good cervical neck pillow or cervical traction can help correct this problem without much effort at all.

So, correct the root cause - pressure on the nerves and misalignments and you will correct the muscle soreness, tension, trigger points, and muscle pain.

Dr. Matt Bellinger is a Chiropractor in Connecticut. He has written many articles on how to easily and naturaly relieve pain, and has helped hundred of patients in his clinic end their neck and back pain. He recommends specific pain relief and posture improving products at www.arc4life.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/muscle tension


End Neck Pain By Improving Posture - How Proper Posture Improves Your Spine Relieving Nerve Pressure

How does posture have anything to do with neck pain?--Neck pain comes from pressure on the nerves. How does this happen?--Usually pressure from a misaligned neck spine. When your spine is misaligned (some call that subluxated) it does not move like it should and in turn creates inflammation in that area. Either out-of-alignment spinal vertebrae (spinal bones) put direst pressure on nerves or the inflammation, or built up degeneration causes the pressure.

The most common misaligned postural pattern in the neck that will result in neck pain, stiffness and lack of mobility is forward head carriage. This is when the head posture is forward of the shoulders and almost always reveals loss of the normal neck alignment or curvature.

In the neck spine we should have a well defined neck C-curve of approximately 40-60 degrees. Anything less and there is unwanted pressure on the nerves. Pain is often a sign that there is pressure on the nervous system but not all of that system is designed to feel pain so you may be pain free yet still have improper alignment.

With people today, more than ever we are seeing a misaligned neck posture of the neck curve flattening or straightening and protruding out forward. One of the reasons is that more and more people these days are on computers for long hours. Many jobs now require you to be on a computer continually, and even the people without a desk job are on the computer for hours on end; nights, weekends, mornings, you name it.

Also, more people are on the road driving. When driving, the majority of people’s heads, over the time traveling, drift forward. Some people are affected worse than others. Just recently I looked to my left while at a light and the woman next to me had both hands on the wheel with what looked like a death grip, and she just looked like her muscles were extremely tense and her head was about 6 inches forward of her shoulders. These are just a couple examples, others are: Poor sleeping habits, holding a phone on your shoulder for long periods, reading or studying with your head down often, etc...

Guilty of some of these examples or often suffer from neck pain?

Here's how to improve your neck posture-

  1. Postural exercises for the neck
  2. Eliminating bad posture as much as possible
  3. A good support neck pillow for sleeping.

These to do's all help correct and maintain the proper alignment of the spine. Our spines are ergonomically built to withstand the forces of gravity. When looking at an individual from the front or back, the spine is straight should be up and down. From the side however we have distinct curvatures that are there for a reason – so our spinal cord is relaxed with no tension and our nerve roots coming off the spinal cord have no pressure and interference. Our spine is at it’s strongest position with this alignment as well. And don’t forget, why is it important we are in optimal alignment? Not only because it is the most beneficial for strength of our spine but because it is the healthiest position as well. Putting any pressure on nerves will decrease the bodies ability to perform at it’s maximum. Any pressure on nerves decreases your body's function and therefore health.

The best postural exercise to eliminate forward head posture are Head Retractions. Pretend your head is on a sliding track and pull your head back keeping it level. For example sit fully back against a wall or chair pull your head straight back without tilting or extending your head until you touch the wall, top of chair or headrest in your car.

Eliminate forward head posture as much as possible. Notice if your head is drifting forward; usually you may feel strain in the muscles of the back of your neck. Read with books propped up against something, take periodic breaks when working on the computer or driving for long periods. Sit up staighter, and keep your head up-right.

At night, you can not only protect yourself from poor posture but also can literally improve it as well, while you sleep. If you use a good support pillow like the Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow you can correct neck posture while resting comfortably. Sleeping on your back or side is perfectly fine. Stomach sleeping is not good because you have to crank your head to on side or another to breathe. Individuals who commonly sleep on their stomachs will find themselves waking up often with a sore, stiff, painful neck.

Be more aware of your posture. Poor posture means a poor spine and therefore pressure on nerves that will not only just cause neck pain but can cause other problems as well. The easiest way to start improving neck pain and neck posture is to use the proper neck pillow. The Cervical Linear Traction Pillow can be found at www.arc4life.com.

Dr Matt Bellinger is a Chiropractor in Connecticut. He has written many articles on how to easily and naturaly relieve pain, and has helped hundred of patients in his clinic end their neck and back pain. Visit Dr. Bellinger's Site at www.ctbackdr.com.


Choosing the right neck pillow for your needs....

Choosing the RIGHT neck pillow can be very difficult, especially with the vast array of neck pillows available online today. At Arc4life, we specialize in finding the right neck pillow for your needs. What are you looking for in your neck pillow? Are you looking for a neck pillow that will give you pain relief, support, traction or headache relief ? Maybe you are looking for a neck pillow that you can use for travel? Every one has a different medical history, and their needs will be different accordingly. If you are looking for a good support neck pillow, try the linear gravity neck pillow.

Support Neck Pillow

The linear gravity neck pillow is an excellent choice for support. This neck pillow is available in three sizes- small, medium and large. Someone who is of height of less than 5 feet, or of a petite frame may want to consider this neck pillow. Incidentally, this neck pillow also makes a great travel pillow because it will fit into your carry on luggage.

Traction Neck Pillow

If you have been diagnosed with a "military" neck, or loss of cervical lordosis in your cervical spine, then consider the Cervical traction neck pillow. This neck pillow has a dual purpose- it serves to give traction to the neck, stretches the neck muscles and providing the curve back into your neck. The other side of this neck pillow serves as a great support pillow.

Travel Neck Pillow

Perhaps you are a frequent flier. A good travel neck pillow will now allow you to sleep upright without straining your neck to the side or going back wards. You want a neck pillow that is affordable, comfortable, easty to pack and simple to care for. Often these travel neck pillows will be u-shaped making them very versatile.

Memory Foam Neck Pillow

A foam neck pillow is composed of polyurethane with additional chemicals that add to its viscosity level, thereby increasing its density. It is often referred to as visco-elastic polyurethane foam. Depending on the chemicals used and its overall density, it is firmer in cool temperatures and softer when warm. Higher density memory foam reacts to body heat which allows it to mould itself to the shape of a warm body within a few minutes. A lower density memory foam is pressure-sensitive and will mould more quickly to the shape of the body. Consider the Mid Size Memory Foam Neck Pillow.

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Join our free eNewsletter: The Healthy Back and Neck Newsletter

The Healthy Back and Neck eNewsletter is for people who want to live a healthy lifestyle. Arcticles about neck pain and low back pain to help people live optimally as possible. Includes inspiration stories and Information provided about the best neck and low back pain supports and products. Tips on maintaining a proper posture. Here is a snippet from January 2008:

New Studies Show: ADHD Medication Not Effective Long Term And AIDS Vaccine May Increase Risk…

Glastonbury – This is a very “touchy” subject. If your child has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you know this to be true. And you are also not alone…

According to ADHD statistics:

  • About 1% to 3% of the school-aged population has the full ADHD syndrome, without symptoms of other disorders. Another 5% to 10% of the school-aged population has a partial ADHD syndrome or one with other problems, such as anxiety and depression present.
  • Another 15% to 20% of the school-aged population may show transient, subclinical, or masquerading behaviors suggestive of ADHD. A diagnosis of ADHD is not warranted if these behaviors are situational, do not produce impairment at home and school, or are clearly identified as symptoms of other disorders.
  • Gender and age affect the ways in which people with ADHD express their symptoms. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to have symptoms of ADHD.
  • Symptoms of ADHD decrease with age, but symptoms of associated features and related disorders increase with age. Between 30% and 50% of children still manifest symptoms into adulthood.
  • A classroom with 30 students will have between 1 and 3 children with ADHD.
  • Boys are diagnosed with ADHD 3 times more often than girls.
  • Emotional development in children with ADHD is 30% slower than in their non-ADD peers. This means that a child that is 10 years old will have the emotional development of a 7 year old, a 20 year old will have the emotional maturity of a 14 year old.
  • One fourth of children with ADHD have serious learning disabilities such as: oral expression, listening skills, reading comprehension and/or math.
  • 65% of children with ADHD exhibit problems in defiance or problems with authority figures. This can include verbal hostility and temper tantrums.
  • 75% of boys diagnosed with ADD/ADHD have hyperactivity.
  • 60% of girls diagnosed with ADD/ADHD have hyperactivity.
  • 50% of children with ADHD experience sleep problems.
  • Teenagers with ADHD have almost four times as many traffic citations as non-ADD/ADHD drivers. They have four times as many car accidents and are seven times more likely to have a second accident.
  • 21% of teens with ADHD skip school on a regular basis, and 35% drop out of school before finishing high school.
  • 45% of children with ADHD have been suspended from school at least once.
  • 30% of children with ADHD have repeated a year in school.

What Are Your Options?

And for many years, many parents believed medication was the best option for their ADHD diagnosed children. And why wouldn’t they?

In 1999, a study concluded that after one year, medication worked better than behavioral therapy.

This finding skyrocketed prescription rates of ADHD drugs like Ritalin and Concerta.

Results Of Study Disturbing

But now a study obtained by the BBC's Panorama program says drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta work no better than therapy after three years of treatment.

The findings by an influential US study also suggested long-term use of the drugs could stunt children's growth.

After longer-term analysis, the report's co-author, Professor William Pelham of the University of Buffalo, said: “I think that we exaggerated the beneficial impact of medication in the first study.”

“We had thought that children medicated longer would have better outcomes. That didn't happen to be the case.”

“There's no indication that medication is better than nothing in the long run.”

Professor Pelham said there were “no beneficial effects” of medication and the impact was seemingly negative instead.

“The children had a substantial decrease in their rate of growth so they weren't growing as much as other kids both in terms of their height and in terms of their weight,” he said.

According to the BBC News, “The National Institute for Clinical Excellence is currently revising the treatment guidelines for ADHD. Chair of the working group, Dr. Tim Kendall, said they were devising a strategy, which was likely to involve training for parents as well as “behavioral interventions”.

“The important thing is that we have an approach which doesn't focus just on one type of treatment,” Dr Kendall said.

And now something completely different but equally important…

AIDS Vaccine May Increase Risk Of Contracting The Disease

According to a November 13th, 2007 Reuters report, “Thousands of people who volunteered to test an experimental AIDS vaccine that may have actually raised the risk of infection will be told if they got the actual shot, researchers said.”

In the study, some participants received the actual vaccine and others got a “fake.” This is common practice in studies to see if the results are actually from the substance they are testing… or just placebo. Usually, participants never know which group they were a part of.

But now, Merck & Co. Inc. and researchers said they would inform everyone who got the active vaccine shot versus the “fake.” Why?

Because two international trials of the experimental vaccine were stopped in September after it became clear the vaccine did not prevent infection with the AIDS virus.

And then, according to Reuters, in early November 2007, “researchers said they saw some worrying indications that the vaccine somehow raised the risk of infection, although they stressed the vaccine could not itself cause HIV infection.”

“All study volunteers will be encouraged to continue to return to their study sites on a regular basis for ongoing risk reduction counseling and study-related tests,” the researchers said in a statement.

It is obvious from both ADHD medications and AIDS vaccinations… as a health care consumer… you must be aware of ALL your options and be sure the “treatment” you choose does not put you at risk or make you worse. Drugs and invasive treatments are not always the answer.
Read the rest of January 2008 The Healthy Back and Neck...

January 2008

  1. Article - New Studies Show: ADHD Medication Not Effective Long Term And AIDS Vaccine May Increase Risk…
  2. Inspirational quote
  3. Inspirational story
  4. Featured product -The Linear Gravity Neck Pillow
  5. Testimonial of the month - "I have C4-6 mild disc bulges, central canal stenosis and foraminal compromise. It has affected my finger function for what I need to do to earn a living”…

Newsletter Archives January 2008 | December 2007 | November 2007 | October 2007 | August 2007 | July 2007
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Thank Goodness the Holidays are over ! Onward to 2008

Today I had a few patients say to me "Thank Goodness the Holidays are over"... It appears that for many, the holidays are a time of stress. Gift buying & giving, cooking, overeating, eating too many sweets, dealing with difficult people- all these are reasons for people to be stressed out during the holiday season. Well now that 2008 is here, and the christmas decorations and trees are finally coming down, we can all take a deep breath and relax. Take time out to relax, take care of your body, take care of your health. Write down goals for 2008 that you want to accomplish. The key word here is "write". Include in this goal list the following categories:

  • Personal goals
  • Financial Goals
  • Thing Goals

Also important is to write down steps that you will take to accomplish these goals. Make them realistic. So for example-
A personal goal for you may be to lose 10 lbs- Well write down an action step to accomplish this. Make it realistic. For example: to walk 10 minutes day every day for 3-4 days. Don't make goals that are out of reach. These can easily derail you in achieving your goals.

Work on your Goal List.... ReVisit this Goal List regularly- perhaps weekly or monthly. You will notice that your thoughts and goals will change and you will be amazed at how many and how quickly your goals will be accomplished. One of the main reasons for revisiting your goals regularly is too keep them fresh in your mind.

Wishing everyone a prosperous 2008- may all your goals be realized and more.

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Natural Headache Pain Relief

Happy New Year Everyone. Wishing everyone a wonderful 2008 filled with good health and happiness. The older I get, the more I realize how good health is the key all aspects of life.

I recently met someone over the holidays who told me they suffer from headaches quite often. So I decided to talk to everyone about headaches today.

The first course of action with any problem, or pain is to find out what the root cause of the problem.

Studies show that over 90% of the time headaches come from a problem arising in the neck. This problem is a misalignment or what we call a subluxation that creates a pressure on the nerves, creating muscle tension, leading to a headache. Keep your neck in good alignment and chances are you'll get rid of headaches.

Other causes can be allergies to certain foods, scents, or the environment. But for the vast majority; getting their neck adjusted or manipulated, maintaining good posture, and using natural health aids to maintain and improve spine alignment and decrease neck muscle tension.

Recommended products:

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