Updated: Aug 29, 2019
We all know how much of a pain in the neck it can be when your neck locks up. Not only does it make you look like a robot when you're turning your shoulders to look behind you, but it's also dangerous driving! This post will give you some tools to maintain the range of movement after your osteopathic treatment, so it doesn't lock up again!
Here are three easy self help tools...
1) Tennnis ball work
Use a tennis ball into the base of your skull (where a lot of muscles attach), to help release muscle tension. Tight muscles will restrict movement of the neck, often causing your upper body to compensate, where your shoulders turn. SO.... lying down on your back, use a pillow to help hold the tennis ball in place (so it doesn't pop out the sides). Hold for a good 45 seconds to a minute and you should feel the tension fade. Re-position the ball and repeat. Work your way around the base of the skull for about 2-3 minutes.
2) Self mobilize your neck with a towel
Place a towel around the neck. Add a gentle traction (or pull) with both hands and slowly encourage neck rotation. There are seven vertebra in the neck. Getting each joint to move slightly better will improve your overall neck range of movement, which feels better than having 15 degrees...
3) Warm neck stretches
This one might seem obvious, BUT to help make the neck stretches more effective, do them after a hot bath/shower, or after using the heat pack. Muscles are like rubber bands, if they are warm (as opposed to cold) they are more pliable / elastic / stretchy. Once warm, simply drop your ear to your shoulder and hold for at least 45 seconds. You can also use the other hand to help stretch, or guide the head. Also drop your chin to your chest and hold.