Muscle strain most often causes neck pain. Your neck muscles may get tight from holding your head at a severe angle while working at a desk or computer, or you may sleep with your head at an awkward angle. Neck muscles may tighten after exposure to a cool draft.
Common causes of neck pain include:
Neck pain usually interferes with moving your head, and it often causes headaches. When you have neck pain, you may also experience other symptoms, such as muscle spasms, shoulder pain, or upper back pain.
Those issues may be the cause of your neck pain, or they may develop as you hold your head in one position while trying to prevent the pain.
Ms. Vasquez helps evaluate your symptoms. If your neck pain is severe, results from an injury, pain spreads down your arms or legs, or you also have numbness, weakness or tingling, she may recommend medical attention to be sure you don’t have a serious problem.
Therapeutic massage is one of the best treatments for neck pain. In fact, it’s often recommended as part of routine medical care. Studies show that massage therapy significantly relieves neck pain and improves range of motion in your neck.
Acupuncture is also a good option for alleviating neck pain. Many people experience a significant reduction in pain with acupuncture alone. However, it can also be combined with massage therapy and standard medical care.
Massage therapy stimulates circulation. As blood flow increases, soft tissues receive more oxygen and nutrients, while waste products that collect in muscles following a muscle spasm or injury are washed away.
Massage also relaxes muscles and stretches ligaments and tendons. Nerves and other structures affected by tight muscles begin to work better as massage releases tension in soft tissues. Deep tissue massage uses more direct pressure to target and relax muscle knots.
Acupuncture works by restoring balance to the natural flow of energy through your neck. It also stimulates the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters that help relieve pain.
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