The neck and upper back region is the most complicated region of our body because this area has a large number of joints and all these joints work together. Upper back and neck pain usually affects people as they age. The pain can be so debilitating that it can interfere with your ability to smoothly perform the daily activities like driving the car or brushing the teeth, thus lowering your quality of life.
Other then injury, neck and upper back pain results from postural dysfunction which causes abnormal alignment of shoulder and head and incorrect positioning of joints that leads to wear and tear of the joints. Though neck and upper back pain is painful, but some lifestyle changes, exercise and alternative therapies can alleviate the condition and provide relief.
Treatment For Neck And Upper Back Pain Relief
Traditional medicines commonly use cortisone injection, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants for treating neck pain and upper back pain. But they provide only temporary relief. They fail to provide permanent relief because they just address the symptoms, not the root cause because of which patients suffer. There is no pill or injection that can correct the posture and create postural balance, which is essential for taking the pressure off your nerves and allow joints to work better.
You need therapies that can help in spinal mobilization. Physical therapy, electric stimulation, chiropractic care, exercise, stretching, massage therapy and hot packs can bring relief to the sufferer. Surgery should be regarded as the last option, only when there is no other way out and the condition is severe.
Posture correction exercises and stretches can bring relief to the sufferer of neck pain and upper back pain. As we know that bad postures can lead to this condition, try to know whether your posture of neck and back are properly aligned or not. To determine this, stand straight and place your back against the wall and find out if the back of your head, your upper back and buttocks are aligned to the wall (Touching the wall).
If any of these do not touch the wall naturally, you are likely to develop neck and upper back pain. To correct this posture you need to sit in a place where there is proper back support and you can keep your back straight. While looking downwards, do not just tilt but lower your entire head.
Neck should be stretched in front, back, upward, inward and side to side to get relief from pain. Try all the six ranges for at least 10-15 seconds.
Chin to chest – Sit straight in a chair. Hold the seat with your hands from both the sides. Now lower you neck down slowly and try to touch the chest; hold for a few seconds.
Backward stretch – Stretches your head backward as far as you can while aiming your eyes at the ceiling.
Side stretch – Turn your right ear slowly towards your right shoulder 10-15 times. In the same way, turn left ear towards the left shoulder.
Chin to shoulder – Turn your head slowly towards the right shoulder with your chin close to the shoulder. Hold the stretch for few seconds and then bring your back to the centre again. Repeat 10-15 times and do the same rotation on the left side.
Raise your shoulder upward towards the ears; hold for few seconds tightly. Relax and bring them down. Repeat 10 times.
Upper Back Stretch
This an effective exercise for bringing flexibility in the neck and upper back muscles. Sit in a good posture. Now stretch your arm in front of you.Then slowly bend the upper back as if you are trying to take a dive from the diving board. Bring your chin near the chest. Stick to this position for a while take deep breath and relax yourself. Practice this exercise for 5-10 times.
Stand or sit with your back against the wall. Lift your arms slowly up with palm facing outward and bring down. This will help to stretch the upper back muscles.
Lie down on the floor on your stomach with arms on your side. Now raise your arms slowly while squeezing your shoulder blades; now slowly lower your arms. Repeat 10 times.
Heat therapy also brings considerable relief when you have sharp shooting pain on your upper back and neck. Warm up heat wraps in microwave and place them on your shoulders. Taking hot water bath may also bring some relief.
Massage can also help to bring relief from neck and upper back pain. Massaging the sore spot or muscle knot stimulates blood circulation and increases oxygen flow to the fatigued muscles.Whether you perform a desk job or sit for hours on computer, keep your postures correct and perform these exercises daily. Taking few minutes from your daily schedule will help you get relief from neck and upper back pain and prevent it from turning into a serious health condition.