Currently viewing the tag: "tight neck muscles"

So you’ve beaten neck pain this time, and I am sure you don’t want to go through that battle again, so the best thing you can do to avoid a rematch is to be conscious of your posture and biomechanics when you exercise. Biomechanics is the way the body moves, and doing so properly will be the difference between looking and feeling good, or breaking down structurally. That’s right—poor biomechanics will lead to increased joint degeneration, tight muscles, sprains, strains and other injuries. So remember to keep your shoulders retracted when you workout, whether lifting weights, dancing or doing yoga.

Retracted shoulders are the proper biomechanical position for upper body movements, so always keep that in mind when working out. This should keep your neck and shoulders operating smoothly throughout your lifetime. Neck pain is no fun—I speak from experience—so the best defense is a good offense: attack future neck pain by creating the best environment for you neck, shoulders, and upper back to function. You won’t have to suffer or find yourself under the surgeon’s knife one day if you listen to me now. Whether you are trying to beat neck pain now, or prevent it from happening in the future, follow these ten steps and you can’t go wrong.

Two things happen to muscle tissue: One is they get short and tight, and two is they can remain in contracted state. Shortened muscles are your typical “tight” muscles, which you can stretch to provide lengthening. Contracted muscle on the other hand can be stretched til the cows come home, and they will not de-contract. Muscle spasms are an extreme example of this hyper-contraction. Try to stretch a spasm and all you will do is make it worse, because the muscle will reflexively oppose the lengthening (that’s why they have spasmed to begin with—the incredible Innate Intelligence of the body). Decontraction is best carried out with a technique called post-isometric relaxation (PIR). As the name implies, it involves relaxations (decontraction) after a light contraction. The idea is we need to contract to relax. Watch the video below for a demonstration on this enormously effective relaxation technique:

PIR is so effective, and hyper-contracted muscle so painful, that this technique alone can be the answer for your chronic neck pain–you know the kind: the one that has sent you to a multitude of doctors, chiropractors, therapists and acupuncturists, none providing the complete relief of that painful neck that you’ve just wanted…to…stretch…out, but it never seems to help. That is usually a hyper-contracted muscle and you need PIR.

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