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7 Super Fast Remedies for a Pulled Muscle in Neck

7 Super Fast Remedies for a Pulled Muscle in Neck

Imagine if you could apply a simple strategy to stop feeling that stingy pain in your neck. That pain that made you utter “not again!” once you’ve crawled out of your bed in the morning.

Don’t worry! In this article, you will learn 7 super fast remedies for your pulled muscle in neck. If you follow some of these methods today, it will only be moments until you feel well and energized again.

The anatomy of a pulled neck muscle

First, let’s elaborate what a pulled muscle in your neck is. In the case of a pulled muscle in the neck, there are a number of things that can be done to facilitate healing.

Remember that after a neck strain, the muscles in the neck will often become tight, guarding the affected area and limiting motion and mobility. Anything that can be done to safely relieved muscle tension, improve range of motion and promote blood circulation to the affected area is therefore going to help the healing process.

Why busy people after 30 suffer from neck strain

Busy people after 30 are more likely to get a pulled neck. Professionals get injured not because of karma or other woo-woo magic but because of certain physiological adaptations in your bodies. Such as:

Increased stress levels

This should be old news until now: People that are psychologically stressed out are more likely to get injuries. Stress suppresses your immune system and elongates the wound healing process.[1]

The stress response therefore not only makes it more likely to get an injury, but also prolongs the healing process.

Muscle-loss

As a physically inactive person in your 30s, you start losing 3 to 5% of muscle mass per decade.[2]

Any loss of muscle mass matters because it makes you lose strength and mobility. The symptoms include a feeling of weakness and loss of stamina. The following muscle loss also makes it more likely to suffer from stress fractures as a key task of the muscles in your body are the resistance of mechanical stresses.

More prone to bad posture

Most professionals work long hours in a seated position. The muscle-loss, the stress and the long work-hours not only take their toll on your neck, they also take their toll on your posture in general.

Having a bad posture makes it more likely in the future to suffer from more stress fractures. This process can lead you to a downward spiral – if you don’t act and implement the following remedies:

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7 remedies to help facilitate the healing process

Each of these remedies provide a unique solution to your neck pain. I discovered these remedies through years of working in a fitness center, my continuing education and personal experience (people that get punched in the face often, such as martial artists – including myself – are more likely to experience neck strains).

1. Challenge your weaker self

I’m Thai-boxing for a total of 3+ years. Recently an advanced fighter and I had a sparring session. Towards the end of the first round, a devastating shot of him punctured my chin. Immediately, I felt a snap in my neck.

Going through two more rounds without the sensation of pain and going to sleep with no physical pain but a slight numbness in my neck, I had no grave concerns. Until I opened my eyes at 2AM, with a sweaty body to realize that my head is unable to move without strong pain. This happened a few more times that night.

When I first heard my alarm clock in the morning, the last thing I wanted to think about was movement. The best recovery process, my body was tempting me to believe, was to simply lay in bed for the entire day. This is not optimal. I disregarded that initial urge and crawled out of bed and went to work.

In the moment of a pulled muscle in neck, we have to realize that our body is overcompensating.

As we’ve seen previously, our organism is stiffening the whole area to prevent further damage. Yet this neglects the upsides in the healing process of controlled physical movement.

The first remedy to treat a pulled neck muscle is to know that you have to be slightly uncomfortable in the healing process. Challenge your weaker self – move well and move often. In the case of the neck strain in the boxing example, I was pain-free after 2 days.

2. Use hydrotherapeutic measurements

Every time I finish a hard training session, I treat myself to a cold shower.

In the process of hard weight-lifting, martial arts or endurance training, inflammation pops up in your body. We can counteract the overcompensating adaptations of your body by using hydrotherapeutic measurements.

Which means we use water to change our physiological state.

A great way to relieve neck strain is to alter a cold and hot shower in a 3 minute interval. This minimizes the recovery time in your injured tissue.

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Bonus Tip: Treat yourself to a hot bath with Epsom Salt. Epsom salt relieves muscle tension, stress and pain. The salt works by having a mixture of magnesium in it, that gets splitted out when first getting in contact with water. Add 5-10 Drops of lavender oil to the water for the extra soothing experience.

It’s also a great idea to take such bath before your sleeping time. This way you’ll relax your muscles, relieve stress and shorten the sleep-onset. The quality of your sleep will skyrocket, trust me.

3. Inspect your shut-eye time

A good night’s sleep can make or break your recovery time.

We, as living beings, need to feel relaxed on a deep level to alter the unconscious sleeping state. But to feel relaxed, we first need to feel secure.

A huge part in feeling secure is to alter your sleeping position. I just recently read Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps… and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind from Nick Littlehale, an elite sport sleep coach with over 16 years of experience with elite athletes.[3]

According to Nick, the best position to decrease your recovery time is the side sleeping position on your non-dominant side. Apparently it makes your body feel secure and seems to be most efficient in guaranteeing a transition to deeper sleep phases – which is crucial in the healing process.[4]

    Your slumber is the time when your body is able to repair itself. Why not make the repair process the most efficient?

    4. Elongate your tissues

    Working on the computer in a cubicle goes against our evolutionary history.

    From living in trees millions of years ago to hunter and gatherers in Africa, from the agricultural revolution to the information age; human beings survived a variety of environments. Our brains are fast to adapt, our genomes aren’t.

    Our genome is made for the environment the grand apes were used to. The current immobile circumstances are hurting our movement apparatus at a deeper level. From problems in your lower back up until frequent occurring strains in your neck.

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    A good way to counteract these damages is to stretch at a regular basis. Stretching increases your blood flow and your range of motion. Warm up before every stretching session and start with the basic movements.

    Controlled stretching works as a preventive measurement for future strains and treatment method for current ones at the same time. Here’s a video to show you some stretches you can try at home:

    5. Infrared light therapy

    A newer invention in the world of injury treatment is infrared therapy.

    Infrared light therapy works by sending a beam of high energy, low heat, radiation to stimulate healing. The idea behind infrared therapy is that it stimulates the cells in a painful or damaged area to produce energy and improve function. The laser does not penetrate bone, so if neck pain due to a spinal condition is unlikely to be helped by infrared therapy.

    I’ve seen big improvements in my recovery after a muscle related injury by using an infrared sauna regularly.

    6. Alter your blood flow with ice packs

    Blood flow is important in relieving your pain because it decreases the time needed for the repairing process.

    Another tactic that we can use to alter your blood flow are ice packs. It’s best to cool the paining area right after the first symptoms. This way you can minimize the initial inflammation process.

    Ice packs are cheap to buy but work wonders, if they’re applied at the right time and place.

    7. Better your posture

    When thousands of years ago our common ancestor decided that we would be walking on two legs, our back (including our neck) developed into the weak link in our organism. Putting as little stress on that part of our body is key in living a healthy, long and strong life.

    One of the most important thing in this stress minimization is a good posture. Stand up straight and keep your chest out. In fact this is the first rule of Jordan Peterson in his book 12 Rules for Life.

    According to Jordan Peterson, standing straight is the first step to taking part in the dominance hierarchy. To present yourself as a high status individual that individual you know you truly are deep inside you, to strangers and family.

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    A great posture can not only increase our status in society, but also prevent and treat our neck strain. Make a conscious effort to stand as tall as you can with your posture (without standing on your toes). Literally, write this down on your to-do list and check it 3 times a day.

    If your conscious effort to stand straight isn’t bearing any fruits, go to the gym and train your upper back muscles. This made a great difference in my posture and health. You can hire a coach if you need more guidance on that part.

    You can also try these exercises to improve your posture: The Ultimate Exercises to Improve Posture (Simple and Effective) 

    We can lower the stress on your neck by having a better posture, therefore aligning our vertebrae.

    Summing it up

    As a busy professional, a pulled muscle in your neck can be an annoying hindrance on your daily chase of greatness.

    Although the rehabilitation of the neck strain can be fast and proven, it nonetheless makes sense to also spend time on the prevention. As the saying goes: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    Yet as every savvy marketer knows, it’s much easier to sell pain relief than pain prevention. Most people would never take 15 minutes out of their day to better their health on a continuous basis. I urge you to be different.

    Consider all these tips and try to implement at least 1 in any shape or form in your daily routine. Maybe it’s an infrared sauna session after work, a cold shower in the morning or a better sleeping position during the night. What matters is consistency and sustainability.

    Let’s work for a pain-free future together!

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Florian Wüest

    Qualified and experienced fitness trainer and online coach.

    Why You Should Keep a Fitness Journal to Jumpstart Weight Loss The Truth Behind Rapid Weight Loss and the Best Way to Shed Pounds How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss? How Vegan Bodybuilding Diet Keeps Hunger at Bay While Plant Based The Biggest Myth Debunked: The More Protein You Eat, the Faster You Build Muscles?

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    Last Updated on September 10, 2019

    7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

    7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

    Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

    Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

    This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

    One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

    Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

    Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

    1. Gratitude

    Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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    The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

    Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

    So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

    Gratitude-Quotes

      2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

      This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

      For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

      What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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      Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

      3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

      This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

      Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

      An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

      Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

      write down goals

        4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

        According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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        There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

        5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

        Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

        Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

        6. Rise Earlier

        The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

        For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

        So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

        Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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        7. Listen to Uplifting Music

        Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

        Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

        It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

        Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

        More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

        Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
        [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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