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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

7 Super Fast Remedies for a Pulled Muscle in Neck

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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.

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    Published on December 22, 2021

    9 Simple Exercises To Fix Your Bad Neck Posture

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    9 Simple Exercises To Fix Your Bad Neck Posture

    Poor neck posture can put a lot of strain on the muscles, ligaments, and joints of your neck, causing some kind of discomfort that is vaguely described as Tension Neck Syndrome. Quite common, this is usually a dull pain felt around where the neck and the shoulders meet, around the arm.

    Sometimes, it also presents other symptoms, such as tension headaches and anxiety. Are you experiencing any of these? Then you might be suffering from the effects of bad neck posture. Below are nine simple exercises that should help you fix your bad neck posture and offer quick relief.

    1. Chin Tucks

    This is a simple yet effective exercise able to relieve tension from bad neck posture. It targets the deeper muscles of your neck and releases the built-up pressure on them.

    To perform this exercise, all you need to do is sit erect and look right ahead. Now, place a finger, preferably your index finger, on your chin.

    Holding this finger in place, you should begin pulling your head back until you feel some stretching around your neck. Remain in the position you felt the stretch for a couple of seconds. Let’s say, ten to fifteen seconds.

    Now, move your head and chin forward until your chin is in contact with your finger again. Repeat the process as many times as you can.[1]

    2. Shoulder Shrugs

    Shoulder shrugs are another effective exercise to help with a neck strain. They are simple to perform and can be performed at home, with or without weights. This exercise works on a muscle called the trapezius muscle.

    As the name suggests, this trapezius muscle is a trapezoid muscle around the back of your neck and your upper back. It is usually the most frequently affected muscle in cases of bad neck posture and must be eased for relief to be felt.

    To perform shoulder shrugs, you have got to stand erect, looking right ahead. Your feet must be flat on the ground. They should not be arched, and you should not be putting on any heels.

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    Place your arms beside you, your palms facing your body if you’re performing without weights. If you are performing the exercise with weights, you should have your weights in your hands. Now, lower your knees a bit, and your feet should not move.

    Pull in a deep breath as you raise your shoulders high as if trying to make your shoulders meet your ears. Don’t raise your shoulders too fast. Raise slowly in such a way that you feel some form of anti-pressure.

    Begin lowering your shoulders, slowly too, as you exhale. Repeat over and over.

    3. Head Tilt

    This simple yet effective exercise primarily targets your deltoid muscles, also affecting the synergistic muscles of your neck and upper back. The deltoid muscle is one of the muscles affected by bad neck posture and has to be eased if relief must be felt.

    You do not need equipment to perform head tilts. It can easily be performed at home and by anyone.

    To perform head tilts, you should stand erect, your feet two to three feet apart. It is important that your feet are apart from each other.

    Now, move your head from one side to the other. The movement should be done in such a way that it seems like you are trying to touch your shoulders with your ears. Repeat the movements as many times as you want.[2]

    4. Nods

    Nodding is an effective way to relieve neck tension as it targets deep neck muscles, which are often the center of neck discomfort. As funny as this sounds, it is true. So, how do you go about performing this exercise? Do you just sit there and nod your way into relief? Pretty much yes.

    To perform this exercise, all you have got to do is sit erect, looking right ahead. Move your chin downward, as if you’re nodding, only this time you should lower your chin until it is almost touching your chest area.

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    Repeat over and over until you feel you have had enough. Rest, and go on. Relief should come real quick!

    5. Child’s Pose

    This exercise is quite easy to perform and works very effectively. It targets your upper body muscles; as you stretch, these muscles relax, the tension on them easing up.

    To perform the child’s pose, you have got to first sit. Have you seen a child sitting before? You have got to kneel and sit just like that. Sit with your legs folded, your toes teaching each other, your butt atop your heels. Your knees should not be in contact. They should be about one foot or two feet away from each other.

    Now, fall forward, your arms outstretched, your forehead touching the ground. It’s fine if your arms are not outstretched, though. You can just keep them in place beside you as long as they don’t move and you don’t break the pose. Remain in this position for some minutes, practicing breathing exercises as you relax.[3]

    6. Prone Cobra

    This exercise effectively strengthens the muscles of the shoulder joint, neck muscles, and upper back muscles. It is a simple exercise to perform yet advanced in action.

    To perform the prone cobra, you should lie on your belly, face down, forehead touching the ground. Put your arms beside you, your palms on the floor. Press the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth.

    Now, slowly, try to make your shoulder blades meet each other. Your shoulder blades are also called your scapulae, bones that attach your upper body to the back.

    Take your hands off the ground. With your palms facing outside, roll your elbows inward and do a thumbs up. Now, lift your forehead a few inches above the ground. Maintain the position for about ten to fifteen minutes. Repeat.

    So that your forehead does not sustain scratches, you might want to put a towel on the ground. You should also be careful not to stretch too hard. [4]

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    7. The YTWL Exercise

    This is a simple-to-perform exercise that aims to work the spine muscles. It stretches tight spine muscles while straightening out the weak muscles. To perform this exercise, you do not need equipment. It can easily be done at home or the office.

    Raise your arms and form a letter ‘Y’ with your palms pointing forward. Now, pull your arms back while making sure your elbows are kept straight. Hold still for about 30 seconds.

    You should now go into the ‘W’ position. To do this, pull your arms down just a little bit, making sure your elbows are pointing down. Hold for another 30 seconds.

    After this, spread your arms in such a way that you are doing a ‘T’ with your palms facing forward. Put your arms back again and hold for 30 seconds.

    Then, go down to form an L with the elbows in the side and fingers pointing in opposite directions. Pull your forearms back and hold out for another 30 seconds.

    8. Pectoralis Stretch

    This exercise is great for the muscles of your shoulder and your upper back. It’s quite simple to perform and can easily be done at home. To perform this exercise, you only need two things: yourself and a doorway.

    Move into the doorway and put your forearms across the doorframe, one forearm on one side and the other forearm the other way. Your elbows should be bent. They should look something like a right angle, which is ninety degrees.

    Release the weight of your body so that your body falls forward just a bit, and you start to feel some stretching around your chest and shoulders.

    Hold for a couple of seconds, between ten and twenty seconds, and then release. Repeat the procedure several times. Relief comes quite fast.

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    9. Overhead Arm Reach

    This simple exercise targets both the deep and superficial muscles of the neck and works on other muscles of the upper back, arm, and torso. You only need a chair to perform this exercise.

    To do the overhead arm reach, you should sit on a chair with both your feet touching the ground. Your feet should not be arched. They should be flat.

    Now, raise your right arm above your head, reaching to the left side of your body. Bend your torso until you feel some stretching.

    Return to how you started. Repeat this exercise about five times, changing between left and right arms.

    Bottom Line

    Discomfort from bad neck posture is common, especially among office workers who sit all day. This is a result of strained muscles, ligaments, and joints. Discomfort from bad neck posture can range from dull pain to tension headaches to even anxiety and sleep trouble.

    Exercises are a known way to relieve neck tension from bad neck posture. If done right and consistently, relief comes fast. Be careful not to go too far with these exercises. Never stretch your muscles too much.

    Featured photo credit: Keenan Constance via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Spine Health: Easy Chin Tucks for Neck Pain
    [2] Drugs.com: Neck Exercises
    [3] Whatsdalatest: Ten Text Neck Pain Home Remedies For Quick Relief
    [4] Exercise.com: Prone Cobra

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