Advertising
Advertising

Published on June 22, 2018

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:

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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?

    Trending in Physical Strength

    1 Exercise for Seniors: How to Improve Strength and Balance (And Stay Fit) 2 How to Lose Water Weight Fast And Naturally 3 Prebiotic vs Probiotic: What’s the Difference and Why Are They Important? 4 8 Wonderful Weight Loss Tracker Apps: Achieve Your Fitness Goals Fast 5 Why You’re Struggling to Lose Weight (And How to Fix It)

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on May 22, 2019

    10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

    10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

    There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

    One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

    In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

    Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

    1. Cat Camel Stretch

    Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

    Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

    Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

    Here’s a video to guide you through:

    Advertising

    2. Go for a Walk or a Run

    This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

    Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

    The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

    Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

    Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

    3. Jumping Jacks

    Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

    Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

    4. Abductor Side Lifts

    Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

    Advertising

    Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

    5. Balancing Table Pose

    This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

    Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

    ablab

      6. Leg Squats

      Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

      Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

      The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

      7. Push Ups

      You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

      Advertising

      An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

      Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

      This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

      8. Bicycle Crunches

      There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

      Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

      9. Lunges

      Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

      Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

      This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

      Advertising

      10. Bicep Curls

      You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

      Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

      Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

      Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

      Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

      These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

      You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

      Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

      More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next