Could your neck hurt because it’s actually working too hard?

I had two clients come in yesterday with neck and shoulder pain. Both stated they had been getting massages, needling and other bodywork but the relief was short lived! These are huge key words for me. If something feels better temporarily and then tightens back up…it’s telling me it’s working for something else in the body.

This is when you have to take a step back, ask more questions and then assess their bigger movement patterns. This is where “ASSESS – DON’T GUESS” comes from. Upon assessment of each of these clients, I found that their neck and shoulder was compensating for multiple areas in their body. So no wonder the relief was short lived when they only stretched or worked on the painful area.

The key is to find the faulty relationships or compensations and then correct them. This is when order and timing matter. For these clients we did some soft tissue work, IASTM and cupping of the shoulder and neck and then we IMMEDIATELY went into movements that activated the areas the neck and shoulder were compensating for. Pairing these things together is like a “RESET” button.

If we want the neck and shoulder to calm down, we need to clean up the areas it was compensating for. For these clients, it was doing a simple neck/shoulder stretch and then moving immediately into some core and hip stability exercises.

Do you have an area of the body that feels better after stretching or mobilizing but then tightens back up? This should be a sign for you to explore more, to get assessed and figure out the “WHY” behind the tightness. Best thing to do is get assessed and create a plan to clean up faulty patterns before they become a bigger issue.

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