Neck pain often goes hand-in-hand with modern lifestyles. Take the infamous “tech neck,” when you spend hours a day bending over devices, you strain your neck muscles. Stress, a long time sitting in the same position, and osteoarthritis can all contribute to neck pain as well.
Dr. Bonaventure Ngu at Premiere Spine Institute in The Woodlands, Baytown, and Humble, Texas, can help. As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Ngu knows how to assess your spine and neck pain and create a customized treatment plan for you.
What causes knots in your neck muscles?
Your neck comprises a complex system of nerves, tendons, vertebrae, discs, and muscles. Accidents, weak neck muscles, stress, or poor posture can all lead to neck pain. Muscle knots are usually muscle spasms that cause your muscles to tense from repetitive movements.
Two common reasons for knots in your neck come from stress and bad habits like bending over your devices.
Tech neck stresses your neck muscles because your head is heavy, and the muscles are trying hard to put it back in alignment with your spine and hold it upright. But you can also develop knots in your neck from chronic stress and hunching your shoulders. When you discover the source of your neck pain, you can find relief.
4 ways to eliminate or reduce painful neck knots
Neck pain is a common complaint and is often tied to repetitive activities. Fortunately, there are many ways you can address knots in your neck and find relief.
1- Heat and cold therapy
Heat relaxes your muscles. Whether you opt for a heating pad or one of those microwavable bags filled with rice, ou can make it a habit to keep heat on your neck and shoulder muscles as needed.
Alternatively, an ice pack may help your neck muscles relax by constricting blood vessels. Try alternating the warm and cold and see if one is better than the other for you.
A regular stretching habit can help you maintain your mobility. Gentle shoulder and neck rolls boost range of motion and reduce muscle knots. Dr. Ngu can recommend specific stretches that are good for relieving your knots.
A skilled massage therapist can work out your muscle knots, though it may require repeated efforts if you haven’t had a massage in a while. You can also try a trigger point massage by using a foam roller or massage balls. Even your fingers can release tension in your neck. Simply press into and around the tight muscles to help release them. If you get in the habit of doing this throughout the day, it can make a difference.
4- Check your ergonomics
If you spend hours a day hammering away at a keyboard, you’ll want to make sure your desk set-up is ergonomically optimized. Monitors should be at eye level, while your hands rest naturally on the keyboard just above your lap. The feet should be flat on the floor, and your spine straight in your chair.
Get to the root cause of the pain
There are many reasons why you may have neck pain and muscle knots. From muscle tension to osteoarthritis, Dr. Ngu can help diagnose the source of the pain and craft a personalized treatment plan.
Schedule a consultation online with Dr. Ngu at Premiere Spine Institute in The Woodlands, Baytown, and Humble, Texas.