Getting neck pain can be incredibly frustrating. Not only can it cause pain during your daily activities, but it can also stop you from getting a good night of sleep. It’s no surprise you’re asking the question of will deep tissue massage help neck pain.
Here we’ll look at what’s causing you neck pain, whether deep tissue massage can help, and whether or not you should see a doctor. Let’s get started!
What are the Causes of Neck Pain?
Before seeing whether deep tissue massage can help, it’s important to look at the causes of neck pain.
Bone and Joint Damage – There are several ways you can injure the structure of your spine. Perhaps the most serious is getting a neck fracture, but it can also be other issues, such as a trapped nerve or a bulging disk. These issues often require a multi-treatment approach.
Muscular Injuries – It’s easy to injure the muscles around the neck. Motions such as overstretching and twisting can cause sprains and tears in the neck muscle. You may also get a stiff neck after exercise or an awkward movement.
Chronic Conditions – Several chronic conditions can also cause neck pain. Some examples include osteoarthritis and stenosis. Often these conditions are degenerative, but their pain and symptoms can still be effectively managed.
Will Deep Tissue Massage Help Neck Pain
The short answer is yes. Deep tissue massage will usually help with neck pain. However, exactly how much it will help will depend on the condition. Often it needs to be applied alongside other treatment options.
For example, deep tissue massage can help with spinal stenosis, but you may also want to try physiotherapy, steroid injections, and medications to cope with the pain. Surgery can also be considered for stenosis.
There are other causes that deep tissue massage can’t help with, at least in the first phase of recovery, such as if you have a fractured neck bone when this needs to be fully healed. Once it has, then massage can help to restore mobility and strength.
For muscular injuries, deep tissue massage can be brilliant at not only helping to reduce your pain but also speeding up your recovery. Even for chronic conditions, deep tissue massage can improve your mobility and lower your pain levels.
The stretching out of your neck muscles and the relieving of tension can be a great help with many different conditions. But as we mentioned, it’s often most effective when combined with other treatments.
Should I See a Doctor for My Neck Pain?
It depends on the severity of the pain and how long you’ve been suffering. It’s it has only been a couple of days of moderate pain, then it’s not recommended that you see a GP. However, you should see one if:
- Your pain has lasted more than a couple of weeks
- Over the counter painkillers aren’t offering pain relief
- You’re worried the pain could be a serious issue
- There are other symptoms, such as numbness
Remember that getting a massage and seeing a doctor aren’t mutually exclusive. Feel free to book in for a deep tissue massage while you wait to hear from your doctor.
Self-Care Treatments for Neck Pain
There are plenty of things you can do at home to manage your neck pain:
Stay Active – While it can be uncomfortable, it’s best to stay active. Go about your daily activities but try to avoid any sudden movements. Complete rest of your neck can cause it to become very stiff and even more painful when you eventually try to move it.
Take Medication – Don’t be afraid to take over-the-counter medication for your pain. You can take both paracetamol and ibuprofen to manage symptoms. If the pain is severe, then you can also get codeine from a pharmacist for short-term use.
Home Massage – Gentle massage of the neck at home can stimulate blood flow and reduce your neck stiffness. It’s best to only practice light strokes and leave the deep tissue techniques to the professionals.
Gentle Stretches – There are a few gentle stretches that can be done to make sure the neck stays mobile. Tilting your head side to side, almost as if you are trying to press your ear into your shoulder, is a good stretch. As is trying to look over your shoulder.
Firm Pillow – If you haven’t already, get yourself a firm pillow. It will allow your neck to stay in a stable position as you sleep. The pillow should also stay fairly low to the bed, and try to sleep on your back, if possible.
Preventing Future Neck Pain
There are a few things you can do to reduce the chance of further neck injuries:
Sudden movements – Try to avoid any sudden movements with the head. This can be difficult as it’s often an automatic response, but try to be aware of how quickly you turn your head.
Sleeping – As we just mentioned, sleep with a low, firm pillow and try to sleep on your back.
Stretching – Trying to incorporate daily stretches is a great idea. They don’t need to take a long time, as just five minutes a day at your desk or in bed can make a big difference.
Posture – Poor posture can have a significant impact on your health, especially your neck. Try to stay as upright as you can, with your chin up and your shoulders back. Being hunched over your phone can also be problematic for your neck.
Frequent breaks – If you work at a desk, ensure that you have frequent breaks. Even if it’s just for a minute or two, stand up, stretch your neck, and keep your body loose.
Deep tissue massage can have a hugely positive impact on your neck pain. That being said, it’s always a good idea to check your pain with a doctor, especially if it has been persistent for more than a couple of weeks.
Even with chronic conditions, deep tissue massage can help to reduce your pain while increasing your mobility. All you need to do now is book a session and enjoy the many benefits that come with a deep tissue massage.