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stress neck | neck pain from fright | neck pain

Neck pain and stress can be a real issue

There’s a reason why so many people hold their stress in their neck and shoulders. A whole anatomical reason! Yes, neck pain and stress are related to each other because of the physical response that gets created when we have a stressful moment. This could be sudden or from a prolonged stressful trigger.

Think about a time when you had a big fright. Maybe something scary jumps out at you, like a spider…

How does your body react to stressful times?

We cave our chest in as we throw our hands up (maybe with a little scream at the sight of said spider?). Our shoulders squish up to our ears and our chins jut out. The back of our skull compressed as does our neck.

This is a normal response to fear and stress- its part of the fight/ flight response that our bodies are hard wired with to protect us from threats (or spiders).

But I didn’t have a fright so how is this relevant?

The thing is, this is the exact response every time we have ANY stress. The same response we have when there’s traffic when we’re late. The same response we have when we have deadlines at work. And when we’re all stressed about an impending pandemic…

Many people live in this state all the time, and they think this is their normal. But it’s just your system in a constant state of fight or flight. No wonder so many people have sore necks!

So what can you do to help yourself during this time of great stress?

Well, we want to basically retrain our system to feel comfortable again in the complete opposite movement to above! So even if you are sitting there at your desk, you can:

  • Make a conscious effort to take a deep breath in and out to re set your system.
  • Make sure your rib cage and your skull are stacked on top of each other
  • Gently lengthen through your neck lifting the back of your skull higher than your chin and give yourself a double chin
  • Gently lift your chest up and out, letting your guts go (which lessens the tension through your whole abdomen)
  • Take a breath here and let everything relax. Repeat this 5 times.
Cog | Anatomy in Motion | Canterbury

If the stress of the current climate is getting too much for you, and your neck and shoulders won’t let go, we are here for you!

We are OPEN to assist you through your aches and pains, so if you need an appointment, call 9859 5059 or use our handy online booking tool.

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