All too often I hear people complaining of a “stiff neck“, a minor neck injury caused by bad posture, incorrect technique and repetitive strain movements. Any spine related injury or defect is something to worry about, and it is important to treat immediately before any permanent damage is done.
If you think you have a “stiff neck”, or problem with the upper vertebrae (cervical column), then here are a few do’s and don’t’s to aid your recovery:
- Take over the counter pain killers/ anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen.
- Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Ideally, use one method for the first 48-72 hours, then the other.
- Relax, put your feet up, let the symptoms calm and reduce the inflammation (internal or external).
- Perform mobilisation movements for the joint – up/down, side/side, bottom half circles ear/ear.
- Speak nicely to your spouse, ask them to massage the sore and painful areas.
- Sleep on a FIRM mattress, try without a pillow or using a thin pillow.
- Attempt to correct your body alignment constantly, by thinking about how you stand/sit/move/etc.
- Participate in normal activities for at least a week.
- Participate in low level exercise for at least 2-3 weeks.
- Use any twisting movements.
- Place your body in positions awkward for your neck and back.
- Over stretch, or try and manouver your neck to places it doesn’t want to go.
- Lift anything heavy, or try anything strenuous for 6 weeks.
- Jog, play golf, dance, do sit ups, swim, play football; or anything similar; during recovery.
Your body has a right over you, when you are injured you need to listen to it and let the area rest and recover. Any form of spinal injury is incredibly dangerous and should be treated with great care, if you are unsure about the extent of the damage or it continues to worsen, go to your local doctor for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Health and wellbeing is the whole package; from the bones, joints and muscles; to the internal organs; to the outer appearance, fitness levels and even mental health.
Take care of yourselves ladies!
Asalaamu Alaykum ❤
Safiyah Esack – 16/05/2013