How to Prevent Neck Pain During and After Exercise
Exercise makes us feel good and has many health benefits, but the pain we can feel afterward can leave us sore and uncomfortable. Neck pain or tension is an especially common source of discomfort for people after a workout.
To prevent neck pain during and after exercise, check that your neck’s range of motion is unlimited before exercising and doing sports activities. Doing so shows you will be off to a good start with your workout.
You must be careful returning to the gym after healing from a neck injury. Constantly assess your range of motion before and during your workout to ensure you won’t strain your neck.
Stretch Before and After Exercise
Stretching before and after exercise loosens muscles and opens your range of motion. Before your workout, stretching prepares your muscles and tissues for any bending, lifting, and moving. It is also an effective way to warm up the body before intense exercise.
We have all had a time when we have strained or moved unexpectedly and experienced severe neck pain. One way to prevent neck pain during and after exercise is by stretching. A full-body stretch will prepare you for the physical activity ahead of you, minimizing the risks of pain and injury.
Stretch again after you’ve exercised to prevent stiffness or soreness, such as neck pain. Stretching helps promote endorphins and blood flow. It also can stop the buildup of lactic acid. For advanced stretching to improve your range of motion and athletic performance, fascial stretch therapy can help.
Use a Foam Roller or Massage Ball
Foam rollers and massage balls are handy exercise tools to relieve some of your neck pain. You can use a foam roller under your neck while lying down to loosen the muscles and alleviate soreness after exercise. You will notice tender or sensitive areas as you roll, so give those spots extra attention.
Massage balls come in many sizes and work well for neck pain. Place one under your neck, perhaps at a trigger point, and slowly roll the ball up and down or to the side. Do not roll the massage ball in the following areas because they are too sensitive:
- Front of neck
- Top of spine
- Around the jawline on the neck
- On your throat
If you are experiencing significant pain in your neck, massage therapy is a great solution.
Avoid Excessive Bending or Twisting
Straining your head or straining while finishing your workout can cause sharp neck pains. Neck pain can cause headaches and vice versa, so you may feel a back-of-head headache if you have moved the wrong way. Assessing your range of motion before exercising should let you know where you should not strain your muscles.
Tight, deliberate, and concentrated movements will yield better results than trying to work as hard and intensely as possible. You may burn out and strain unnecessarily, not get the most out of your workout, and end up with severe neck pain.
You can prevent neck pain during and after exercise by working within your limits and avoiding unneeded twisting and bending throughout the day. If you do experience pain from excessive bending or twisting, chiropractic care can help eliminate the pain.
Neck Pain & Headaches
Neck pain and headaches often coincide, so patients usually experience them simultaneously. Your neck may be stiff, sore, strained, and in pain from an injury or poor posture.
Numerous medical conditions can also cause neck pain. All neck problems cause some aggravation to the nerves in your neck, that could result in a headache.
Sometimes, headaches can cause neck pain or worsen it, especially if your headache is from sleeping problems, anxiety, or stress. Your neck muscles and the muscles in your lower skull can tighten, causing pain and discomfort.
Since headaches and neck pain often go together, preventing one condition can prevent the other. Preventing neck pain during and after exercise can decrease your likelihood of headaches.
Relieve Neck Pain at Upstate Spine & Sport | Chiropractor in Greenville, SC
Dr. David Jolson and Dr. Tanner Garey of Upstate Spine & Sport are Greenville’s go-to neck specialist for neck and back care. They provide unique treatment plans for each patient after performing a physical examination and assessing the neck and back.
Dr. Jolson is the only South Carolina chiropractor certified in Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, a technique used to improve neck strength. He can help you prevent neck pain during and after exercise.
With our numerous approaches to relieving neck and back pain, there is no better time to book an appointment with Upstate Spine & Sport in Greenville, SC if you’re experiencing neck pain. Schedule an appointment through our website or contact us at (864) 400-8005.