Answering questions about how to avoid neck and back pain, or how to use your neck to get the most out of your body in 2018, Dr. John Hargreaves is one of Australia’s leading physiotherapists and head of the National Physiotherapy Network.
Hargnees has published many of the best books on physiotherapy.
He’s been called the ‘king of physiotherapy’ for his work in developing techniques for improving the comfort and efficiency of the neck and spine.
“There are certain things that you can’t do to make the neck feel sore,” he says.
“You can’t give a massage or anything like that, but it’s really about managing your posture.”
Hargreyes explains that it’s important to keep your neck in a neutral position, as this can help relieve pressure on the nerves in your neck.
“If your neck is in an open position and you’re in an arch position, the nerves can’t stretch.
It’s a good idea to keep the neck in an upright position.”
Hallelujah, you’re out of the woods.
“The first thing that we look at when we do a neck massage is the pressure of the body, the pressure from the arms and legs,” he explains.
“And that’s where we use the neck to try and relieve that pressure, because you’re not doing anything to the neck.
You’re just trying to relieve that tension and get the nerves to relax.”
When the pressure in your head and neck is at a certain level, the muscles around the neck tighten.
“It’s a feeling of tension,” he continues.
“So, it’s very important to not just have a little bit of neck massage, but a lot of neck and shoulder massage.”
If you’re a runner, Harglews says, try stretching your neck while running to ease the pressure.
“I don’t think I have ever seen runners who can run with a soreneck,” he admits.
“That’s because the muscles and tendons around the upper back have to relax to move the body.”
Huddle with your neck before a run to relieve the pressure Hargremans recommends taking some simple precautions before and during a run, which can help alleviate your neck strain.
“Avoid going over your head or bending your neck,” he recommends.
“Don’t bend your neck too far to the side, and don’t tilt your head back.
Try to stay upright.
If you do need to bend your head, it should be a 90 degree angle.”
You can also use your shoulders to help alleviate neck and head strain, by using your hands to support your head.
Humble your posture with a short stretch of your shoulders Hargretz says that the best way to relieve neck strain is to keep a simple posture.
“To be honest, if you don’t do that, you will feel it,” he suggests.
“As long as you’re relaxed, you won’t have any discomfort.
But if you’re getting too tight, that can actually make your neck feel worse.”
Hargerezes advice to get back to the basics The biggest thing that can be done to help relieve the tension on the neck is to focus on your posture.
He suggests practicing a simple stretching exercise called “the stretch.”
“Sit on a chair with your back straight,” he advises.
“Just stretch your back and shoulders out for a few minutes.
The stretch will help relieve tension on your neck.”
Hagerezes suggests you do this with your hands, and then do it with a stretch of the back, chest and arms.
“Then you stretch the neck out again with your shoulders, and that’s the stretch you should do.
You want to be stretching out your neck and not stretching out the muscles of the shoulder.
If the muscles are tight, it will make your posture feel worse, and your neck will hurt.”
Hagerrezes recommends a stretch every two to three hours.
He also suggests doing this for 10 minutes before a short run or jog.
“After that, the stretch is very important,” he adds.
“When you’re stretching out, you should be able to relax the muscles, and when you’re doing a long stretch, you’ll be able really stretch your muscles.”
He suggests that you repeat the stretching exercise several times a day, to get a general sense of how you’re feeling.
He says you can use the stretching exercises for up to three to four hours before or after a run.
The rest of the year, he says, you can also try the stretching technique on a stretch.
“Sometimes you may have to use it before or during a long run, but sometimes you can do it before a race,” he encourages.
“In any case, the best thing is to go for a long walk before and after a long race, and do some stretches.”
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