Self Care – Stiffness at the base of the neck

This muscle extends from the top of the neck, past the area of pain at the base of the neck and into the upper ribs.

It is important to work with all 3 areas.

The first line of defense is to stretch the muscles and loosen the joints in the neck.

Stretching the top of the neck will loosen the atlantoaxial joint. This joint is key releasing any pain pattern that involves stiffness while turning your neck.

Stretching the bottom of the neck will be more tender. Focus on gentle stretches with extra repetitions while extending the head up and away from the shoulders. This often releases with a little click.

This breathing exercise loosens the rib heads, which can be key to lasting relief. There is often a little click in the upper ribs that produces more complete relief.

If this lingers, try these patches until you can get to a bodyworker that can address this more completely. Apply this so that it extends along the back of the neck and several inches into the upper back, over the top ribs.

The vapo-coolant loosens the trigger point while the lidocaine helps the joints. IcyHot seems to have a little better adhesive for areas like this. These don’t have the odor that makes you smell like an old person at work or keeps you awake at night.

and some related posts…

Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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