One of the biggest contributors to your neck pain is your mind… take the first steps to ditching the hurt for good.
You’ve tried everything to get rid of your neck pain: physical therapy,Guest Posting cortisone shots, prescription pain pills — you name it, you’ve done it. So why does your neck still feel like it’s stuck in a vise that’s being turned tighter and tighter?
Notice that all of the tactics you’ve tried focus on the physical. But what if we told you that while these physical fixes are important steps to ditching neck pain, you’re missing what can be one of the biggest contributors to the pain — your mind?
Here’s where we tell you that your neck pain is at least partly in your head. Not that you’re imagining it — though some doctors have probably told you that when they couldn’t figure out the problem — but that your mind and emotions can be keeping you stuck in pain.
In my Lose the Neck Pain program, I detail the mind-over-matter cures for neck pain. But I wanted to share some of my findings here so you can take the first steps to ditching the hurt for good.
Neck Pain Relief Tip 1: Relax your body and mind to ease neck pain.
Sometimes it’s not what you do to relieve neck pain, but what you don’t do. By that I mean you need to take frequent breaks from the busyness of everyday life to rest and relax — and reduce the painful muscle tension that builds up during a stressful day.
Give your body a break by resting often, even if it’s just to take a 10-minute walk during the workday. Other ways to give your mind and body a much-needed rest include:
* Meditation: Closing your eyes and simply focusing on the breath can help you put your pain in perspective, as well as relax painful muscles. Need help getting into the zone? The Meditation Podcast offers free, guided meditations that you can download to your MP3 player.
* Sleep: Be sure to log enough sleep during the night that you feel well rested; for most people, this is between 6 and 9 hours. Tiredness can make neck pain seem even worse than it is, and can exacerbate tight muscles in the neck. Trouble sleeping try these proven sleep aids.
* Self-hypnosis: To perform self-hypnosis you’ll enter a deep state of relaxation and then use self-suggestion techniques such as affirmations to reduce pain and achieve positive changes in your life. You can find information on how hypnosis for pain relief here. And if you don’t want to go it alone, you can visit a hypnosis practitioner who will walk you through the process.
Neck Pain Relief Tip 2: Set doable goals to reduce neck pain.
Too many people make the mistake of dealing with their neck pain without a plan. It hurts, they put on an ice pack. It hurts again the next day, and they call their doctor. But like anything else in life, banishing neck pain requires you to set goals for getting out of pain and getting your life back — and then to develop a plan that will help you reach those goals.
I go into detail on goal setting in Lose the Neck Pain, but I’d like to share an important aspect of goal-setting that will help you become pain-free: That is, an inspiring goal should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Specific: It’s hard to be motivated by a vague goal like “I want to feel better.” So be specific: Do you want to be able to play an hour’s worth of tennis without pain? Do you want your pain to go from a 9 on the pain scale to a 2?
Measurable: If you can measure a goal, you’ll know when you’ve achieved it. The goals we mentioned — being able to play tennis for an hour or reducing pain from a 9 to a 2 — work because you can measure them.
Attainable: A goal needs to be something you can reasonably achieve. Reducing neck pain from a 9 to a 2 overnight: probably not doable. Doing it in three months: Much more realistic.
Relevant: Set goals that mean something to you personally. How does reducing neck pain tie into your life values and passions? For example, if being there for your grandkids is one of your life values, getting rid of neck pain so you can play with them is a relevant goal.
Timely: Putting time limits on your goals, instead of saying you’ll achieve them “someday,” will give you something concrete to strive for.
Neck Pain Relief Tip 3: Educate yourself to find relief from neck pain.