Neck pain is one of the most frequent pain conditions, second only to back pain – with a reported 30-50% of adults experiencing it. And those living with arthritis know all too well the discomfort that can come from simply shaking their head Yes or No.
However, according to research done at the University of Miami School of Medicine, daily self-massage, coupled with regular massages from a therapist, can reduce neck pain caused by arthritis.
Participants in the study, who were already diagnosed with neck pain due to arthritis, received weekly moderate pressure massages, along with directions on how to complete those same massages on themselves daily.
The results of this study showed that participants experienced significant reductions in neck pain associated with arthritis, reduced pain brought on by neck movement and increased range of motion in their necks.
Tips for Neck Self-Massage
A key component in reducing neck pain caused by arthritis is daily self-massage. There are numerous ways to practice self-massage on the neck to reduce discomfort and improve range of motion. The following techniques are used on the back of the neck, using both hands, and should be repeated three times each day:
- Place right knuckles under your right ear and left knuckles under your left ear. Glide knuckles vertically to the back of your neck.
- Place right fingers under your right ear and left fingers under your left ear. Do circular movements with your fingers, toward the back of your neck.
- Place right fingers and left fingers at the back of your neck under the base of your skull (fingers facing each other). Glide fingers slowly and gently toward your ears. Continue down the back of the neck to the base of the neck. As you do this, your left and right fingers move horizontally to the sides of the neck.
Other Benefits of Neck Massage
A reduction in neck pain from arthritis, and an increase in range of motion, are not the only benefits of massage. According to Massage Envy, regular massage also improves your posture and flexibility, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and promotes relaxation and stress relief.
Now that you know a few ways to help reduce your neck pain, we hope you put them to good use. Ultimately, we hope you are better able to nod your head and become a Champion of Yes to conquering arthritis!