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Posted on 12-08-2017
Being in a vehicle for hours does more than get you from one distant location to another or give you something new to see. It can also give you the unwanted holiday present of a stiff neck. Unfortunately, this sort of gift can last much longer than your trip did.
The best way to deal with a stiff neck is to avoid getting one in the first place. To that end, we are offering some easy stretches that can be done in many types of vehicles:
The trapezius muscles are a diamond-shaped group that runs from the back through the shoulders before ending at the base of the head. Stiffness can be felt anywhere along this path. If it is allowed to settle in and stay, it can take weeks of massage to eliminate tight spots and restore comfort.
Preventing problems in this muscle group is simple. First, tilt your head to one side. Then, grasp the top of your head with the hand that's on the side you tilted towards and give your head a gentle extra pull. Hold the pose for 15 seconds, release, and gently do the other side. You can do this while sitting, lying down, or standing, making great for all common holiday travel vehicles.
You've probably seen people doing this, and may have spontaneously done it yourself.
All you need to do is put your arms on your sides and then push both shoulders down. Then, tuck your chin down. Next lift your head back up until you're looking at the ceiling. Keep your arms and shoulders down. Hold the pose for 15 seconds, rest for 30, and then repeat. This takes pressure off of your cervical spine.
These two neck stretches are some of the best we've seen for travelers here at Papa Chiropractic & Physical Therapy in Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Port St. Lucie. Of course, there are many other exercises you can do to ensure that you arrive without a stiff neck. Just make an appointment for a consultation to get some one-on-one tips.
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