This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
© Sieto Reitsma The information in this book is not to be used treat or diagnose any particular disease or any particular patient. The ideas in this book are not intended as a substitue for consultation with a professional health care provider. The author shall not be liable or responsible for any loss or damage arising from any information or suggestion in this book.
All rights reserved.
Neck complaints are very common, and many people suffer from them. Though, very few people know that neck complaints can be cured and prevented. I have treated neck complaints for over 10 years as a physiotherapist, chair masseur and ergo therapist, so I know very well that neck complaints are very difficult to describe. This E-book will give a short theoretical exposition of the anatomy of the neck and the reasons why stress in the neck can occur. But the most important aim is how we can relax our neck as well as possible with simple techniques and little time. Because: relaxation is the most important aspect in preventing and curing neck complaints. Relaxation on every moment of the day and in every situation. To really deal with neck complaints better, you need the right tools. Frankly, you need a whole tool-box with techniques and methods to prevent and cure neck complaints. This tool-box can be filled with methods described in this E-book. I will give you 31 tips; all of them are valuable methods and techniques to give you relaxation in your neck yet again. It’s not possible to let your neck complaints vanish in thin air with one idea or technique and not every method works well for everyone. You’ll have to put your own package of methods together, that you can apply on the different aspects of your life. That can be attending to your eating habits, the amount of sleep you get, how you sit or stand, or your exercising pattern. Dealing with neck complaints effectively, means arranging your life effectively.
Very well, let’s start!
Secrets of the neck
In an E-book it might seem a bit strange that there is giving so much background information, but I can ensure you that this background information is important to improve the self healing ability of your neck. We will give the 31 tips after this background information.
The spinal column
The spinal column is one of the most important parts of our body. Without a spinal column, we can’t make our movements and we can’t stand right up. The spinal column gives our body support, protects the spinal cord and makes sure we can make our movements. Through certain nerves in our spinal cord, information is transported to the brain and the subconscious brain. You understand it’s very important to keep our spinal column healthy.
The spinal column is built of conjoined vertebrae. 7 cervical vertebrae (cervical curve), 12 thoracic vertebrae (thoracic curve), 5 lumbar vertebrae (lumbar curve) , 1 sacrum and coccygeal vertebrae (together the sacral curve).
A normal spinal column has the shape of an S if you look at it from the side. That sshape helps a healthy spinal column to absorb all kinds of pressure. The back is elastic, so load is absorbed well.
Question: Which part of the spinal column has a good shock absorber as well?
Answer: The cervical disc
Between every 2 vertebrae there is an elastic disc: the cervical disc. The cervical disc functions as a shock absorber that can absorb pressure that’s being put on the spinal column. It’s an oval-round disc that consists or cartilage, connective tissue and water. On the outside it consists of some layers of which the fibers run in different directions. This gives the cervical disc a strong structure. With every movement of the back, the cervical disc will absorb the powers for an important part. With a certain pressure the cervical disc will be flatter and broader. When this pressure disappears, the disc will retrieve its original shape. In the middle of the cervical disc there is a jelly type substance core. This core consists of 70 to 90% water. This makes the cervical disc transformable so that it can fulfill its role of shock absorber.
The core of the cervical disc is comparable to a skippy ball: when the pressure on the skippy ball increases, the skippy ball will become flatter and broader. When a heavier person is on the skippy ball (this means there’s higher pressure), the skippy ball is compressed more than when someone lighter is on it (because the presser is lower). The water in the cervical disc is pressed out of the core by the pressure. When the pressure disappears, the water is being absorbed back into the core, and the cervical disc will retrieve its original shape. By doing this, the cervical disc’s core feeds itself. You can compare this to a sponge. To prevent that the cervical disc dries out, it’s very important that you keep exercising.
Muscles of the neck
To the spinal column, there are also muscles connected, through tendons. These muscles play an important part in your neck. They keep your head in balance and they make movement of head and shoulders possible. I won’t name all muscles here, because you won’t see the wood for the trees anymore and I promised to keep it simple.
Especially keeping the head in balance is an important function of the neck muscles. An average head weighs roughly 4.2 kilos; this doesn’t seem that much, but try to tilt 4.2 kilos in front of your body with stretched arms. That’s going to be pretty difficult! Neck muscles have to be well adjusted to each other. If you bend your head forward, the muscles on the front will have to tighten and the muscles on the back will have to relax. To hold your head up, you have to tighten your muscles with the same strength, otherwise your head will fall back or forwards. For all of this you’ll need good muscle coordination. They work together as a team and when one doesn’t function as it should, the whole team doesn’t function.
The neck is a very complex highway, through which all kinds of information are led. When you feel things with your hands, you breathe oxygen, blood streams from your heart through your body, you eat, drink, all you can think of, everything passes your neck. There only has to be a small crash (for example muscle irritation) on this complex highway and there could be traffic jams. Results are: a stressed neck, “wrong” breathing, headaches, tingling in the fingers etc. It’s important to keep the roads up and clean and a good traffic controller is of big interest. Relaxation is the key in this!
We have now arrived at the practical part: the 31 methods and techniques.
Tip 1: The best sitting position behind your computer
Dynamic sitting is the best. That means sitting in different positions after each other, alternated with standing up and walking. By doing this, the blood flow in the cervical discs and muscles will be at its best, and the neck will be relieved.
There are some amazing workout techniques behind your computer at: www.getfitwhileyousit.com Tips for your work environment
Let your computer working spot be inspected by a company physiotherapist or an ergonomist. Don’t work with a laptop for more than 2 hours, or use a laptop holder/ docking station. Take a break every 2 hours. Use short breaks, in which you can do your exercises. Sit actively. Have enough space (about 5 cm space) between the front of your chair and your calf. Have your screen on eye height. Put your feet flat on the floor and sit up straight. The working environment has to be well adjusted to the employee.
• • • •
• • •
Tip 2: Preventing the natural aging of the cartilage in the neck You can’t cure it, but you can prevent it! With the years comes wear and tear. After a lifelong of heavy work and having a rough time, your body will reveal its weak spots. But should we put up with inconveniently stiff joints and other infirmities of old age? No we shouldn’t. A lot of these complaints are preventable. Did you know that 70 to 80% of the Dutch people have worn out joints? An alarming high number. Luckily “just” 35% of those people really have trouble with it. The annoying thing about worn joints is that you can’t cure them. Once worn is always worn. Luckily there’s good news. Because worn joints are well preventable. Or at least delay able. 300 kilo pressure on the dorsal vertebrae Without you noticing, you body deals with a lot of pressure, every day. Even when you’re sitting, there’s about a 100 kilo of weight pressuring your dorsal vertebrae. That can go to as much as 300 kilo when you tilt 20 kilo. A proper carriage when sitting, standing or tilting is very important to prevent neck complaints. A proper carriage is important to lessen the load on the joints. But at least as important is to improve the amount of load the body can take. In normal English: Stay in good shape. It may sound a little contradictory, but by walking, cycling or swimming half an hour a day you can prevent a lot of wear and tear complaints. It’s logical that joints wear out a lot faster with heavy load. Too much is never good. But most tear and wear complaints develop gradually and are unnoticed. The body is like an elastic band: When you pull it, it will snap sooner or later. For one person faster than the other. To keep that elastic band flexible, it’s important you think when you’re doing something. In the garden, for example, use tools with which you don’t have to bend over. Choose for the bike with the right frame size and with the right handlebar and saddle height. Keep your back straight while vacuum cleaning. And take turns in your activities. Everyday points to keep your attention on, with which you can spare your neck for an important part.
Tip 3: Stretch exercise for the neck muscles By stretching your muscles a number of times in an amount of time, the circulation in these muscles (and tendons) will be improved, so that waste products are transported well. Neck pain will hereby be prevented or cured and the muscles will be brought in a flexible and relaxed condition. The stretching of a muscle takes about 8 seconds and the stretching will be gradually stronger. For every exercise counts: The stretching may not hurt under any circumstance, if this should happen, stop doing the exercise! You can do stretching exercises everywhere. They are pretty easy to do, but can lead to astonishing results. I’ll give some practical stretching exercises. Do them at least twice a day.
Try carefully moving your left ear to your left shoulder, make sure your shoulder doesn’t come up. Feel the stretch in your neck and keep it there for about 8 seconds, then release. Do this exercise 3 times.
This exercise shouldn’t cause any pain and you may not have any dizziness. If this should occur, stop the exercise immediately. This counts for every exercise. Try carefully moving your right ear to your right shoulder, make sure you shoulder doesn’t come up. Feel the stretch in your neck and keep it there for about 8 seconds, then release. Do this exercise 3 times.
Tip 4: Stretch exercise for the neck muscles 2
Make circling movements with your shoulders. First 15 seconds forward, then 15 seconds backward. Make slow movements. Try to feel stretch in your shoulders, neck and upper back when making forward movements. Try to feel stretch in your shoulders, the front of your neck and your chest muscles when making backward movements.
Tip 5: Stretch exercise for the neck muscles 3
Fold your hands in the back of your neck and pull your shoulder blades together. Hold on for 8 seconds. Don’t pull your neck! Do this exercise 3 times.
Tip 6: Stretch exercise for the neck muscles 4
Fold your hands together and stretch your arms with the palm of your hands faced up. Hold on for 8 seconds. Do this exercise 3 times.
Tip 7: In the shower –Relaxed stretching
What’s nicer than doing stretching exercises with your neck under a hot shower? This will cost only 3 to 5 minutes of your time and will lead to astonishing results. The combination of the warmth and the stretch of the muscles is a very effective combination. Let the tension in your neck flow away with the water. You will relax and begin your day full of energy.
As a start you can massage your neck with a hot water stream. Don’t lean, but take a firm straddle. Place your feet slightly spread (following your hips) and let your feet point forwards. Let your arms hang next to your body and tray to relax your shoulders. Now do exercises 1 to 4 (tips 3 to 6)
How to treat and prevent shoulder injuries? Go to www.pilates-back-jointexercise.com
Tip 8: Physical exercise I want to point out the fact that physical exercise is important to stay healthy. Blood circulation is stimulated, waste products are transported well, muscle tension is lessened, muscles get stronger, respiration is improved etcetera, etcetera. There are all kinds of sports to think of. My experience as a Nordic Walking trainer has taught me that Nordic Walking is one of the most comfortable and effective ways of physical exercise. The benefits of Nordic Walking are:
1. Stamina, power, condition and coordination are trained. most other activities and sports. 3. The sticks provide good support and stability, which creates up to 30% less load on muscles and joints in your ankles, knees, hip and back than when you jog or run. 4. The body uses up to 46% more energy than when you jog or walk actively. 5. It’s the ideal exercise to lose weight and gain condition. 6. On a low effort, Nordic Walking provides big physical effects. 7. Nordic Walking stimulates and mobilizes by using the diagonal technique, the shoulder, neck, back and belly muscles. This will give you a blessed feeling in your neck, shoulder, upper and lower back. 8. It gives more stability in the spinal column; therefore it’s also suitable for people with back complaints. 9. The immune system is strengthened.
2. You use about 600 muscles. That’s 90% of your whole body, so a lot more than you use with
10. The demolition of stress hormones is stimulated. 11. It’s safe, fun and relaxing. Nordic Walking is an exerting relaxation. 12. During Nordic Walking you still have time and breath left for a nice talk with your fellow walkers.
Nordic Walking - step by step at www.nordicwalkingstepbystep.com
Tip 9: Relaxation through appreciation To get a relaxed neck, you can do this exercise to get positive feelings, so get a relaxed feeling. We already found out that negative feelings about something can cause extra muscle tension. Think about neck complaints that develop, because you are having a long lasting conflict with your chef. This exercise can be done everywhere, because it is nothing more than thinking of nice thoughts. The process will be stronger when you write down your feelings, but it’s not necessary. Look around you and search something nice. Now focus on this and think about how nice it feels. The longer you focus on this, the stronger the positive feelings become. Now experience the positive feelings and praise yourself that you may experience this. At first, always take easy subjects, which are easy to appreciate (for example a good meal, or a kiss of your beloved). The more you practice appreciation, the less resistance and muscle tension you’ll feel. When you start, it would be a good idea to make 10 to 15 minutes free a day to do this exercise. After enjoying these positive feelings for a few days, you’ll notice that you’ll do it more and more in one day. Just because it feels so good. It’s possible that the neck pain disappears and never comes back. Neck pain and negative feelings strengthen each other. Same goes for a relaxed neck and positive feelings. Above all remember the benefits you will feel when you’ve mastered the steps to stress less and smile more! Change Your Life! Become HAPPYER! Go to www.feelingofhappiness.com
Just take a look at http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4 to see what the effect of appreciation can be.
Tip 10: Neck position A very effective exercise to improve your posture is the next: During the moments you’re standing, sitting or walking, you can visualize there’s a sharp nail in your chest. This sharp nail points with the sharp point up and pricks in your chin. This nail is the red arrow in the illustration below. Every time you bend your head forwards, the nail will prick your chin. To prevent this, you have to keep your head straight up.
This exercise can be made more easy by, instead of visualizing, using your finger. You hold your hand against your chest and point up with your index finger (your finger is the nail, the red arrow in the illustration). Doing this, you are stimulated to take a good position every time your finger (the nail) pricks your chin.
On the same moment you visualize there’s another nail, pricking your upper back. Every time you take a bad position (round back) you visualize that the sharp point of the nail(the red line in the illustration below) is pricking your upper back. Practice these simple exercises at the same time and make it one exercise. If you repeat this exercise again and again, you’ll be automatically stimulated to stand , sit up and walk straighter.
Tip 11: Driving – relaxed on the road
An hour a day. That’s how much an average commuter drives, according to research. That’s 15 days a year! Suppose you drive a car for about 40 years, that means you spend about one and a half year of your life driving. When you have a wrong or tense posture while driving, you can build up some tension in all this time. Relaxation is the keyword yet again! It is of great importance that you set your chair in the right height, so you can sit as relaxed as possible, and so you can see the neighbourhood well.
Sit down in your car and set, if possible, the right position for the chair. Keep an eye on the amount of road and neighbourhood you’ll see (also traffic lights above the road). Most of the time, a higher position is found nicest. This makes stepping into the car easier, and gives more survey on the road etc.Kick down the clutch totally and push your chair so much forward or backward that the front of the seat touches the upper leg. Kick down the clutch totally and push your chair so much forward or backward that the front of the seat touches the upper leg.
Grab the top of the steering wheel with slightly bend arms and adjust the back so that the lower back is supported. Afterwards you can adjust the lumbar support if present, adjust it to the hollow part of your back.
You may want to adjust this with axial and radial adjustments of the steering wheel (make sure you don’t lose sight on your dashboard when doing a radial adjustments). The steering wheelpedal range is usually small in a car, so if you have “long” legs you have the steering wheel all out. And put it as low as possible so that you can get out of the car without touching the wheel. A low steering wheel position is less burdening for the shoulders. Put the head support on the right height (rounding of the head support on height of the rounding of your head)
Tip 12: Relaxed respiration
Respiration starts in the belly. Right through the middle of your body, in the chest, right beneath the lungs is the midriff, a strong muscle in the shape of a dome. The midriff moves downwards when you breathe in. To be able to do that, the stomach and intestines have to move down. So when you breathe in, your belly will expand and your stomach will move down. The midriff pushes downwards, creating a vacuum in your chest cavity. This vacuum forces the lungs, that don’t have muscle tissue, to fill themselves with air. This takes place roughly in the lower part of the lung, which absorbs about 80% oxygen. The upper part, which absorbs about 20%, is only used when you are more active, are having stress or when you’re in a crisis situation. The belly breathing makes us more active, more purposive and more precise. It makes us more balanced. A lot of people breathe wrong. They breathe with their chest. That means that they have to breathe a lot faster to get enough air. -With chest breathing you breathe in about 25000 times a day -With belly breathing you breathe in about 12000 times a day So with chest breathing you work twice as hard for the same result! That costs a lot more effort. Doing that, you create a tension and you are more likely to get ill or pain.
Breathing exercises To train yourself in good breathing, you can do these 2 small exercises. EXERCISE 1 • • Sit on a chair with a straight back and your legs next to each other, or on the floor sitting cross-legged against the wall. Put your hands on your belly, one above the navel and one on the navel, while you’re breathing in. You will then feel how your navel expands en how the respiration slowly goes up, into the chest cavity. When you breathe out, your hand above your navel goes “in”, followed by your hand beneath that. Keep breathing like this for at least 2 minutes, and slowly go to 5 minutes a day.
EXERCISE 2 • • • • • • • Take the same starting position as in exercise 1 Breathe through your left nostril for 6 seconds and keep your right nostril closed with your finger. Keep your breath for 3 seconds. Now release the right nostril and breathe out for 6 seconds, keeping your left nostril closed. Breathe in through your right nostril for 6 seconds. Keep your breathe for 3 seconds. Release your left nostril and breathe out for 6 seconds, keeping your right nostril closed.
This exercise can be done as many times as you wish. As long as it feels nice. Especially with a stressful event, this exercise is particularly relaxing and calming. For more information go to www.theultimaterelaxation.com
Tip 13: A relaxed posture
A correct, relaxed posture has the following characteristics:
Position of the head: The head should be straight on your shoulders. Position of the shoulders: The shoulders should be held straight and low, en not bend forward or pulled up. The chest is “open”. Position of the knees: Not stretched, but slightly bent. Position of the feet: The are slightly standing apart and point forward.
Changing postures is the best solution to lessen tension in joints and muscles. For example take turns with walking and standing. Open yourself to the world around you and have self-confidence surrounding you!
Tip 14: Massage techniques
There are different possibilities when it comes to massage. You can get yourself a massage with a professional masseur, but of course the downside of this is that it costs money. You can also do some techniques on your own. I’ll give some techniques:
To lessen the muscle tension in your neck, you massage the muscles on the left side of your neck firmly with the index and ring finger of your right hand. Start with circling rub movements and round off with a firm pressure. Now do the same on the other side. When you’re taking a shower, you can massage your neck with help of the shower itself. Make circling movements and take turns in putting the shower far away and close to your neck. Another way to massage your neck is to use a tennis ball to reach difficulty reachable spots or to get through to the tissue better. You can put 2 tennis balls in a sock next to each other and put a knot in it so the balls stay in place. Lay on the floor with your knees pulled up and put the sock against the border of your skull (with one tennis ball on the right and the left side of your neck). By breathing in you’ll make the pressure of the tennis ball on your neck less, and by breathing out you’ll make it bigger. Also, you can move your head lightly to the left and the right to reach different spots of the neck. You will be stunned by the amount of relaxation created by this. Do this 2 to 3 times a week, 5 minutes a day.
Now, finally, a breakthrough program that more than relieves the symptoms of stress, it eliminates the causes, actually reversing the stressful habits, attitudes and mindsets you've developed over the course of your life. Go to www.pickmeupbooks.com/stressbook
Tip 15: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
EFT is based on the observation that a disturbance in balance in the energy system of the body has a deep effect on the personal psychology and vice versa. This balance disturbance is corrected by knocking on several places on your body with your fingertips. These spots are the same as the areas around the starting and ending points of some energy meridians (known from acupuncture). The principles behind EFT have been discovered by Dr. Roger Callahan, a clinical psychologist with broad experience, that goes back to the sixties of the last century. He made it his life’s work to find ways to cure people of varying psychosomatic complaints. Gary Craig has developed these techniques further and made them accessible for everyone. You can watch the promotion movie of the EFT procedure by clicking this link:
Because you can’t explain the EFT procedure in a few sentences, we give you the opportunity to download the free EFT manual from this link :
Tip 16: Vacuum in the right position
When vacuuming, people often bend over or work in a twisted position. By doing this, a lot of pressure is put on the cervical discs and a lot of tension is created in the back muscles.
To prevent this, you must vacuum with a straight back. Underneath are some tips to get this straight back:
The vacuum cleaner’s hose has to be behind the back and is being held with both hands (see picture)
• • • • • • •
The knees are slightly bent. You have to stand in hip position. Don’t put too much force into it with the upper body, but get the movement from the legs. Swing it out! Don’t squeeze the hose too much, because this will lead to cramped muscles. Hold the hose lightly. Create space before you start cleaning, so that you don’t have to put things aside while vacuuming. Try to tilt your pelvis backwards. You do this by tightening your belly and buttock muscles, so that the back straightens. Keep breathing! When cleaning under sofas, beds, counters etc, you can work in the Kneeling Shooting Position, so you can work with a straight back.
Tip 17: Do the dishes in the right way
If you, like me, don’t own a dishwasher yet, I’ll give you a few tips to do the dishes in a good, neck saving manner. Doing the dishes is a static act; this means that you are in a position for longer than 3 seconds. Static acts are very rough for your neck. So be careful! When dishwashing, most of the time you’ll use a sink (in combination with a washtub). Because you this you have to reach out a lot, because the sink is lower than the kitchen unit. Also, the head is bending far over during washing so the neck muscles are highly overburdened. When you stand too long in the same position, the cervical disc is pressured very much. By this, the cervical disc is pushed in and (temporarily) there is no circulation in it, so it dries out. Tips for doing the dishes: • To keep the cervical disc well circulated and flexible, it is advisable to take different positions in a certain period, like sitting, standing or walking. The circulation in the cervical disc may also be stimulated by tilting the pelvis now and then. This tilting can be made possible by putting a foot a little bit higher than the other foot. So putting the foot higher (on for example a kitchen cabinet) and take turns with the other foot. 1 time per 3, 4 minutes is about enough. • • • To prevent reaching, you have to put the dishes higher, for example putting the dishes on a turned over washtub in the sink. If possible, take turns in washing and drying. You can also vary in positions by for example sit at the table to do the dishes or dry standing.
Tip 18: Avoid reaching
With reaching is meant that the horizontal distance of shoulder to hand is more than 50 cm. With a lot of reaching comes a lot of tension in the neck and shoulder muscles. You are dealing with a burdened arm, so every muscle has to do its very best and there’s extra load on the joints. You’ll notice by having a sleeping hand that there’s a circulation disorder. This is an indication to stop with the thing you are doing at the moment. The reaching can be high, far or deep. Think about putting things deep in a cabinet, sorting out clothes or reaching for things on a high closet. Tips to avoid reaching: • To avoid reaching as much as you can, it is handy to put your things in the store cupboard on order as ergonomic as you can. Put things you use often in the front, the ones you use less in the back. Keep the load close on the body Place as many things as you can on hip height and shoulder height. When you have to grab something beneath hip height, you have to change your position (see tip tilting) and when you have to grab something about shoulder height, best thing to do is to use a kitchen staircase. When you are doing something, put your stuff as much as you can within arm’s reach.
Tip 19: Tilting in the right way People often tilt in the wrong way. There’s a lot being tilted in a day. How much do we tilt a day? We tilt: • • • • • • • Clothing Suitcase Chairs Pans Boxes Books And so on...
When you’re tilting there’s being created a lot of pressure on the cervical disc. When you hold a 20 kilo weight in a bent position, there’s 220 kg pressuring the cervical disc (see the picture below). No wonder that at one point it’s got enough and lets you know that it doesn’t want to do it anymore. This results in cramped muscles and neck pain.
That’s why it’s important to tilt in the right way to avoid overburden on your neck. Go to www.back-pain-advisor.com for more information.
That’s why it’s important to tilt in the right way to avoid overburden on your neck. How do we tilt in the right way? Tilt with the weightlifter method (see pictures)
Put your feet next to the object you want to tilt; Keep your back straight (tighten belly and buttock muscles and look straight forward) and go down by bending your knees. Take the object in your hands and tilt from the legs by stretching the legs (don’t tilt with your back!). This because leg muscles are much stronger than back muscles. Keep the object close to your body
When you’re tilting you need to mind the following:
The 3 second rule. That means that you take the object in your hands and count to three and then you tilt. Studies show that fast tilting puts about 1,5 times more load on your back than slow tilting Judge the weight of the object before tilting to avoid balance problems; If possible, divide the weight, for example over two buckets instead of one; Divide the weight in a few stages. For example by first tilting it on the chair and then on the table;
Use where needed objects that can help you tilting.
• • •
Tip 20: Tilting things from the floor in the right way
When tilting things from the floor you often take the wrong position, you bend over too much. Even by grabbing a pen off the floor, there’s more than 150 kilos of load pressuring your cervical disc (see picture with tip 19). Not really healthy! How can we avoid this overburden? By taking a good position during grabbing things off the floor. For this we have put these tips together: Use the finder technique to take little things off the floor (like a pen). When you take it swing the opposite leg as a contra weight backwards (mind the space behind you) and keep your back straight. Get the object off the floor and swing the leg back. Look at the picture beneath:
When getting larger and heavier things off the floor, use the Kneeling Shooting Position technique.
• • • • •
Walk towards the object Kneel on one knee on a side of the object Put the other foot on the floor with the knee bent 90 degrees Your back is stretched You get the object and go back to the standing position, keep your back straight doing this; Look at the picture beneath:
Tip 21: Micro breaks for the neck
To avoid overburdening of the neck, you have to keep the load from the neck every now and then. To keep the load away from your neck you can have short mini breaks. Every hour you can do an exercise, or you can get coffee etc. By doing this, you create optimal circulation in the muscles and joints of your neck. A 5 minute break an hour is about the time you will need. To be aware of the tension in your neck and also to be aware of the relaxation in your neck is the secret in this. When you do this you are well on your way to have a relaxed and complaint free neck.
Tip 22: Sleeping
Sufficient sleep is a good step on the way to a relaxed neck. But a good sleeping position is also very important in preventing and curing neck complaints. Say you are 80 years old and you sleep about 8 hours a day, then you sleep for 26 years already (about one third of your whole life). If you then have a bad sleeping position or mattress, you can overburden your neck seriously. Tips during sleeping are:
A good mattress, so that the spinal column can take its natural position. Not too hard and not too soft. One person sleeps well on a waterbed, the other on a tempur mattress. This is totally personal. Expert advice is a must when buying a mattress.
When sleeping on a mattress that is too soft, the body will sack through too much, creating a strong curve in your spinal column (hammock effect). When turning in bed you have to put in more energy, creating more tension in the muscles. Because of all that tension you’ll still feel tired when you wake up.
When sleeping on a mattress that is too hard, your spinal column will take an unnatural curve. This creates pressure points on some places on your body.
Sleeping on the belly is not advised. When you sleep on the belly, the neck will be in a strong twist. This creates an overburden on your neck. Just like when you sit, variation is good for your back. People who lay on their back and side don’t have to worry: they move about 60 times a night without knowing. People who sleep on their belly tend to stay in that position. Sleeping with your arms behind your head or with the head resting on the arms can lead to painful shoulders or arms.
A good pillow is important. If you have neck complaints, a pillow with neck roll could work for you. You will have to give it a try to see if it works for you.
Sleepless? Thinking the Night Away? Discover the Amazing Brain Technology that Will Make You... Fall Asleep in Minutes Instead of Hours, Sleep Soundly Through the Night and Wake Up Rested — Without Resorting to Sleeping Pills... Guaranteed!
Go to www.sleeptracks.com
Tip 23: Tools
At first you have to search the solution to neck complaints with the person him or herself. A solution could be taking a better position. Then you could look at the environment in which the person lives or works. A solution could be an ergonomic working space. Lastly you could think about tools, like an ergonomic mouse with your computer.
This way you’ll get three aspects, which are all connected with each other. One thing can’t be without the other. When there is a bottleneck in one of the three aspects, you’ll have a big problem with your neck.
Tip 24: Warmth Warmth stimulates the circulation in your muscles, making the muscles flexible. Something that can be used to put warmth on your neck is hay. Hay helps healing neck complaints. You need:
A big pan A bag of dried flowers (ca. 45x40 cm)
Use: Put the bag in the oven (on 150 degrees centigrade) and heat it, or put it in a pan with warm (not boiling) steam. Get the bag out and put it on the sore spot. The bag has to be on that spot for about 30 to 40 minutes. In one week you should use about 3 dried flower bags. As an alternative you could use a cherry stone bag. This can be heated in a microwave.
Tip 25: Efficient meeting Because there is a lot of meeting and consulting (the Dutch employee spends about a quarter of his working time meeting), I will add this tip. I mean, how many times doesn’t a meeting overrun? You sit in the same position for a long time. Disastrous for your neck. When you sit, there’s about a 140 kilos load on your cervical disc (see picture with tip 19). You sit in the same position for a long time, so the discs dry out, leading to muscle tension and pain. Taking turns in different positions is very important. There has been research about the effect of standing meeting and it shows that the meeting time is shorter and that there are less people that have neck complaints. So dynamic meeting is very healthy for your neck!
Tip 26: Ironing in the right way
Ironing is a static act; you stand in the same position for a long time. Often you work in a bent and twisted position. Tips to iron in a good position:
You can sit while you iron. A stand-up stool is a must. When you stand while ironing you have to tilt your pelvis backward every now and then (tighten belly and buttock muscles), bend the knees and stand in hip position. Get the movement from your legs, not your back! “Swing it out!” Put the ironing board on the right height (about 10 cm under the elbow height) Let the flat-iron do the work for you, that means don’t put too much power into it Take turns in positions. For example, stand while you iron, then sit while you sort and fold, and then you iron again.
Tip 27: Cleaning your windows in the right way
When you clean your windows you often work above shoulder height, which overburdens your shoulder and neck muscles. Also, your blood provision is put to a halt. Tips for cleaning your windows:
Use a solid staircase (at least 3 steps) Don’t fill your bucket to the top, so it gets too heavy. Preferably you fill two buckets half (so you divide the weight). Use a sponge or shammy with a telescopic stem. Change position frequently.
Tip 28: Psoas position
The most unburdened position of the body is the psoas position. To unburden the vertebrae and the muscles, you can choose to take the psoas position for about two to three times a day (one time being 5 minutes).
You lay on your back and rest your legs on a platform (like a chair). The angles of the hip and knees are about 90 degrees. If necessary, you can perform some pelvis tilting exercises. I guarantee, when doing this exercise frequently, that you’ll have success!
Tip 29: Write in the right way
When you are writing you have to make sure you have the right position. A good sitting position is 90 degrees in the ankles, knees and hips and a straight back.
The shoulders are not pulled up too far and the head is not bend over too far. See tip 1. What is the best sitting position? Answer: The next. That means dynamical sitting. That is taking turns in standing and walking, tilt your pelvis, etc. Also move your neck to keep it flexible. Tips when writing: • • • • The right table height is a must. It’s about 2 cm under elbow height. When you bend over with your head too much, use a writing board. Do some stretching exercises every now and then to stimulate the circulation. Use a normal (not too thin) pen to avoid writing cramps. When your pen is too thin, you have a lot of tension in your neck and shoulder area.
Tip 30: Carry objects in the right way
When carrying objects you can create overburden on your neck and shoulder muscles. Usually you carry objects that are too heavy, and you tilt them too far in front of your body. By doing this you overburden your muscles and joints.
Tips to carry objects in the right way: • • • Keep the object close to your body Divide the weight in separate parts, so walk more often with smaller weight. Use something to help you transport, like a barrow.
When using a barrow you have to note the following: • • • • Avoid turning from your back or neck, use your body weight instead. Use your body weight to get the barrow going. When it’s going, keep it moving (don’t stop too much). Use the 3 second rule (see tip 19)
Tip 31: Cook in the right way
We won’t give you cooking tips in this E-book, but usually you cook in a totally wrong position. And this position is kept too long, because cooking can be a static act, which results in overburdening of the neck. Just think about which things you do when you’re cooking: Getting the pans from the bottom and the top cupboards, getting stuff from the fridge, cutting vegetables, peel your potatoes etc. These are all things that can be very burdening for your neck. That’s why I will give you the following tips:
• • • • • •
If possible, slide heavy pans instead of tilting them Prepare everything before you start working, so you don’t have to search anything anymore. Order your cupboards so that the heavier objects are below shoulder height. If you stand too long, put your foot on a platform (for example in a cupboard) every now and then. Change positions, for example peel your potatoes sitting, and stand while you’re cooking. If you have to stand for a long time, you could use a standing stool or a working chair.
You can think of varying tips. The point with healing and preventing neck complaints is that you become aware of tension and relaxation. Because you are aware of this, you can learn to react on every form of tension with relaxation. You are your own therapist. Because we have so many good experiences with our method, we really want to make you a part of it, and share it. We don’t want to pretend there are no therapists needed with neck complaints (I would really smash my own windows then), but the body has a strong self healing ability. This ability can be explored and be found with help of this E-book. This leaves us with the fact that there are, of course, complaints that dó need physiotherapy, ergo therapy or something of the sort. When you’re not sure if you need this help or not, you can always ask your general practitioner or treating specialist. We hope that you can consider neck complaints something of the past with help of this E-book.
Physiotherapist/ occupational therapist/ Nordic Walking instructor (NWH-certified)
This English version is made possible by Ramona Venema
This book was distributed courtesy of:
For your own Unlimited Reading and FREE eBooks today, visit: http://www.Free-eBooks.net
Share this eBook with anyone and everyone automatically by selecting any of options below:
To show your appreciation to the author and help others have wonderful reading experiences and find helpful information too, we'd be very grateful if you'd kindly post your comments for this book here.
Free-eBooks.net respects the intellectual property of others. When a book's copyright owner submits their work to Free-eBooks.net, they are granting us permission to distribute such material. Unless otherwise stated in this book, this permission is not passed onto others. As such, redistributing this book without the copyright owner's permission can constitute copyright infringement. If you believe that your work has been used in a manner that constitutes copyright infringement, please follow our Notice and Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement as seen in our Terms of Service here:
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.