Crick in the Neck

Have you ever had a crick in your neck? Maybe you turned your head to look at something and then all of a sudden your entire neck locked up? Or maybe you woke up one morning after sleeping funny only to find that you couldn’t turn your head without excruciating pain?

As sudden as a crick seems to come on, it is not out of nowhere. In the 17 years I have been treating cricks, I have yet to find one that has not been building up over time. How can I tell? The palpable layers of tension take time to build; that is how.

Once the tension has made it to the point of locking up your neck, it is going to take some unwinding to get free and it’s going to be a journey. Often, cricks come along as a response to stress. It’s like your body’s alarm system saying: Stop now! Cancel your day, there is something more important going on you need to look at. If you are like me, you probably have some resistance to canceling your day and will grit your teeth and try not to let the pain in your neck get in your way. I can tell you from experience, this is a bad idea. If you choose to ignore your body’s message to relax, the healing process will take even longer.

If you do it right, it will take about a 3 days to get to 70%.

Day 1: Cancel everything but self-care! That is an order! Find a comfortable place to lie down and Ice your shoulder and neck alternating 10 minutes ice and 30 minutes no ice to allow the tissue to warm naturally. Repeat all day. Take anti-inflammatory: Zyphlamen 3 capsules/3x daily (or if ibuprofen is your anti-inflammatory of choice, use as directed)

Day 2: Make an appointment for a 90-minute session of the best deep tissue massage in Austin (hint: Austin Ashiatsu’s Ashiatsu Therapeutic Massage) and schedule a chiropractic adjustment right after your massage with the best chiropractor you know. (If you need a recommendation, call our office and we will tell you about our current favorites) Repeat the self-care from Day 1 after your appointment and rest.

Day 3: Alternate Ice and Heat: 10 minutes ice compress, 15 minutes heat compress. You can repeat this process every hour or more, making sure to end with heat so you are getting the blood to flow back into the area. After the heat, apply gentle neck stretches offered by your ashiatsu therapist.

Day 4: Make another appointment for a chiropractic adjustment.

Day 5: Make another appointment for an ashiatsu deep tissue massage.

Day 6&7: By now you should be feeling 70% better. Continue with the instructions from day 3 if needed.

Remember, this is a healing journey that cannot be rushed, so just surrender into the process. You are going to be fine. Make sure to give yourself permission to feel all the feelings you are having about your current stressors. Do not skip this part! You have feelings for a reason; so let them out so your body can calm down already. Once you have expressed the feelings fully, you will naturally find a new balance with the situation. You got this!