Sports Injury, Vestibular & Acupuncture Clinic

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How to tackle neck pain and stiffness during the colder weather

When the winter is around us with low temperatures, grey skies and strong winds and rain it is very common for your aches and pains to feel stronger and to be with you more often. During the colder months, many people especially with back and neck pain, will complain of, and show worsening symptoms. Even manageable neck pain and stiffness can suddenly become more difficult to handle in cold weather.
We all try to stay warm wearing warmer clothes or sitting by the fire, however the colder weather can change our postures. Even when wearing a coat, hat, and gloves we automatically curl up, slouch, and occasionally shiver, all of which cause changes in our upper body. We tend to round from the back, slouch and elevate our shoulders to our ears, causing our necks and heads to be forced forwards.
This slouched posture causes excessive pressure on parts of your neck and the muscles around your neck and shoulders tighten. This can lead to several problems:
• Pain
• Headaches
• Mid back stiffness and pain
• Muscle tightness
• Pins & needles, numbness, tingling in our hands

If the cold weather is affecting your neck and shoulders, there are some things you can do to minimize the pain:
• Apply a heat pack to your neck, shoulders and upper back
• Avoid cold, damp places with drafts
• Avoid curled up, hunched over, sloppy posture.
• Allow your shoulders to be relaxed and gently down
• Tuck your chin in gently with your eyes straight ahead, feeling your neck grow long.
• Stretch and exercise

If you have made a good effort over a 24 to 48 hour period, but your neck pain, shoulder stiffness and loss of movement continues, we can definitely be of great help. We see patient after patient with neck pain or stiffness at this time of year and symptoms can be treated very successfully through;
• Manipulation of your joints
• Mobilisation of soft tissues
• Dry needling
• Radial Shockwave Therapy
• Exercise
• Postural advice
• Pilates

Eva Flunkert