WHENEVER there is tension in any part of the body, it is a sure sign that something is wrong somewhere. Tension should not be allowed to stay for too long in the body, as this may aggravate whatever the problem is. It is, therefore, advisable to consult the physician for a professional assessment of the condition. But this aside, there are some things that could be done personally to alleviate the problem. For instance, neck tension is capable of making the whole body uncomfortable and could be as a result of several things.
First, it could be that the individual has been sitting or standing wrongly, which has brought about the neck tension. It is imperative to maintain a proper posture when sitting or standing. At all times, effort should be made to sit and stand upright and keep the back erect. Slouching over the desk and keeping a poor posture generally tends to affect the spine and the body. Neck tension could be one of the outcomes.
Neck tension could also be acquired through wrong sleeping position. This happens when the neck slides off the pillow, or it wasn’t placed at the right angle or the position adopted while sleeping was not okay.
Neck tension could also be stress-induced. Working continuously under a lot of pressure and for too long can lead to tension at the base of the neck. And it is one of the symptoms adopted by the body to signal that it is in dire need of a break. When such happens, it is advisable to heed the warning and takes things easy for a while or better still, go on a break.
There are some measures that could be taken by the individual though to bring about some relief to the neck and shoulder region whenever there is tension in these areas. These could be in the form of a massage done at home or neck stretches, which are capable of taking care of cramped muscles in the neck.
The following exercise, known as Body Roll, could help release tension not just in the neck and shoulder, but also in the upper part of the body. Note that only the waist is to be bent and not the hips all through the movement.
- •Stand with the legs and feet together and grip your waist with your hands.
- •Push the pelvis forward a little and bend over from the waist.
- •Slowly roll the top half of the round to the left and hold it for a few seconds.
- •Continue on around to the back, allowing the head to go back a little and making sure that the shoulders are back and down. Hold for a few seconds.
- •Carry on rolling around to the right. Again, hold the position for a few seconds.
- •Slowly return to the left before relaxing like this.
- •Straighten up slowly; ready to execute the movement twice round to the right.
Flexibility is a joint ability to move through a whole range of motion. Flexibility training (stretching) helps balance muscle groups that might be over-used during exercise or physical activities or as a result of bad posture. It is important to clearly understand the many benefits of undertaking a good flexibility programme.
A safe and effective flexibility-training programme increases physical performance. A flexible joint has the ability to move through a greater range of motion and requires less energy to do so, while greatly decreasing risk of injury.
Flexibility also reduces risk of low back pain, just as stretching does and promotes muscular relaxation.
On its part, stretching increases blood supply and nutrients to joint structures. It increases tissue temperature, which in turn increases circulation and nutrient transportation. This allows greater elasticity of surrounding tissues and increases performance.
Not only does stretching decreases muscle soreness, it also helps relax both body and mind, bringing about a heightened sense of wellbeing and personal gratification during exercise.