Who knew that a ten hour car ride would end with one stiff neck? And that motel mattresses are often stuffed with what feels like a heady combination of bricks and cotton batting, causing your back to feel like you’ve slept on…well, bricks and cotton batting? That bike tour didn’t look quite so long when we looked at the brochure and now that we’ve stopped…OW! When summer traveling has got you down, consider acupuncture!
For something that is so strong, a neck sure can be finicky while traveling. A stiff neck is a condition when pain is experienced when attempting to turn or move the neck. In most instances it involves the elevator scapulae muscle, which is located at the side and back of the neck and connects the neck to the shoulder. Sometimes a stiff neck occurs in conjunction with a headache. What fun! There are many other muscles and tendons around the neck area that can get tight, irritated, and spasm a little. And all this can add up to one cranky traveling partner…even if you’re traveling alone.
Common causes for a stiff neck include poor posture, stress, extra hard work, even reading too much, holding the neck and/or shoulders in an unnatural position (think falling asleep in the back seat of the station wagon, or in coach on that cross-country flights, head lolling to the side), sleeping without proper head support (hotel pillows!!) or even exposure of the neck to a cold draft (that restaurant that insists on having the a/c set to “North Pole”).
Acupuncture is very helpful and quickly so. Acupuncture is good at reducing the tension in the neck tendons and muscles. Often relief is felt after the first treatment, and usually only a few are needed. When long-standing pain or injuries are the cause, then more treatments will be needed. We will look into your history of health, and include your other symptoms in our considerations.
Acupuncture is also excellent for back pain. One of the top causes of back pain are sprains (overstretching one or more of the ligaments in the back) and strains (a rip or tear in the muscle caused by sudden force). This can happen from an injury, poor posture, or improper lifting. Or from flinging your suitcase that’s just a little too heavy, at just a little too weird of an angle, perhaps while trying to make a point about keeping to schedules, and now you’re moving much more slowly than you’d like?
Acupuncture continues to gain popularity in this country because it is an effective treatment of acute and chronic backache. That’s excellent news for no matter where you are! Acupuncture helps alleviate the muscle spasms that can keep you from sleeping at night. Acute pain can often be cleared up in a few sessions. More treatments may be needed if there is an underlying deficiency, or a reoccurring problem, or sciatica.
Don’t let the wear and tear of summer traveling keep you from enjoying it to the fullest! Give acupuncture a try!
For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com
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Author: Andrée Lambertson