As nice as a professional massage can be, it’s not always something you can easily squeeze into your busy schedule or something everyone can afford on a regular basis. However, spine surgeons in Los Angeles note, you can still effectively relieve minor back and neck pain caused by muscle strain and tension with some self-massage moves you can easily do at your own convenience whenever you feel back or neck pain.
For: Back of the Neck Pain
Ease minor neck pain by taking a few scarves or a thick towel and twisting the scarves or towel several times until you have one big knotted piece of cloth. Grab both ends and slowly ease the knotted cloth up and down your neck to ease muscle tension.
Tennis Ball-Wall Massage
For: Upper Back Pain
Stand up against a wall. Take a tennis ball and place it behind your back by your left shoulder. Move up and down or back and forth while keeping the tennis ball in the same general location. Repeat with the other shoulder. Make sure you don’t press the ball directly against your spine.
For: Side of the Neck Pain
Place your hand on the side of your neck by your ear (either one). Stretch your fingers to the opposite side. Pressing firmly with your palm, massage your neck from your ear to the area where your neck and shoulders meet. Work your way around to the other side, or switch hands and repeat from the opposite side. Wrap up your hand massage by tilting your head from one side to the other to stretch your neck muscles.
For: Back/Shoulder Pain
Place your left hand over your left shoulder. Rub your trapezius muscle (the muscle that extends from the back of your neck to your shoulders) with your fingers or give it a few good squeezes. Repeat with the right hand and right shoulder.
You’ll notice that these self-massage moves, meant to relieve occasional back and neck pain, never involve direct pressure on your back – something that should only be done by a professional therapist. Any pain that lingers for more than a few days or becomes progressively worse should be checked by a doctor.
If it’s time to consult a board-certified spine physician, request an in-person consultation with one of the trusted doctors at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Our team of experienced spine therapists and surgeons can provide a comprehensive review of both conservative and surgical methods to relieve back and neck pain. For more information, call (310) 828-7757.