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Neck Pain in Sports: Causes, Prevention, and Acupuncture Treatments

Navigating neck pain can be a real challenge, and it’s a topic that often brings people through my doors at Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center! People who suffer from neck pain have one major thing in common: they want it to go away. And, that’s very understandable. Neck pain has a unique way of demanding our attention, diverting our focus, and disrupting our daily life. Pain (in the neck) gets in the way of sports, exercise, and even daily life.

Our necks are an important part of the musculoskeletal system, containing 26 anterior, lateral, and posterior muscles. Athletes frequently grapple with neck issues because of overuse, poor warm up, and other issues. But, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. What if I told you that regular acupuncture sessions can greatly help with your neck pain, especially when I combine acupuncture with other methods and handwork? In this essay we’ll take a look at the causes of neck pain in sports and shed some light on effective prevention strategies. Plus, I’ll show you how I can use acupuncture to alleviate and treat neck pain among athletes and others.

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What are the Causes of Neck Pain in Sports?

Now, let’s delve into some of the primary causes of neck pain in sports. These include muscle strain, injury, repetitive motion, and posture issues.

Muscle Strain

If you’ve ever experienced the intensity and pain of a strained neck muscle, then you know how tough it can be. That’s why it’s one of the biggest causes of neck pain for athletes and anyone else who exercises. Whether it’s because of overexertion, improper sports technique, or sudden movement, strained neck muscles can significantly impede your performance if you’re an athlete.

Poor Posture

Incorrect posture while training or competing is another contributor to neck pain. It’s also prevalent for those that stay in sustained positions while training, for example, cyclists or weightlifters. Office workers who sit down all day are also likely to get posture-related neck issues.

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Impact-related Injury

High-contact sports like tackle football, volleyball, dodgeball, and rugby bring the risk of impact-related injury. Collisions, tackles, or falls can lead to trauma in the neck area (and everywhere else as well.) If these issues aren’t addressed right away, they can result in chronic pain and long-term problems.

Repetitive Movement

Athletes involved in sports that require repetitive motion, like swimmers or tennis players, often get overuse injuries in the neck. The same is true of cyclists and weightlifters because sustained positions can cause repetitive injury as well. If this sounds like the problem you have, I can help. Acupuncture is great at relieving pain and stress in the neck joints.

What are the Prevention Strategies for Neck Pain?

Now, let’s explore some of the strategies that can prevent neck injuries and strains in athletes and everybody else. 

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Proper Warm-up

I always tell clients that a proper warm-up is the most important part of the workout. It is something that should never be skipped and never be half-done. Neck stretches should be a part of your warm-up routine. Stretching enhances flexibility and mitigates the risk of muscle strain. If you’d like to learn some new everyday neck stretches, we’ll discuss that during our first acupuncture session. 

Strength Training

The neck is made up of 26 muscles that can be stretched and strength-trained like the other 570 muscles in our bodies. Invest your time into a well-balanced strength training program that includes a neck routine.

Correcting Improper Technique

Coaches and trainers are important because they not only teach you the techniques you need to exercise and compete, they also teach you what not to do. Sometimes correcting “what not to do” is even more important, because doing the wrong thing, over and over, can lead to really nasty repetitive injuries. 

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How Can Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center Help?

Whether you’re an athlete with a neck injury or someone that barely exercises, Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center gives you world class diagnosis coupled with acupuncture plus cutting-edge hands on treatment to quickly ease your pain. Once your neck pain levels are down I will guide you through a graduated movement strategy so you don’t have to keep coming back for the same issues. We can also discuss proper warm-up techniques and stretches you can do at home before and after physical activity. At Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center, I will piece the parts of your story together using our unique assessment that looks at your body as one. Here is how I do it.

  • Discussion: I will investigate the cause of your problem and explain it in simple terms.
  • Assessment: This will reveal the underlying dysfunction(s) and show why you are suffering from your pain.
  • Treatment: I will ease your symptoms quickly using acupuncture and other hands-on techniques that quickly relieve your pain and improve function.
  • Rehab: I will give you simple movements that you easily can fit into your busy day to improve recovery and give lasting relief. Your graduated movement strategy and pain treatments continue as needed to help you build your confidence in your body again so you can quickly get back to thoughtless, fearless, movement. Through this phase of treatment, I can add to the rehabilitation by focusing on specific things like working on speed, agility, flexibility, or strength.
  • Freedom: I plan to make you so happy that you’ll actively tell your friends and family about us. You see, I have built our clinic on word of mouth referrals and I expect my clients to be so happy with the results that they tell their friends and family about me, so they too can get the help they need.