Muscle spasms are a real pain in the neck! Whether I’m lifting something heavy or working out, if I end up turning my head ever so slightly in the wrong direction, it can lead to a sharp, searing pain (and lots of “ouch!”). Experiencing a neck spasm is not something to be taken lightly because it can cause serious nerve damage if not treated the right way. I wouldn’t want that to happen to me and I certainly don’t want it to happen to you!
So, how do we go about relieving the pain of neck spasms without the assistance of a massage therapist? To start off, let’s define exactly what neck spasms are.
What is a Neck Spasm?
I’ve suffered through many muscle spasms in my neck, but I’ve never actually taken the time to learn what this uncomfortable action really is. I’ll give you a quick, non-medical-jargon overview:
- Your cervical spine is the “captain” of your head and neck movements. It gives the orders for turning your sights from left to right, and up and down.
- A cervical muscle spasm happens if your “captain” calls out an audible in response to some type of strain, overuse, weakness, or trauma.
- The spasm causes a sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle in your neck, which can last from mere minutes to a couple of hours.
Long Term Neck Spasm Effects
If left untreated, the extreme soreness caused by neck spasms could have a lasting effect on your body such as:
- Chronic neck pain
- Shoulder stiffness
- Spine soreness
It is imperative that you stay ahead of these full-blown health issues. You should seek a medical provider for consultation immediately, however if visiting a doctor doesn’t quite work for you, there is another powerful alternative.
Massage Gun Therapy
Using a percussion massage gun is an excellent way to work out the painful kinks that come with neck spasms. The pressurized pounding works to stimulate blood flow and helps reduce inflammation. When used properly, a massage gun is an ideal tool for keeping the long term effects of neck spasms at bay. Notice I said, “when used properly”! You can’t just say ready, aim, fire when using a massage gun. There are a few key rules worth following to ensure a safe massage that won’t further exacerbate the situation:
- Do NOT apply the massage gun directly on your neck. Doing so could result in a tear in your arteries or impede blood flow to the brain. Instead, apply the massage gun to your shoulders and trapezius muscles. Also, make sure you’re applying directly to the muscle and not the bone.
- You’ll notice that your massage gun will come with a variety of massage heads for different types of pressure. If you’re just doing a quick warm-up or cool-down recovery, use the ball attachment. For deeply massaging tight knots, use the fork (or U-shaped) attachment.
- You should use your massage gun for a minimum of 15 seconds and a maximum of 2 minutes per muscle group.
- To use your massage gun, simply press gently, but firmly, into the strained part of your muscle and move in a circular motion. If it is too painful to reach back to do this, ask a friend or family member for a hand!
By following the rules above, you should be able to relieve the pain caused by neck spasms and help build your muscles up to keep any unwanted twinges from sneaking up on you. Professional-grade massage guns for bodybuilders and weightlifters are practically an essential for healthy recovery. As an added benefit, you’ll also be promoting relaxation by easing the tight tension!
Neck spasms happen to even the best of us, but at least now you’re aware of what they are, where they come from, and how to stop them. Just remember:
- Don’t let the pain from a neck spasm linger too long. You don’t want to do any permanent damage to your body.
- A percussion massage gun is an effective and inexpensive method for working out the aches of spasms. We recommend the Vybe Flex as a great first massage gun.
- Be sure to use your massage gun the right way to keep from further injuring your neck muscles.