We live in a culture consumed with electronics, and as we have been finding in recent years is that using these electronics can cause pain in your neck and shoulders. This may seem strange because you would think that most of the pain from running would be found in the lower body. In this article I will explain where the pain in your upper body may come fro and what you can do about it.
Bad posture is a major culprit and can come from sitting at a desk, in a car, or on a couch. Most people do these things, and unknowingly develop bad posture. Working on a computer looking at a mobile phone, and easing your car seat back can put your neck in a very awkward, and un-natural position. Doing this for long periods of time can take a terrible tole on your neck vertebrae and muscles.
Your eye level is very important. To have correct posture your eyes should be level with what you are looking at. If you are looking down this causes your head to tilt down and can disrupt the balance of the weight of your head. Your head is not very heavy and your muscles can handle the weight if your head is balanced directly above your neck. If your head is leaning forward then the weight of your head multiplies, and the muscles in your neck are not made to hold this weight for long periods of time.
What happens if you have this posture for too long? The muscles in your neck become strained from the weight. The pain that can soon develop can be really bad. Most of the time a person will feel this pain in the form of a headache at the base of your skull. The muscles in your neck will spasm, and your shoulders will begin to ache.
Some people have complained of symptoms like neck pain, dizziness, and blurred vision. The neck pain comes from what feels like muscle cramps.This is because of the constant weight pulling down from your head. Your neck muscles pay the price. When the muscles spasm this cause the nerves in the are to become pinched, and inflamed. This in turn causes the dizziness and blurred vision.
When running if you feel this pain you tend to compensate and this makes the situation worse. To compensate for a slouchy stature, you may subconsciously hold your shoulders close to your ears or you may pull your shoulder blades together.Those positions may not feel uncomfortable in the beginning, but they can cause tension and tightness in your shoulder and neck muscles if you run that way for a long time or distance.
This creates a cycle. You are already tense from the pain, and muscle spasms. The key to reversing this and stopping the pain is to be loose when you run. “Be water” The more fluidly you move, the less likely you’ll be tense. And the less pain you have from head to toe, the faster and longer you’ll be able to run. Sounds great doesn’t it?
Focus on certain things when you run. First pay attention to your hands. Pretend as if you’re holding tomatoes in your hands. Don’t crush them. Let your hands hange loose, and shake the out if you feel tension coming on. Move your shoulders as well. Your arms shouldn’t be the only body parts moving above your waist. Let your shoulders move with your stride. This will also help with your balance. Make sure you don’t let a lot of energy to leak from your shoulders, you can let them sway a bit with each step. This will help you to stay relaxed, and cut down on your desire to shrug them up or pull them back.
Most importantly, keep your eyes level. Don’t look down while you run. Of course you don’t want to trip on something, so you still want to watch the terrain in front of you. As you can imagine running while your head is tilted forward could put a huge strain on your neck muscles. The weight of your head combined with the bounce from running could wreak havoc on your neck muscles.
After your run there is something you can do to ease the pain and tension in your neck. Magnesium for tension headaches is proven to work. The magnesium lotion I recommend soaks into your skin, and muscles relaxing them. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer.
The message you should take away from this is to keep your eyes looking forward at all times, and your head level. Whether you’re working on your computer, or driving down the road. When you run…run loose.
If you experience pain you should always consult with your doctor. Do not consider my advice as a doctors advice.