Describing any situation as "a pain in the neck" is a sure way of letting people know how bad things are. For many people, that phrase can be taken literally. In fact, the U.S. National Institute of Health Statistics reports that 15% of Americans are troubled by neck pain.
Usually the pain is caused by something simple, like hunching your shoulders over a keyboard or work surface. Posture can be another factor. Other causes include arthritis, whiplash, a pinched nerve, muscle strain or degenerative disease. Whether it's chronic or lasts only a short time, neck pain can be relieved by massage.
How Massage Helps
Regular massage therapy helps keep your entire body free of pain, and that's the goal of Massage Envy's professional therapists. When you're suffering from neck pain in particular, the massage will focus first on your shoulders and upper back.
"Massage of the neck itself may exacerbate symptoms at first, but gentle massage of the arms, chest, legs and back proves to reduce pain in the neck," says Elaine Calenda of the Boulder College of Massage Therapy. "Myofascial release and thorough massage of all the neck, face, jaw, head and throat muscles, promote full healing and restoration of function."
Along with relieving neck pain, receiving massage on a regular basis helps keep all your joints limber, which reduces your chances of pulling a muscle. It also improves your posture and flexibility, increases range of motion, lowers blood pressure and heart rate,encourages relaxation and relieves stress.