Stiff neck? Guru says it probably originates from having a stiff thoracic spine

November 6, 2014

Hi Guru

I have had a really stiff neck for over a week. I had to take two days off last week as I couldn’t turn my head.

I have been relaxing,stretching and hydrating.  It’s loosened up a little now but still when I turn my head or move it side to side I feel a lot of pressure in between my shoulder blades and a dull headache all the time.

Mornings are especially difficult and I find it hard to sit up from lying position. This last week has really sapped my energy too.


November 6, 2014

Hi Dan

Stop stretching!

I know that sounds quite odd and counterintuitive considering you’ve got a stiff neck, but it’s really important that you understand what is stiff.

It is your neck bones (vertebrae) or the muscles which surround and support your neck?

If joints become stiff and don’t move then they rarely give any sort of feedback to you – that’s why putting a broken wrist into a plaster cast keeps it pain free.

Muscles generally stiffen up to protect joints which move too much, which are painful. That’s why broken wrists are really painful before they’re put into a plaster cast!

I think you’ve got stiff muscles protecting a mobile, painful bit of your neck. It therefore doesn’t need anymore movement. What you need to do is find out what you’ve got a mobile bit of your neck – commonly the mid bit of your neck. The most obvious cause is having a really stiff thoracic spine that forces the middle bit of your neck to move too much and then become painful.

The morning stuff and energy sapping stuff are common symptoms as you’re moving poorly – and using far too much effort.

Get your thoracic spine moving and improve your posture at work and sitting down watching TV etc.

Try this stretch…of your mid back, not your neck!!

Guru Responded

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