Pressure Point Therapy Series: Stiff Neck Relief

Do you or your clients have a stiff, sore, painful neck? Are they experiencing headaches? Do your clients feel that tension is carried in their neck and shoulders? It sounds like it is time to experience pressure point therapy.

What is Pressure Point Therapy?

Pressure point therapy is very effective for use to relieve stiffness or pain in the neck. As noted in the blog titled Deep Tissue Pressure Point Therapy, pressure point therapy is particularly helpful for a client who has trigger points. A trigger point is a tight area within a muscle that can cause pain.

The neck region is a common region of the body where people may have tightness in their muscles. Sometimes the tightness may be a result of poor posture or overuse of certain muscles. Other times the neck muscles may be tight due to stress and subconscious holding of tension in the neck and shoulders.

In any case, clients are extremely thankful when they can get relief from their symptoms. The person may experience less pain, a feeling of increased blood-flow, improved neck range of motion, and even decreased headaches. They may even begin to return to prior activities and have a better mood due to this relief – how awesome is that?!

What Causes Stiff Neck

Some of the muscles that are particularly tight in the neck are the upper trapezius muscles and levator scapulae muscles. These both help to move our heads as well as stabilize the head, neck and shoulders and are located on the sides and back of the neck. In the front of the neck, the sternocleidomastoid and scalenes are also often important to release. The pectoralis muscles in the chest region can also affect the neck because if they are tight then they can pull the shoulders and neck forward out of a proper alignment and cause the neck to get tight. Lastly, the suboccipital muscles at the base of the head are often tight and cause headaches.

All of these muscles listed respond well to the use of pressure point therapy. By knowing your anatomy and the location of those muscles and being able to palpate the areas of tightness, this will help you to really be in tune with where the body needs help to release. Pressure point therapy to relieve neck symptoms is a very valuable technique for the massage therapist to achieve their desired results with their client.

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