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Easy self-massage for a stiff neck

Like many folk my neck often gets stiff and sore from my daily activities: looking down at work all day, sitting at a computer, cycling, slouching, etc. The following is a very simple massage technique I use on the back of my neck to help loosen it up and stop it becoming a problem neck.

To save my fingers I use my very handy massage tools, my spikey balls and BakBalls. The spikey balls (below, left) mobilise a broader area and work more superficially; the smoother BakBalls(below, right) works a bit deeper with a more direct pressure. If you don’t have these then use tennis balls.

Here’s what to do:-

  • hold the spikey ball (or two) or Bakballsagainst the middle of the back of your neck;
  • slowly move your chin up and down through a comfortable range, 6-8 times;
  • slowly rotate your head from side to side through a comfortable range, 6-8 times;
  • rest and repeat a few times, moving the balls higher and lower on your neck; and
  • if using a single spikey ball do this on both sides.

I use this technique sitting at my desk (spikey balls), or at home usually lying on the lounge room floor (BakBalls).You don’t need to push in too firmly; to be effective you just need to apply enough pressure to get good mobility into the target muscles.Too easy!

Please note: this technique seems benign but please do not continue with this if it causes or increases headache symptoms, or brings on tingling or numbness into your shoulders or down into your arms, hands or fingers.

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