A Cure For Neck Pain? Here's My Neck Hammock Review:

I’m sure you’ve had neck pain at some point in your life. Around 50% of the general population will experience neck pain in the next twelve months and as our lifestyles evolve this figure will undoubtedly grow.

Computer screens, uncomfortable pillows, and constantly being on your smartphone are usually the biggest reasons for this. But how do you fix this growing problem without weekly visits to see your physio?

Read on to find out.

What Is Good Posture?

We all know that we should sit up straight. But what does proper posture even mean? Here is a simple test you can do at home to evaluate yourself.

Take off your shoes and stand with your back against a wall. Your heels should be shoulder width apart with your buttocks pressing against the wall. Open your chest and have your shoulder blades lightly touch the wall (it is important that they touch it though).

Is your head touching the wall?

It should be.

If it isn't, that means you have a forward head position. And this could be very harmful to your neck.

Forward Head Posture And Why You Should Be Mindful Of It

Normal head to neck alignment would see both your shoulder blades and head touching the wall. For every inch of protrusion from that, your neck gets an additional 10 pounds of pressure. Over time, that can seriously weaken your neck muscles, as well as harm the disks in the spine. This, in turn, can lead to chronic neck pain and nerve impingement.

Not to mention that the hunched appearance that isn't exactly flattering!

What Causes Forward Head (And How To Prevent It)

According to Wikipedia, this position is also called  "Scholar's Neck", "iHunch", "Reading Neck." and even "Justin Bieber Head"! While I'm not really sure about the Justin Bieber Head (apparently, he did it in a photo), the others make perfect sense.

Indeed, long hours of staring at a computer screens  are the main culprit for forward head issues and our relationships with our smartphones is becoming a very serious issue. Walking around with your gaze glued to the phone isn't just sad, this unnatural neck position is taking a toll on your bodies biomechanics too!

Your neck muscles will also get weaker as you age and if you're not working out regularly. A decent balanced strength training programme that includes posture improving exercises for the upper back and neck muscles could help pull your head back where it should be.

What Is Cervical Traction?

If you've visited a physiotherapist or a chiropractor for neck pain, you might be familiar with cervical traction. It's actually a quite simple but very effective technique.

Essentially, it's about applying a pulling force to your neck in order to release built-up tension. The compression of the discs between the vertebrae is decreased and muscles and joints get a bit of a stretch as well. Cervical traction can also help to release a compressed nerves and improve the associated pain with that.

How Do We Know Cervical Traction Works?

Although cervical traction is a fairly popular technique, you still get polar opposite opinions sometimes. There have been a number of respectable clinical studies on cervical traction and although they are inconclusive on the long-term effects, fast pain relief was definitely proven to be a result of neck traction.

Since neck pain can be such a debilitating condition and painkillers are definitely not a sustainable long-term option, cervical traction is considered to be one of the best treatment and management options, it has always been very difficult to perform it on yourself... until now!

Would I Recommend It For Neck Pain?

When I first saw this product I have to admit I thought it was a bit of a joke, but after looking into this further I wanted to try it out for myself...

It initially sparked my interest because of my work at Red Bull Racing Formula One team, Racing drivers have to deal with huge G-forces on their necks. Developing strong neck and core muscles is one of the key elements of their training. You will often see the drivers working with resistance bands prior to races to activate and strengthen their necks but I wanted to explore some release techniques to compliment this.

As for my London-based clients, they are some of the most inspiring and hard-working people I've met. But success comes with hard work, and many of them spend obscene amounts of time in front of a computer screen. Over time, neck problems are among the first to arise.

In my experience, people with neck pain tend to make things worse with exercise. Especially if I recommend something for them to also do at home, they tend to have bad form (because of the pain). As a result, you can harm yourself more than you help yourself.

 

The reason I recommend the neck hammock is the simplicity of use and efficiency. It's one of the most affordable and accessible forms of "therapy" you can get. Of course, lifestyle changes such as spending less time in front of screens, and a few corrective exercises to improve posture are also necessary, but this product really does work.

I'm also a big believer in encouraging clients to take the time to stop, relax, breathe and actively slow the body down, using this device forces you to do all of those things and I'm convinced that this process alone will promote healing and relaxation in the affected areas.

If you are looking for some efficient and immediate relief, I would the neck hammock is definitely a great option for you! I'm going to use this myself more regularly over the next few weeks and I'll update this blog at a later date with my story...

As usual, if you have any questions or suggestions, I'd love to chat with you in the comments below.

Cheers,

David