Running is a common sport but many of you might have noticed that your neck and shoulders get painful at times. You may assume that the lower body do all the work while running, but don’t forget your upper body is equally contributing. If you are feeling any sort of discomfort in your neck and shoulders, chances are you are letting your body posture slip. Every step you take during running is a rep and if you keep your upper body posture inappropriate, you are building up tension in the neck and shoulders with the increasing reps.
Some of the most common blunders you can make during this exercise are drooping, protruding your head outward or turning your shoulders forward. If you attempt to run more than your usual routine, you are more likely to discomfort your form. At times you may feel that you are unable to fully support your core and hips while running and you end up putting pressure on your neck. Want to know about these frequent mistakes? Here you go!
1 Compress Your Fists
Tension travels all the way through your body. If you are clenching your fists during running, you will produce tension that travels through your forearm and upper arm. Also, it flows through trapezius, a muscle which is directly connected to your upper back and neck and finally sets in your neck and shoulder. If you feel any pain in your neck or shoulder, the easiest thing you can do is let your hands hang as if you are holding something but at the same time you don’t want to drop or crush it. For instance, you can hold headphone wires that will allow the required space in your palms.
2 Constantly Looking Down at the Ground
You may not assume your eyes as very important when it comes to running, however, your body will follow your gaze. For that reason, you need to pay considerable attention to it. We recommend you to tuck your chin in and keep your eyes up towards the skyline while running. Subsequently, your body will be directed according to the line of sight. On the other hand, if you are looking towards the ground, it will affect the way you hold your neck and shoulders. Additionally, it will disturb your running form causing you pain and discomfort not only in your neck but the entire body.
3 Excessive Pumping of Your Arms
Maintaining an appropriate motion of arms contribute significantly to your running form. People who move their arms excessively often suffer from unwanted strain in their neck and shoulders and waste a major amount of energy. We suggest you pull your shoulders down and back, curve your arms at a 90-degree angle and keep on pumping. Remember that the movement is occurring at your shoulder and not on your elbow. It’s a smooth motion to keep your body under control. Make sure to use your arms to counterbalance your steps. It won’t force your forward, produce pressure, or use your energy.
4 Ineffective Stretching
Any form of exercise requires warm-up session and here stretching makes for an effective way to carry out your running exercise. It’s important to stretch your neck, back, and shoulders before and after you run. In addition to that, perform a dynamic upper-body warm-up session before you are ready to get your first running step. Nod your head forward and backward and rotate your neck left and right. Do this stretch-out for a count of four. Afterward, you may want to swipe your arms forward and backward, and side to side. You might have observed what Olympic swimmers do on the pool deck. Prior to the swim, they move their neck and shoulders and swing arms to activate their muscles and joints. Once they are done with swimming, they perform some static stretching targeting the muscles that hurt the most.
5 Low Mobility in Your Back
If you run in a perfect posture, but your upper and middle back is tightened, you will be more likely to suffer from pain and discomfort. One reason for tightness is sitting all day long or you have low flexibility and mobility. Also, your sleeping posture contributes to the tightness of your muscles. Make sure to improve your flexibility that will help you maintain an ideal running posture and a forever goodbye to neck pain treatment. To improve flexibility, we suggest you go for foam rolling or doing some stretches. This will eventually enhance mobility in your thoracic spine which is the upper middle part of the back.
6 Your Body is Dehydrated
Dehydration can make your neck and shoulders feel exhausted. Though there are many other neuromuscular reasons when you experience a muscle cramp, remember to keep your body well hydrated at all times especially when you are about to head towards running. If you wake up early morning and going for the exercise, your body will naturally wake up dehydrated. Consuming a sufficient amount of water before you run is a must for an energetic exercise.
Whether you are a beginner or professional runner, you will probably expect a certain degree of pain in the legs after a workout. You may enjoy this pain as a status of honor that defines your hard work and a successful workout. Also, it’s possible that you will experience pain in your neck after running. It might not be very critical but typically an indication of poor form during your exercise session. In addition to pain in your lower body after running, it doesn’t end there. You may feel discomfort in your neck and shoulders and must be confused about what really caused it. We hope this article has given you some important insights when it comes to pain in your neck and shoulder after your running journey. If you are aware of any other fact than the ones listed above, please write to us in the comment section below.