Posted by: melissa | 2004/01/19

Running gives me a sore spasm just below the back of my neck

Hi there. when i run for some reason I exert alot of pressure on my spine or the muscles around my spine, the area just below my neck and it gets very sore! I always look down when I run therefore not keeping my head up and I know this has something to do with it. When I run long distances I find it a physchological advantage to run with my head down....

please helps, its taking all the fun out of my running, thanks!

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Our expert says:
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Hi Melissa

It really does sound as though this is caused by tension. You really just need to work on actively relaxing when you are running - this means relaxing from the top down, as many coaches would advise. THe trick is to relax your face and shoulders and everything else will also relax. It's fine to run with your head down, many top level athletes don't really lift their heads that much either, but there's a difference between just relaxing your shoulders and neck and allowing the head to naturally look down, and actually forcing this down. So, my advice would be fairly simple in theory - you just need to learn to relax. Also, don't lock the head into one position - if you ever watch Paula Radcliffe run, you'll see her head moves all over the place - I'm not saying this is a good thing necessarily, but it will help relieve tension if you just move your head, look around for a while and relax.

GOod luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: Melissa | 2004/01/22

Hi Doc,

Thanks so very much for your helpful advice. I totally agree with you as lately I have been taking in alot of stress with work etc. I'm even thinking of trying yoga!

Take care


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