Surfing and Neck Pain


I should know…I’ve got a sore neck right now! Don’t think that once you overcome chronic back pain…you’re completely immune from upsets. Life has a habit of getting in the way of a perfect equilibrium…and if we don’t live in a bubble, chances are we’re going to compromise our health occasionally.

Anyway, it was a big wave, let’s just get that established. But, bouncing down the face like Cody Maverick out of Surfs Up just isn’t what our head is designed for. My neck was given a good whack and it’s been a couple of days now of “tight neck syndrome” and pain down my left arm.

Determined not to pay for pain relief unless I can’t solve it myself, I always fall back on the simplest of simple home remedies. Alcohol.

No! Joking of course.

A Good Neck Pain Story

It may be simplistic, but this works for me every time and I trust my story because it empowers me to learn and observe the healing process.

If my neck hurts after a surfing accident, I assume that muscles have gone into spasm in order to protect my spinal cord. Simple.

Those muscles are not going to simply let go and “trust” that I won’t be dumb enough to do it again in the short term. So my neck muscles remain in spasm (and pain) for just long enough that I learn to allow healing to take place.

In effect, this pain is designed to make me stop and wait.

I could take an anti-inflammatory and get back out before the swell dies down. I could promise myself to recover later… because there are waves I’m missing. But all of this just puts more pressure on my neck and potentially opens me up for a more serious injury while it’s in this sensitive state.

The Neck Pain Remedy That Works Every Time

So I stop and lie down in the Relaxaback® process more than my usual once a day. I’ll do it multiple times throughout the day. 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there… whenever I get a chance for a quick release of gravity on my neck with just a slight touch of traction, I do it. I do it first thing out of bed in the morning for 15, I do it last thing before bed at night for 15 minutes. (mind you, it’s the most comfortable place to be anyway!)

  • I don’t stretch.
  • I don’t relax on the couch.
  • I don’t lie down on the bed.
  • I’m either upright, or horizontal for the next few days.
  • I experience the pain every time I turn my head during the day and yes, it hurts. It keeps reminding me to move more gently, more consciously. And, in a bizarre way, I thank the injury for the insights it gives me into my usual habits of movement.

I am super sensitive for a day or two and learning through pain… some might say shock therapy!

In a few days the pain will be gone, I’ll have a good memory of what not to do in the future and my physiology will have rebalanced itself without being compromised by drugs, treatments or movements imposed onto it.

Like planet earth, our body can largely take care of itself if we “get out of the way” and let it.

Leave a Reply