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Relieve Neck Tension With This Homemade Tool
By Biagio Mazza
In a previous blog I talked a little bit about how it's not a good idea to do broad stretching with the neck (read it HERE). However, I did mentioned in there that you definitely can stretch the base of the skull. It's a tough area to get to to stretch really, really well. You have to be very specific with how your head movements allow you to stretch that.
One of the ways that you can work on this at home, if you're having difficulty with that, is with a pretty inexpensive homemade device that you're using to help stretch out your neck, and that is utilizing lacrosse balls which can be purchased at Elite, online, or at any sporting goods store. Please note that lacrosse balls are fairly firm which is critical for this device to work well. Often times tennis balls are too soft and baseballs are too hard, so a lacrosse ball is preferred.
You tape two lacrosse balls together, take just athletic tape, you do the strap around one side, around the other, and then through the middle. And when you finish with those. This has been taped with athletic tape and connected in multiple directions. Then, this serves as a little device that you can actually use to stretch that area of your neck (base of the skull) out.
In the video you'll see how I lay down so I have something to support my head, and keep my knees bent.You're going to take the lacrosse ball contraption (we call it a peanut because it kind of looks like a peanut) and place it right under the skull, not on the bone. And then in that position there, you're going to keep the chin tucked, and then you can work on both tucking the chin and kind of moving the head side to side to keep it there.
You're going to work back and forth, multiple different positions. If you find kind of a hot spot or something that gives you some discomfort, you can hold in that position for up to two minutes and try to let that relax, kind of like a trigger point in that position there.
You can work on that periodically over the course of a day, as you're going through exercises, or before you go to bed, to help create a little bit of release from that base of the skull, which gets tight on so many of us.