The delightful secret to beating that crick in the neck

It's a REAL pain in the neck!

Neck pain is rapidly catching up to back pain as one of the nation's most common forms of day-to-day agony.

I think staring down at cellphones and being hunched in front of computers is the reason for it... but if you already have neck pain, you don't want to debate the cause.

You want relief!

Well, friend, today I have it in spades.

There's a simple, safe, drug-free, and highly effective way to kick the crick right out of your neck and ease the agony.

And you're going to LOVE it!

The answer could be a tension-easing neck massage.

It's not just a great way to melt off stress and ease tight muscles -- because new research finds that it's also highly effective at chasing away neck pain.

The new study focused specifically on a form of neck massage from traditional Chinese medicine called tui na.

At the start of the study, folks rated their pain levels at a mean of 57.7 on a 100-point scale.

But that changed in a hurry.

Six massage sessions over three weeks cut pain levels by 45 percent!

They dropped all the way down to 31.2, and the results held long after the massages came to an end.

Three months after the start of the study... and more than two months after the last massage... they had a mean pain score of 30.1.

A second set of patients who thought they were on a waiting list for massages -- but never got them -- reported almost no improvements at all, down to 53.9 points at four weeks and 48.1 at three months.

While the study focused on tui na, there's evidence that many other types of muscle-soothing massages, from Swedish to shiatsu, are just as effective for both back and neck pain.

The key is in making sure it's the real deal. A massage from a skilled practitioner can chase away the pain, while random rubs from a well-meaning friend or relative could have the opposite effect.

To get even better results, combine massage with other non-drug treatments, including spinal manipulation, physical therapy, and natural anti-inflammatory treatments.

Once you've eased or eliminated the pain, your work's not over yet.

Neck pain is often caused by lifestyle habits like using those computers and cellphones I mentioned earlier.

If you don't change those habits, it's bound to come back.

Adjust your chair... adjust your computer... and don't spend so much time craning your neck over a small screen. In addition, give your back and neck a good stretch with some basic daily exercises. Your doc or physical therapist can give you some pointers, or you can find some examples online.