Categorized | Health, Lifestyle

Exercises For Neck Pain

Exercises For Neck Pain

Neck pain is a significant contributor to disability in Australia 1.  At Eastland Family Chiropractic, your Ringwood chiropractor, we see it every day.  Common causes of neck pain include: prolonged sitting, slouching postures, poor sleep, car and sporting accidents, and even stress 2.  In fact, recent studies have shown that being stressed can double your risk of suffering neck pain 2

Weare all about empowering our patients to improve their own health.  We have compiled a number of exercises that you can do at home to help relieve your neck pain and strengthen your neck muscles.  Choose the ones that help you the most, and make sure that you stop if any of these exercises increase pain.  Perform each exercise slowly and maintain each stretch for at least 30 seconds3.

Side and diagonal neck stretches

It is important you keep your shoulders down away from your ears.  If you keep forgetting to relax your shoulders, sit on your hands! Tilt your head to the side,bringing your ear towards your shoulder.  You should feel a stretch down the side of your neck, as the weight of your head stretches out your upper trapezius muscle.  To maximize the stretch, gently pull your head further with your hand.

To do a diagonal stretch, keep your head in the side bend position, and then slowly turn your head so that you are looking at your hip on that same side.  The stretch should now be felt in the back of your neck.  As before, you may wish to increase the stretch by pushing your neck further forward with your arm.  This stretch targets the levator scapulae muscle, and is particularly good for those of us who spend all day sat in front of a computer screen!

Dorsal glide

The dorsal glide stretches the suboccipital muscles,just beneath the base of the skull at the back of the neck.  It also strengthens the deep neck flexor muscles, which are commonly weak in patients suffering from neck pain.

Tuck your chin in and bring your head backwards over your body.  Hold it for a count of 6, and then relax for 10 seconds.  Repeat 10 times.  You may perform this stretch sitting, standing or even lying down, which makes it a great one to do whilst driving, in bed or even at the office.

Chest stretch

This stretch is great for targeting the pectoralis muscles and the front portion of the shoulders.  It should look like you are trying to make snow angels in the air.  To begin with, stand tall and proud and tuck your chin in (by performing the dorsal glide, see above).  Raise your arms so that they are in line with your ears.  Take a deep breath in, and whilst you are breathing out, slowly lower you arms so that you are trying to bring your elbows together behind your back.  You should feel a stretch through the front of your chest.  Hold the stretch for 6 seconds, and then relax for 10 seconds.  Repeat 10 times.

 

Reference List:

  1. Fact Sheets 2012 [12/04/2016]. Available from: http://www.gentlecarechironorwest.com.au/fact-sheets/.
  2. Grimby-Ekman A, Andersson E, Hagberg M. Neck pain and perceived stress: analysing repeated binary outcomes from a cohort study. Occup Environ Med. 2011;68:A116-7.
  3. WebMD. Neck exercises 2014 [12/04/2016]. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/tc/neck-exercises-topic-overview.

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