Top Exercises, Stretches, and Technology to help with Neck Pain

Sitting at your desk, or staring at your smartphone all day is just asking for neck pain. You try to massage it away to no avail.

Luckily, there are some complementary therapies you could use to help treat neck pain. We’ll be going over a few treatment methods you should try out.

First, let’s take a closer at the causes and why pain in the neck matters. Robert Shmerling, M.D from http://www.health.harvard.edu/ posted a great article regarding neck pain that you should check out.

Complementary therapies for neck pain

Perhaps this escaped you, but your neck is an amazing thing. At the very top, it houses a rock-hard cage reduce pain in the neck and shoulders— the cervical vertebrae —that contains and protects the top of the spinal cord, connecting your brain to the rest of your body.

Despite this, the neck is fully mobile, allowing you to turn, bend, and nod your head. Then there are the blood vessels, the esophagus, the windpipe, and the thyroid (among other structures).

And, of course, day in and day out, your neck carries around the equivalent of a bowling ball — your 11-pound skull and its contents. No wonder, then, that sometimes the neck gets sore.

Neck pain matters

For many people with neck pain, it’s much more than just a “pain in the neck.” It’s a leading cause of doctor’s visits and disability. Improvement can be slow. In many cases, there is no single treatment that is uniformly successful. Chronic (long-lasting) neck pain is an agonizing condition for millions of people worldwide.

A pain of many causes

Neck pain is not a disease. It’s a symptom, and a number of conditions can cause it. Some of the more common causes are:

  • muscle strain or spasm
  • disc disease
  • arthritis
  • an injury

In many cases, though, the precise reason for neck pain can’t be identified. Add that to the fact that treatments don’t always work well, or work quickly, and it can be a remarkably frustrating problem.

That’s why the results of a new study are so encouraging — and potentially important.

Complementary therapies for neck pain

Research published in the latest edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine compared two alternative approaches to the treatment of chronic neck pain with the results of standard care. The researchers randomly divided patients with neck pain into three treatment groups:

  • “Usual care.” This includes the treatments ordinarily recommended by primary care physicians, such as medications and referral to a physical therapist.
  • Acupuncture. These patients received usual care, plus up to 12 acupuncture sessions over 5 months.
  • Alexander Technique. This group received usual care plus 20 one-on-one instruction sessions regarding the Alexander technique, a method of self-care that emphasizes “self-observation and subtle behavioral change” to control one’s response to pain and improve how activities of daily living are carried out.

This study is making news because of its major finding: when the participants were assessed a year after the start of the study (that is, 6 to 7 months after completing treatment), those assigned to acupuncture or Alexander Technique lessons reported significantly less pain and disability than those receiving usual care alone.

No serious side effects due to treatment were reported.

Read full article here…

Let’s take a look at some effective exercises that you can do at home without any equipment. If the pain is severe maybe hold off exercises until you visit your doctor. Kristina Rodulfo from http://www.elle.com shows us some exercises anyone can do.

5 Easy Exercises to Remedy “Tech Neck”

BABY COBRA

1. Begin by lying face down on the floor with your legs extended behind you. Keep your legs down and position your hands directly under your shoulders.

2. Keep your chin tucked, looking down on the floor, then slowly take your hands off the ground and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

3. Lower your upper body while staying in that position, then raise up and contract your glutes. Do this motion 10 times.

FLOOR COBRA WITH EXTERNAL ROTATION

1. Begin by lying face down on the floor with your legs extended behind you. Keep your chin tucked and with your palms facing down and arms angled back so they form about 30-45 degree angle with the body.

2. Keeping your chin tucked, looking down, lift legs off the ground by squeezing your glutes, then squeeze your shoulder blades together as you lift the torso off the ground and rotate your thumbs so they are facing the ceiling. Repeat this motion 10 times.

FACE DOWN WITH SCAPTION

1. Begin by lying face down on the floor with your legs extended behind you. Keep your chin tucked and straighten your arms in a V angle above your head with your palms facing down.

2. Keeping your chin tucked, looking down, lift your legs off the ground by squeezing your glutes, raising your arms and torso off the ground with your palms in and thumbs up. Repeat this motion 10 times.

UPWARD FACING DOG

1. Begin by lying face down on the floor with your legs extended behind you. Place your hands alongside your body, apply pressure to the ground, and lift your torso off the ground. Make sure your shoulders are aligned right above your wrist.

2. Open your chest to the ceiling and tilt your head back. Now, you are going to look to the left while you squeeze your right glute and press your right hip to the ground. Alternate sides for 10 repetitions.

BIRD DOG

1. Start on your knees and hands directly below shoulders. Keep your spine in neutral position and look at the floor. Slowly extend your left leg behind you while reaching your right arm forward. Keep core engaged, hips and shoulders square and make sure your lower back doesn’t arch.

2. Slowly return to starting position and repeat with opposite arm and leg. Repeat 10 times.

Read original article here…

If you’re experience pain in the office and don’t have the room to perform the exercise listed above, then try these neck stretches outlined by Judith Winer from http://www.nielasher.com/.

TRIGGER POINT THERAPY – TREATING COMMON NECK PAIN

Trigger Point Therapy

Treating common neck pain is “meat and potatoes” to most manual therapists. Neck pain can be quite disabling and often disturbs sleep, so we tend to see a continual stream of clients who are highly motivated to seek treatment.

Trigger point therapy may be extremely effective for most types of neck pain and may provide both short and long term relief. The trigger points themselves are easily accessible and the treatment protocols are well established.

In most cases we recommend light stretching for clients to perform at home between treatments. Below you will find examples of 5 neck stretches that we regularly recommend. None of these require any equipment and so are simple to perform at home.

 

right neck pain stretch

Technique

Look forward while keeping your head up. Slowly move your ear towards your shoulder while keeping your hands behind your back.

Muscles that you’re stretching

Primary muscles: Levator scapulae. Trapezius.
Secondary muscles: Sternocleidomastoideus. Scalenus anterior, medius and posterior.

Injury where this may help dissipate trigger points

The pain experienced in a variety of shoulder and neck conditions can be due to trigger points in the levator scapulae muscle. This muscle is often overworked when we are tense or stressed.

Note

Keep your shoulders down and your hands behind your back. Do not lift your shoulders up when you tilt your head to the side.

how to cure neck pain

 

Technique

Stand upright while keeping your shoulders still and your head up. Slowly rotate your chin towards your shoulder.

Muscles that you’re stretching

Primary muscles: Sternocleidomastoideus. Splenius capitis. Semispinalis capitis. Longissimus capitis. Secondary muscles: Levator scapulae. Trapezius.

Injury where this may help dissipate trigger points

Neck muscle strain. Whiplash (neck sprain). Cervical nerve stretch syndrome. Wryneck (acute torticollis).

Note

Keep your head up. Do not let your chin fall towards your shoulders.

 

stretching it out

 

Technique

Stand upright and let your chin fall forward towards your chest. Then gently lean your head to one side. Relax your shoulders and keep your hands by your side.

Muscles that you’re stretching

Primary muscles: Levator scapulae. Trapezius. Rhomboids. Secondary muscles: Semispinalis capitis and cervicis. Spinalis capitis and cervicis. Longissimus capitis and cervicis. Splenius capitis and cervicis.

Injury where this may help dissipate trigger points

Neck muscle strain. Whiplash (neck sprain). Cervical nerve stretch syndrome. Wryneck (acute torticollis).

Note

Some people are more flexible in the upper back and neck than others. Do not overstretch by forcing your head down; instead, relax and let the weight of your head do the stretching for you.

 

throat stretch

 

Technique

Stand upright and lift your head, looking upwards as if trying to point up with your chin. Relax your shoulders and keep your hands by your side.

Muscles that you’re stretching

Primary muscles: Platysma. Sternocleidomastoideus. Secondary muscles: Omohyoideus. Sternohyoideus. Sternothyroideus.

Injury where this may help dissipate trigger points

Neck muscle strain. Whiplash (neck sprain). Cervical nerve stretch syndrome. Wry neck (acute torticollis).

Note

Keep your mouth closed and your teeth together when doing this stretch.

 

chronic neck and shoulder pain stretches

 

Technique

While sitting on a chair, cross your arms over and hang on to the chair between your legs. Let your head fall forward and then lean backwards.

Muscles that you’re stretching

Primary muscles: Semispinalis capitis and cervicis. Spinalis capitis and cervicis. Longissimus capitis and cervicis. Splenius capitis and cervicis. Secondary muscles: Levator scapulae. Trapezius. Rhomboids.

Injury where this may help dissipate trigger points

Neck muscle strain. Whiplash (neck sprain). Cervical nerve stretch syndrome. Wry neck (acute torticollis).

Note

Some people are more flexible in the upper back and neck than others. Do not overstretch by forcing your head down: instead, relax and let the weight of your head do the stretching for you.

Trigger points, also identified as muscle knots, are often under-diagnosed and can be a common cause of neck pain. Trigger point therapy combined with self help techniques are a great natural solution to help relieve pain, and are safe to perform. Ask your therapist about trigger points.

Read the full article here…

Lastly, if you feel that your posture is what causing your neck pain then check out  ‘ALEX’ – Your personal posture coach.
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/KHoXE1SmUNc?rel=0
Related articles:

Learn to Reduce, Relieve, and Cure Your Pain in your neck & shoulders

http://sprainedshoulder.org/neck-pain/embed/#?secret=NlyOLXrOzq

Learn to Reduce, Treat, and Cure your Neck pain fast at Home

http://sprainedshoulder.org/treat-neck/embed/#?secret=yA0cn2rwrK

Appeared first on http://sprainedshoulder.org

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s