Neck Pain

I’m gonna start with the neck because treating neck and back pain used to be my specialty.  Soooo, Robin and Shelly – forget all the neck stretches you’ve been given.  They aren’t doing anything to help and are possibly making it worse.  Robin you know medical mumbo jumbo so I’ll say this to you: exhaust the sagittal plane before you go lateral.  Imagine a string held at the crown of your head that goes all way down to your feet.  All movements in the sagittal plane are “front to back” movements.  Bringing your chin to your chest or looking up at the sky – those are movements in the sagittal plane.  As soon as you tilt your head a bit to the right or left of the string, that’s a lateral movement in the frontal plane.  You’ve probably been given a stretch where you were told to tilt your head to one side to stretch out the upper traps – that’s in the frontal plane.  So, disclaimer first – I have not evaluated you and seen the range of motion of your neck so….I don’t know, just thought I’d say that.  But these exercises will probably help, they won’t hurt you.  I understand the fear of not wanting to do exercises with your neck – I understand that well.  Try this………………

As with everything, POSTURE!!!!  Get yourself in good posture before you do this.  Always have good posture, always.  Every second of the day.  Then start doing some neck retractions.  Do them frequently throughout the day, every couple of hours.  There are a lot of progressions to this exercise, which I would be glad to share with you, but this is frequently what I would give a patient for neck pain on the first day of seeing them.

Categories: Health, Rehab

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4 replies

  1. I’m sorry I explained that wrong, I’ve been out of work for a while. There is no lateral plane, it’s called the frontal plane. Tilting your head to the right or left is a lateral movement in the fronal plane.

  2. Sorry for the delay in replying! I’ve been under the weather the last couple weeks. Thanks for the stretches. I totally agree that posture is key. The biggest thing that has helped me so far was to go to the thrift store a week or so ago and buy a chair and a thin pillow that together give me something close to perfect posture. I have to remember to actually sit back in it and not lean forward, but when I do…ahhhhh…my pain greatly improves. And thanks for the link to the McKenzie exercises. I’d heard about them for low back pain but not neck. Makes sense. I spend all day curled forward (before the chair) so extending to balance out makes sense.

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