Suffering from Neck Aches and Pains? Start doing these stretches and exercises TODAY!

neck pains Jan5th 2021

Why do the Muscles Around My Neck Ache?

Numerous factors could be contributing to your neck pain! Your neck pain could be caused by tight/taught musculature, stiff joints/malalignment of the cervical spine, or in many cases – both! To best understand the underlying causes of your neck pain, we suggest that you pop on in for an evaluation! During your evaluation, our skilled Doctors of Physical and Occupational Therapy will complete various diagnostic tests to determine the various factors contributing to your neck pain.

What Can ProTailored Physical Therapy do for My Neck Pain?

Our therapists havebeen specially trained to perform various hands-on manual techniques to address your musculoskeletal aches and pains. Some of the manual techniques you may experience at ProTailored Physical Therapy include:

  • Active Myofascial Trigger Point Release
  • Joint Mobilizations
  • Joint Manipulations
  • Dynamic Cupping
  • Dry Needling
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization | Known by most as “scraping”
  • Nerve Tensioning and Flossing
  • Muscle Energy Techniques

Could My Posture be Impacting My Neck Pain?

Absolutely! Do you notice that your head and shoulders tend to slump forward when working in stationary positions for long durations of time? If yes – this could very well be contributing to your neck pain.

When you slouch forward, you are putting increased stress on the muscles and vertebrae of the neck. The muscles on the front of your neck will be put into a shortened position and the muscles on the back of your neck will be put into a stretched position – creating an imbalance that, if not fixed, will increase your susceptibility to injury and pain.

Set yourself up for success! Customize your workstation to best fit YOUR body. For tips on how to set up your workstation – check out our guide on “Setting Up Your Home Office!” Additionally, visit our “Improve Your Posture” article to find the BEST strengthening exercises for your postural muscles!

Could My Neck Pain be Contributing to My Headaches?

Yes! Trigger points in the muscles of the neck have been associated with headaches. Many muscles of the neck, when stressed or injured, actually refer pain into the head – often presenting in a “ram horn” pattern (starting at the back base of the skull, coming up and around the ear, and ending right behind the eye.

The BEST Stretches and Exercises to Relieve Your Neck Aches and Pains!

Do these exercises everyday to decrease the tension throughout the muscles of your neck!

UPPER TRAPEZIUS STRETCH

You’ll want to get comfortably seated in a chair for this one! To begin, you will side-bend your neck in either direction, taking your ear towards your shoulder. To increase the amount of stretch, take TWO fingers (it really does not take much force!) and apply pressure to your head to increase the stretch.

Pro-Tip: To intensify the stretch a little further – grab on to the bottom of your chair and lean gently away!

Complete this stretch 2 times on each side and hold each time for 30 seconds.

LEVATOR SCAPULAE STRETCH

Just like with the stretch above – you’ll want to be seated in a chair. To begin, you will rotate your head so that your nose is above your armpit – and then tuck your chin. To increase the amount of stretch, take TWO fingers and apply pressure to your head to increase the stretch.

Pro-Tip: (same as above) To intensify the stretch a little further – grab on to the bottom of your chair and lean gently away!

Complete this stretch 2 times on each side and hold each time for 30 seconds.

TRIGGER POINT RELEASE

For this one, you will need something similar to two lacrosse balls (ie. tennis balls or even two circular dog toys!). Tuck them both into a clean sock and get into a comfortable lying position. Next, you will want to place the sock beneath the base of your skull moving the balls around until you feel they are hitting trigger points – this may refer pain into your head (this is actually very common), but hang tight! It will be well worth it!

Pro-Tip: Start on a soft surface (ie. bed/couch) and progress to a firm surface (floor) for increased pressure as you can tolerate it.

*This one is great for headaches too!

Try to rest your head on the sock for 1-5 mins at a time to effectively release the tight musculature.

*If you’re experiencing neck aches and pains – please give ProTailored Physical Therapy a call today at 260-739-0300