What can I do about my Sore Neck?
Neck pain can have a number of causes including prolonged postures, especially using computers, result from a trauma or accident, even from overuse. However your neck pain is caused, it is important to ensure it is properly managed to not only relieve your pain, but minimize the impact it has on your life.
Commonly neck pain will involve several structures of your body including muscles, joints, nerves or intervertebral discs. Did you know neck pain can even be a source of headaches?
Common neck conditions include:
- Postural dysfunction
- Intervertebral disc irritation
- Facet joint dysfunction
- Acute Wry Neck
- Nerve root impingement or irritation
Neck pain can be felt in your neck or can refer to your shoulder, arm or shoulder blade.
How can I help myself?
Below are some great tips.
- Improving your Posture:
Good posture does not mean being as stiff as a board. The aim of good posture is to use stabilising muscles to take the weight of your body and minimise the stress on your other structures. Good posture consists of:
- Growing tall through the crown of your head
- Gently opening up through your chest
- Relax the shoulders
Feet shoulder width distance apart with equal weight through both feet
Good posture is essential for optimal spinal health.
Remember to sit up tall as you are reading this!
2. Basic neck stretches:
Stretches should move into gentle resistance of the muscle and be able to be maintained for 10 seconds. For stretches to be beneficial, you need to perform then at least once a day. Stretching should not cause you pain or discomfort, if it does, stop stretching and consult your physiotherapist.
Upper Thoracic retraction: placing both hand on either side of your neck, gently nod your chin and take the lower part of your neck slightly back.
Nod your chin slightly, place two fingers on your chin and gently push diagonally back, similar to above
Basic neck exercise:
This exercise should be done when you are fresh not tired, pain free and every day to reap the rewards. The below exercise are aimed at building not only strength but also endurance of your stability muscles in your neck, this means minimizing the larger muscles on top.
Deep Neck Flexors: lie on your back with a rolled up towel under your head so that your neck is level, and place one hand on the front of your neck to monitor the larger neck muscles. Gently nod your chin like you are saying “yes” only a ¼ of the way without lifting your head off the towel. Hold this position for 5 seconds then relax. Repeat 10 times