Neck Pain Exercises

There are many exercises for neck pain depending on the specific factors causing the neck pain. It is always best to have a full evaluation from a qualified health professional prior to treating your own neck or back. An exam can rule out a more serious injury as well as provide guidance regarding the proper selection of stretches and exercises for your particular problem.

Recent studies have shown the importance of a particular exercise known as chin retraction exercises or chin tucks. The concept is to keep the chin tucked down while pushing the head back as far as comfortable possible. Performing this exercise with resistance may be even better. This exercise strengthens the deep neck flexors which are very important to the stability of the cervical spine. Other exercises include isometric neck exercises forward, backwards and side to side. This involves pushing and activating the muscles but not actually moving the head. It can be done with an exercise ball as resistance or with your own hand as resistance.

Traditional stretching of the trapezius, levator scapulae, SCM, scalene and pectoralis muscles is typically not as important as the above exercises but has some benefit as well. A different type of stretching known as proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation or PNF can be helpful but requires a partner.

Emotional stress is a big factor in many cases of neck pain. The single best way to counter emotional stress is cardiovascular exercise. Any activity that increases your heart rate to an appropriate level for your age for an extended period will help force blood flow through the small capillaries in the tight muscles. A good example for a 35 year old healthy female would be to walk fast enough to get the heart rate up to 130 beats/minute for 20-30 minutes. This will help relax the mind and drive oxygen into the tight muscles. It is important to perform cardiovascular exercise at a minimum of 3/week.

Yoga and Pilates can be beneficial for several types of neck pain. Yoga helps neck pain by stretching the tight muscles, improving posture and reducing stress.

If you want to alleviate neck pain, the chiropractors at Frisco Spinal Rehab have a great deal of experience dealing with common causes of neck pain. Contact our office today for a full evaluation and consultation regarding your neck pain.

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