Home Blog The Essential Moves: Tackling Neck Pain with Part 1's Top Exercises

The Essential Moves: Tackling Neck Pain with Part 1's Top Exercises

Oct 20, 2023 -- Posted by : Dr.Harcourt

Neck pain can occur for many different reasons, but what can you do about it? That’s the BIG question! As discussed last month, exercise training is an important part of the chiropractic management process. Let’s take a close look at which exercises are MOST important with respect to self-management strategies.

There are several goals or reasons to perform neck exercises. We will break these down into four main categories: Posture, stretch, strengthening, and coordination.

POSTURE: The primary offender in this category is the forward head position. When you observe a bustling airport, bus stop, train station, or mall, you'll notice numerous instances of this poor posture. In fact, it's estimated to affect 66-90% of the population! Additionally, forward head posture is closely linked to a decrease in the strength of respiratory muscles, which can result in a 30% reduction in lung capacity and our ability to breathe. It's also associated with tension headaches, altered eye and ear function, high blood pressure, and, over time, it can lead to conditions like arthritis, herniated disks, pinched nerves, and more. The typical appearance involves the head being positioned too far forward, shoulders slumping forward, and the upper back protruding. Were you aware that for every inch the head protrudes from its proper position, the neck and upper back muscles have to support an additional 10 lbs (~4.5 kg) of weight? Taking an average 12 lbs (~5.4 kg) head, a 5-inch (~12.7 cm) forward head position adds an extra 50 lbs (~23 kg) of strain on the upper back and neck muscles, totaling 62 lbs (~28 kg)! So, LET'S RECTIFY IT!

Here's one exercise that can aid in improving your posture: Gaze straight ahead and follow these steps - 1) Engage your core by executing an abdominal brace. Contract your abdominal muscles so that when you press your thumbs into your sides and front, you sense a solid abdominal wall. You don't need to brace at 100% maximum; aim for 25-50% or enough to feel the muscles contracting. Repeat the relaxation and contraction several times to ensure you feel the muscles tightening. Maintain a slight arch in your lower back during this process; avoid slouching. 2) Elevate your chest – don't simply retract your head! This will ameliorate the rounded shoulders and slouched upper back posture. Imagine lifting your chest upward toward the ceiling rather than merely thrusting it forward. Observe the noticeable improvement in a mirror! 3) Execute chin retractions – perform 10 retractions every hour (set a timer on your cell phone for reminders). Do this gently, gradually, and to a firm endpoint in your range of motion. If it feels like you're forming a "double or triple chin," you're doing it correctly! By doing these ten repetitions every hour, during an eight-hour workday, you'll have completed 80 posture corrections! This serves as an excellent method to reprogram your nervous system, and when you find yourself doing it unconsciously, it will have become a new (and beneficial) habit!

Stay tuned next several months for more neck exercises focused on STRETCH, STRENGTHEN, and COORDINATION training.

So, if you are experiencing neck pain, pinched neck nerve, cervical radiculopathy or pain in your neck muscles and type in pain management near me or chiropractor near me, you may find Coast Chiropractic Centers with Dr. Timothy Harcourt, me, comes up. 

You may wonder, “Do I need an MRI scan of my neck and who around me can I get a referral from?”

Some people around you will try stretching first to see if they get relief from their neck pain.   A pulled muscle generally will get better with rest.  Persistent or worsening pain intensity and/or frequency necessitates a visit to see a professional near you.

Check out what the experts say about chiropractic care for neck pain here:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31870638/

Call me, Dr. Tim Harcourt, at Coast Chiropractic Centers at (239) 278-3344 or stop by if we’re in your area on your day off for a walk-in visit and mention this article for an awesome discounted first visit to include history, exam, and adjustment or Class IV high-intensity laser treatment.

So if you find yourself experiencing neck pain that is affecting your quality of life and allowing you to enjoy Fort Myers Beach. Come see us at Coast Chiropractic Centers located on 7270 College Parkway.

If you would like to avoid getting neck pain in the first place or to take a proactive approach to your health and wellness nearby, our membership program called Club C may be just the thing for you with great cost savings, convenience, and even more importantly, a plan to get your health back and keep it.

Schedule Your Appointment Here 

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