Poor posture can be a real pain in the neck. When the neck, chest and upper back muscles become weak, the shoulders can become round. This can cause the head to sag forward. This position is a result of poor posture. Poor posture can cause recurring chronic neck pain. This can also be accompanied by stiff joints and headaches. Fortunately, there is a variation of neck therapy that can be
applied to help relieve this pain.
What to Consider Before Starting Neck Therapy
Before beginning any neck stretching or exercise program, it is important to consult a health professional. This can include a physical therapist or chiropractor. Depending on the cause of the neck pain, different diagnoses may need different types of exercises. It is also important to learn the correct form. Doing this type of neck therapy with the wrong form can create more pain.
Benefits of Neck Exercises
Neck exercises are a common part of neck therapy. Neck exercises help with neck pain. A typical treatment plan will consist of stretches and strengthening. Some may even require some aerobic conditioning. Stretching exercises can expand or preserve range of motion. This can help relieve the stiffness that accompanies pain. Neck stretching should be done every day. Strengthening exercises can help maintain improved posture. This can eliminate recurrent flare ups. Strengthening exercises should be done every other day. Aerobic conditioning can help increase blood flow to the muscles. This can help loosen the muscles and increase range of motion.
In some cases, neck pain may need to be reduced before beginning neck therapy. This can be achieved through over the counter medications. Anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Alternative medicine, such as massage or chiropractic manipulation may be beneficial in reducing pain. As soon as the pain is managed enough to start improving movement in the spine, neck therapy can begin.
When to Seek Medical Attention
Neck exercises and stretches may be somewhat uncomfortable. As part of treatment, they should not cause or worsen neck pain. In some cases, neck pain could indicate a serious underlying condition. Patients should seek medical attention if neck pain is accompanied by fever, chills, or nausea. Patients should also see a physician if symptoms radiate into the arm, such as pain, tingling or numbness. Another concerning symptom is coordination or balance issues. If any of these occur it is not safe to continue with neck therapy. See a physician before continuing.
A basic stretch that is important for stretching the chest and shoulder muscles is the corner stretch. To perform, stand two feet back from the corner. Face the corner. Feet should be together. Place forearms on each wall. Elbows should be below shoulder height. Lean in as far as possible without pain. Hold the stretch for thirty seconds.
One of the most effective posture exercises to combat neck pain is the chin tuck. This helps strengthen the muscles that pull the head back into alignment. To perform this exercise, stand with the spine against a door jamb. Place feet about three inches from bottom of door jamb. Slowly pull the upper back and head backward until the head touches the wall. Keep chin down, so the head is not looking up. Hold against the door for five seconds. Repeat ten times.
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