Relieve Neck Pain
Video by Dr. Bryan Stephens
Work it out to Relieve Neck Pain
I always discuss the importance of getting up and exercising to help with the tension and inflammation that develop with inactivity. But what can we do if we are stuck sitting for extended times without a way to get up? This is a problem many deal with when they are stuck working at computers for all hours of the day. They sit with their head leaning forward, their arms rolling forward, and their shoulders hunching down. So, how do we avoid becoming Quasimodo?
There are a few easy stretches and exercises that can be done while sitting. One of the easiest is called a head retraction. By pressing your head back against your head rest, you are activating your cervical extensor muscles. This is important since most of life is spent with these muscles “turned off.” Texting, sitting at a computer, reading, and driving all pull our head forward and roll our shoulders in. Over time, we notice a loss of our normal lordotic curve. This is important because the curve helps us disperse the weight of our head throughout our neck instead of focusing on only a few joints in the lower neck. When only a few joints take on the tension and inflammation, our body begins to degenerate more rapidly in these joints. Much of our arthritis comes from similar situations where a few joints can no longer move fully through their full range of motion. And, according to Hilton’s Law, if the joint isn’t moving fully, then the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and sensation of the skin above the joint have all been compromised. This is because the same nerve that innervates a joint, innervates everything around that joint.
Along with head retractions, a lacrosse ball comes in handy for working through knots and tender points. Place it behind your back and roll around until you find the tender spots. Now hold it there for 15 seconds while you breathe. It turns into your own personal massager! Doing that for 2 minutes per area of the back can help avoid the tension and compensations that go with sitting for too long.
Just remember to stay as active as possible and get up when you can. If you can’t get up, make sure you find yourself a lacrosse ball and work it out!
Our Chiropractors in McKinney, located near the corner of Eldorado Pkwy. and Ridge Rd., teach our patients the link between how you eat and how your choices can effect your health. We also know that to keep pain away and stay healthy you must put the right nutrients in your body while also having a positive mindset. We are committed to getting rid of back pain, neck pain and headaches with chiropractic adjustments and exercise.