Do you often have a tight and achy neck? Do you wake up with pins and needles in your hands? What about suffering from headaches? Neck pain is very common. In one year up to 15% of adults experience neck pain. Neck pain can be mild or it can be severe enough to impact on your daily activities and stop you from doing activities that you love. Headaches can be even worse, and can make concentrating at work or enjoying reading your phone or book difficult.
Did you know that one episode of neck pain has a 50-80% chance of recurrence. This is why it is so important to properly diagnose and treat your neck pain and headaches. Neck pain and neck-related headache may be caused by joint stiffness, muscle tightness and muscle weakness. They are impacted by stress, your mood and the type of work you do. If you massage your neck and shoulders, or take Panadol for a few days to ease the pain, but do not address the reasons why you have neck pain, it is very likely that your neck pain will come back.
A combination of movement control, postural exercises and strengthening exercises have been found to be effective in treating and preventing neck pain. The physiotherapists at Midland Physiotherapy are expert at assessing and prescribing exercising programs for managing and preventing your neck pain.
A few exercises I like focus on releasing tightness in the upper back and upper neck which get very stiff with our modern lifestyles:
- Foam Roller – This exercise loosens up the upper back joints and muscles. This takes only a few minutes for a wonderful release.
- The chin tuck uses the deep neck flexor muscles while stretching the tight upper neck muscles. Holding this position for short 10 second holds repeated a few times each day can be thought of as vital as brushing our teeth for the health of our neck.
- Forward lean Lat Pull Down, using theraband or cables. If you find it difficult to work your shoulders without your neck taking over and causing pain, this is a nice option to start working on neck and trunk control while strengthening the shoulders and middle back.