Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Headaches and Neck Pain

Have you ever had a tight and painful neck?
Kevin Snider Physical Therapy. Your local Redding, Anderson, and Cottonwood Physical Therapist.

As we tip toe into the winter season with short days and colder weather we often spend many more hours inside the house or car. Often times hours spent driving, watching TV, working, or reading can create a cycle of neck tightness that makes life miserable. When in tense/stressful situations or prolonged sitting it is very common to develop a tense neck. The key is to prevent this cycle from occurring or break the cycle once it has begun, and sometimes using some simple techniques can be very beneficial. Below are a few exercises you can do to ease the tension in the neck and prevent those hours of aching and pain. Realize these are basic exercises for a complex problem. A physical therapy rehab program tailored for you is your best bet.

Upper Trapezius stretch.

The tight side of the neck will be stretched by leaning the head away and gently applying pressure with the opposite hand. Hold the stretch for 20-30 sec. and repeat for 3 repetitions. This can be completed on both sides, and may be something done multiple times throughout the day.
Levator Scap Stretch
With your right hand gently pull your chin down toward your right armpit. Holding the stretch for 30 seconds and repeating 3 times.

Shoulder blade pushdowns.
In a sitting or standing position gently squeeze your shoulder blades together and downward like you are placing your shoulder blades into your back pocket. Hold for a count of 2-3 and relax. The purpose of this is to relax your neck (upper trapezius/levator scapula) muscles and begin to restrengthen postural muscles.
Chin Tucks.
In a seated position pull your head backward while tucking your chin. Hold for a count of 3-5 and relax. This will improve your head position and also begin to strengthening the muscles that hold your head in correct alignment. 

If there is pain with any of these exercises of if pain persist be sure to come see us at KSPT for an evaluation and rehabilitation program. Don't attempt the exercises if pain is your problem.

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