Neck pain is such a common problem that it is estimated that 50% of people will have neck pain at some point in their lifetime. Chiropractors will perform a thorough history and physical examination to understand the cause of the neck pain and ensure they offer the most effective treatment for the individual. Mechanical neck pain is the most common type of neck pain, it occurs when certain movements or sustained postures strain the muscles in the neck and cause pain and decrease your range of motion. A multimodal approach has been proven to be most effective in treating neck pain. That is a combination of passive care that is administered by your chiropractor in the form of manual therapy and active care such as exercises and stretches to be done at home.
1. Sitting for prolonged periods
When we are upright and actively moving around, especially whilst walking briskly, we assume a fairly upright posture. The spine receives the maximum support possible whilst in an upright posture, the head is retracted and held directly over the vertebral column. As we sit and relax in a chair or the sofa, the muscles that support the neck also tend to relax and therefore are unable to maintain good posture and the neck protrudes forward. When this protruded head posture is maintained long enough it can cause overstretching of the ligaments which will cause pain with certain neck movements. Neck problems that develop this way are the consequence of poor posture which is one of the most common causes of neck pain.
2. Lying and resting
Postural stress in the lying position is the second most common cause of neck pain. If you wake up in the morning with neck pain or stiffness that was not present the night before going to bed, there is likely something wrong with your sleeping surface or the position in which you are sleeping. It is a relatively easy task to alter your sleeping surface however it is not so easy to change your sleeping position, as we can change positions whilst we’re asleep throughout the night without realizing.
3. Relaxing after vigorous activity
When you have finished some vigorous activity, whether it be exercise, playing sport or strenuous house work for example, it is important not to rest directly after and maintain a protruded head position or posture. Thoroughly exercises joint of the spine easily distort if left in an overstretched position for prolonged periods. It is usually common to blame the activity for the neck pain however it is this maintained and prolonged forward bending position of the neck that causes the pain.
4. Working in awkward positions or cramped spaces
Some jobs require us to be in awkward positions to be performed. They may require us to be sitting for prolonged hours or to be working in cramped spaces that can cause our head and neck to be in awkward static positions which are likely to cause over stretching of the neck muscles. If your neck problems are caused by awkward head positions at work then it is important to note that you may not be able to prevent the pain just by regularly assuming correct posture. In addition to postural correction, you must frequently interrupt the awkward position and over stretching of the muscles and ligaments.
The purpose of the neck exercises are to eliminate pain and to restore normal function of the spine. When you are exercising for pain relief you should only perform the exercises to the edge of the pain or just into the pain then release the pressure and start again from the initial position. When you are exercising for stiffness, the exercises can be performed with slight overpressure from the hands to apply the maximum amount of movement. It is important to recognize whether the exercise is right for you. Whilst you are performing the exercises, you may notice the pain moving towards the neck or spine where it was once felt down the arm or across the shoulders, this is referred to as centralisation of the pain and it is a good indicator that the exercises are being performed correctly and they are right for you.
1. Head retraction in sitting
2. Neck extension in sitting
3. Head retraction in lying
4. Neck extension in lying
5. Side bending of the neck
6. Neck rotation
7. Neck flexion in sitting
If you are experiencing ongoing neck pain and feel you need further treatment, our team of experience chiropractors can assist! Lakeside Chiropractic is located at 3/45 Central walk, Joondalup 6027, we have a variety of visitors from many surrounding suburbs, such as: Currambine, Sinagra, Tapping, Jindalee, Alkimos, Eglington, Connolly, Iluka, Burns Beach, Sorrento, Padbury, Hocking, Wanneroo and many others! If you would like to make an appointment of for further information feel free to contact us on 9300 0095 or you can visit our website www.lakesidechiro.com.au