Contact Information: (905) 864-9799 info@miltonbackdoc.com

Commonly Asked Questions – Neck Pain

**Disclaimer – If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms or unusually severe pain, then you should consult a health care provider. Only attempt exercises if you have not been advised against exercises in the past. If any of the following suggestions cause discomfort, discontinue immediately.**

Neck pain can be caused by many different factors and can present in many ways. If you are experiencing discomfort, and are unable to seek hands-on treatment, there are a few things you can try at home to help alleviate your symptoms. 

First, if you are experiencing sharp or acute pain, you should initially try applying ice or a cold compress for 10-20 minutes. If this does not help or if it aggravates your symptoms, instead try heating for 20 minutes. If you would describe your pain as "aching" or if you feel "tight", try applying heat first for about 20 minutes.

If you are not able to sit with heat or ice on your neck or shoulders, then applying a topical cream such as Voltaren, Biofreeze, or A535 on the affected area may provide some temporary relief.

Stress can cause a lot of pain and tension in your neck and shoulders. If your neck pain is due to stress, then try removing the stressors if possible. If not, you may try taking a bath, or engaging in meditation.

If you are now working from home, make sure to get up and move every 20-30 minutes if possible. It is easy to become focused on your work, especially while working in a new environment. You can also perform self-massage or trigger point work with a tennis ball in your neck, shoulders, and upper back to relieve the tension in the area.

The following stretches and strengthening exercises may help alleviate your pain. Remember that none of these should cause pain! If they do, you should stop immediately. The stretches should create a pulling or stretching feeling only. The strengthening exercises should make your muscles feel like they are working.

Trap stretch – Bring one ear to your shoulder. To increase the stretch, gently pull your head with your same-side hand. To deepen the stretch, place your other hand behind your lower back to keep the shoulder down. Hold for 15-30 seconds x 2-3 each side.

Levator stretch – Bring your nose towards one armpit. To increase the stretch, gently pull your head with your same-side hand. To deepen the stretch, place your other hand behind your lower back to keep the shoulder down. Hold for 15-30 seconds x 2-3 each side.

Scalene stretch – while gently holding one collarbone down, turn your head away and extend your neck backwards to feel a stretch in the front of the neck. Hold for 10-15 seconds x 2-3 each side.

Cat/cow – Begin on your hands and knees in table top position. Slowly arch your back upwards towards the ceiling, while tucking your head and buttocks. Then slowly arch your back downwards, while sicking out your head and buttocks. Perform dynamically x 20.

Chin retraction – Begin sitting with your head in a neutral position. Retract your head directly backwards, ideally against resistance, to feel a stretch in the upper neck and strengthening in the front of the neck. Hold for 10 second. Perform 2-3 times.

Wall angels – stand with your back to the wall and your arms out to the side, with your hands, elbows, and shoulders touching the wall. Slowly move your arms up and down as high and as low as you can, without letting your hands, elbows, or shoulders move off the wall. 10 reps x 2 sets.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be Logged in to post a comment.