Therapy Thursday: Friday morning edition: Neck pain
We’ve previously talked about upper crossed syndrome’s patterns of tightness and inhibition but is there a quick test you can do at home? Sure, similar to our low back post there is a series of movement tasks that may help us discover your cause.
In many cases, we experience what can be described as a direction of preference. Likely, if you sit at a computer with posture that could be better, your direction of preference is the exact opposite of that position. Similarly, if you sit slouched all day you should probably spend some time in the opposite position.
First we will look at overall ROM:
If in your seated exam, you cannot touch your chin to your chest or rotate at least 80 degrees, then you’re going to lay down and do the same motions.
If any of the motions improve when you’re lying on your back or passively, it is likely that you have no joint or tissue restrictions and that we need to teach you how to use your muscles a little better. If the passive does not improve at all, it is likely that you have a joint or tissue restriction and some skilled care may be your best bet at improved this.
Next, we will use our directional preference options:
If either of these starts out painful, please bear with it for 2 sets of 10-15 reps. Many times, we find that what is painful after a few improves greatly or completely diminishes after a set or two of 15 reps. Also, note that you shouldn’t complete the movement fast or powerfully. Nice, slow and controlled motions will do.
Next, re test the original movement patterns. If you move more freely or with less pain we have clearly made a difference and this can be a targeted idea for improving your pain. The mechanism is likely neurophysiological, meaning that it is a short term effect that allows your body to work with improved pain levels. We need to complete this often at first. Complete 1-2 sets of 10 of the direction that works best for you on an hourly basis during your work day.
If there is not an improvement, schedule an appointment with me and we can take a detailed look at all of the components of neck pain including the head, neck, shoulder, thoracic spine, etc.