Exercises That Ease Neck Strain
Neck strain occurs when numerous neck muscles and ligaments are injured. Neck strains commonly afflict the middle age group and especially women. Also, the occurrence rate of neck strain is high amongst office goers and IT professionals.
Trapezius, levator scapulae and neck flexors are amongst the many deep muscles that support the neck. Breathing involves the neck muscles like scalene and sternocleidomastoid, known as the accessory muscles of respiration. Thus, the strengthening of all these muscles are required to prevent neck strain.
Therapies like Interferential Therapy (IF T), Ultrasound Therapy (US), Moist Heat and Cryotherapy help in reducing neck pain
Causes Of Neck Strain
- Poor posture while working
- Lack of physical exercise
- Whiplash injury
- Pain and irritation in the neck region
- Stiffness and muscle tightness
- Inability to move the neck
Physiotherapy Exercises and Treatment
Therapies like Interferential Therapy (IFT), Ultrasound Therapy (US), Moist Heat and Cryotherapy help in reducing pain. There are also a few stretching exercises that help in strengthening the neck muscles:
Upper Trapezius Stretch
Position yourself in an upright posture and keep your right arm behind your back. Now, using your left hand, gently grasp the right side of your head and tilt it toward the left. You will start to experience a moderate stretch on your right side. Hold the posture for about 20 seconds and come back to the initial position. Repeat the stretch for three to five times on both sides.
In this stretch, grasp both your hands together from behind and lower your left shoulder. Now, gently angle your head towards the right, hold it for a few seconds and fall back to the initial position. After this, lower your right shoulder and angle your head towards the left until you feel a stretch. Repeat the process on both sides for three to five times.
Move across your right arm towards the left and push back with your left arm – hold it for 20 seconds. Repeat the exercise on both sides for three to five times.
Levator Scapulae Stretch
Angle your head to about 45 degrees, towards the left and keep your left hand behind your head. Now, gently pull your head down towards your knee and stretch the muscle for about 20 seconds. Repeat the procedure for at least three to five times on each side.
Neck Range Of Motion Exercises
Take a seat on a flat surface or on a chair keeping your shoulders, neck, and trunk straight. Now, turn your head to the right gently, to the point of pain and revert. Relax and follow the same procedure for the left side. Repeat the exercise few more times on both sides.
Neck Side Bend
Bend your head to the right so that it reaches closer to your right shoulder. Make sure you bend it to the spot of pain and revert. Now, bend your head towards your left shoulder. Ensure that you do not tilt your head while bending. Also, make sure that you do not raise your shoulder towards your head. Repeat the exercise for at least ten times for both sides.
In this exercise, you need to bend your head forward and try reaching your chin towards your chest. Hold the position for few seconds and revert. Perform the same exercise for about ten more times.
Gently bend your head backward so that your face point towards the ceiling and the revert to the initial position. Repeat the same for at least ten times.
Lie on the floor, face upwards with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Tuck your chin and lift your head to face your chest. While doing this, make sure your shoulders are on the floor. Hold the posture for a few seconds and repeat the same for about ten times.
On a flat surface, get on your knees and hands facing the floor. Make sure to keep your back straight. Now, slowly move your head downwards to face your chest and then tuck your chin. Lift your head slightly upwards to level your neck with your back. Maintain the position for about five seconds and revert.
Neck Isometric Exercises
- Sit straight on a surface and ensure that you keep your head straight. Place your hands on your forehead and apply light pressure. At the same time, resist bending of your head.
- Place your hands on the back of your neck and apply light pressure to bend the head forward. Simultaneously, resist bending of your head.
- Place your right palm above your right ear and press against your head. Simultaneously, press your head against the palm. For the left side of your neck, place your left palm above the left ear and press against the head. Repeat the same resistance that you have done for your right side.