Neck pain, tightness and stretching

If you’ve ever suffered from neck pain and tightness, it can be extremely debilitating. Whether it’s from sleeping the wrong way or slouching at the computer, Dr Daniel Irvine from Irvine Chiropractic can help with some strategies to help the healing process.

Here is the transcript from the above video:

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Relax For Life Wellness Channel, I’m Doctor Daniel Irvine, chiropractor in your local area here of Mortdale and also over in Parramatta.

Today I’m going to talk to you about something that is probably the second most common thing that we get asked about and that is “what can I do about my neck pain?” We have done another edition on back pain, and this one on neck pain will be very similar.

What we are talking about is stretching the muscles that are attaching to the area. Stress, strain, postural strain. Whatever it may be from texting too much, working on our computer, or bumps and bruises from our football match on the weekend, a lot of the pain type things come from the little muscles around the joints but also from the longer muscles up around the back of the neck and shoulder. Now, there is a balance issue with most neck pain, and some of that balance issue comes from tight muscles in the front here and weak muscles deep inside the neck.

A couple of stretches here are for the neck and one is for the shoulder. So I want you to work on these stretches a couple of times a day if you can. Like most stretches, we want you to hold them for up to 30 seconds or for as long as it is comfortable and alternate left side, right side and do 2 of each.

We will put information in the notes below on the specifics of these stretches.

So, one way we can stretch the upper trapezius muscle is to put our hand under our butt, like this, so the muscle comes up into the top of the neck so if we pull our head down towards our opposite knee, and then place just a little bit of pressure, just on the back of the head there, that will give us a nice stretch for the upper traps. Hold that for 20 to 30 seconds, then alternate. Now the important fact with this one is not to pull down on your neck like so. We want to take it to a stretch, and the hand is just continuing to place pressure on the back of the head to maintain the stretch. We are not forcing the stretch with our hand. So, take it to a stretch, and then hold the pressure there.

The next group of muscles that we want to work on is the upper pectoral muscles. These ones pull our shoulder forward and there are a couple of ways to stretch them, and I’m going to show you them on the wall.

So, there are two stretches for the upper pecs that I want you to try. The first one is with a straight arm. Place your arm behind your body at about a 45 degree angle, you’ll work it out at home. You will feel a stretch, your arm should be at shoulder height. It should be comfortable, and you should feel this in the front of your shoulder here. Turn your feet away from the stretch. Turn your feet away from your arm, then hold the stretch for 30 seconds or so. If I show you on the other side here, you will see, what we want to start off with is the feet facing directly away or parallel to the wall, arm back at a 45 degree angle, then you slowly turn your feet back away from the wall to get that stretch in the muscle. I’m sure you will feel it at home effectively.

The other stretch we want to use is with a bent arm. Now this stretch can be done on a wall, it can be done on a doorway. Slight change, very, very similar in nature with our arm back at an angle away from the body and again, we want to hold it for 30 seconds.

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