My name is Dr. Russell Brokstein and as a chiropractor in Freehold, NJ, I see many patients with neck pain on a daily basis. Many chiropractors just adjust their patients, but don’t show them exercises to help expedite recuperation. In my office, exercise and stretching therapy is incorporated into all treatment plans. Home exercise is so important and should be done by everybody. If you have any pets, just watch them when they wake up from sleep or a nap and you will see the first thing they do is stretch to make sure all the muscles, tendons and ligaments are loose.
Exercise for the neck is very important since weak muscles are related to many painful conditions of the neck and, can contribute to fatigue, irritability, headaches and migraines, sleep loss, stress, numbness and tingling, shoulder pain and so much more. When done correctly (perform slowly, staying within “reasonable” pain boundaries), you can increase your range of motion, reduce stiffness and tightness, and strengthen your neck muscles.
Just remember, before starting any exercise program to consult your doctor. Also, if you have pain during exercise to get checked by your doctor and report what you are experiencing.
The exercises below combine range of motion against light resistance in 4 directions (forwards, backwards, and left to right side bending). To do these correctly use resistance similar to an arm wrestling contest:
1. Push your head into your hand while moving the head to the end of the range, “…letting the head win” (See A, C, E, G).
2. Repeat this going back in the opposite direction by “letting the hand win” (see B, D, F, H), again, moving through the entire range of motion. ALWAYS push the head into the hands, Make sure you move the head against resistance in BOTH directions, 3 times each (A-B then B-A 3 times; C-D then D-C 3 times) then, (E-F then F-E 3 times, and lastly, G-H then H-G, 3 times).
The trick is doing this VERY slowly (to build motor control and coordination) and to move through the entire “comfortable” range of motion. Repeat 3 times slowly. If pain worsens, lighten up on the amount of pressure used or, stop the movement just prior to the sharp pain onset. If you can’t make it to the end of the movement due to pain, make a note of how many reps it took before the onset or increase of pain and how far you could move your head. Do 3 slow reps and then move to the next exercise direction.
(The arrow represents the direction the head is moving and the hands are resisting, but not stopping, the movement; Use light pressure through the full ROM)
These exercises can be performed 1 to 3 time a day, according to tolerance, and will increase your range of motion, increase strength, and build coordination, all at the same time. Feel free to contact our office for additional exercises or to answer any questions concerning you, your loved ones, or friends.
If you are experiencing any neck pain, you are a candidate for chiropractic care. Pain is a sign to you that something is wrong and shouldn’t be taken lightly. The longer you wait to get a problem checked the more chronic it can become and more difficult to correct.
Chiropractors are the only health professionals properly trained to detect and correct the cause of musculoskeletal problems. By find the cause of the problem, we can correct the cause, so you can once again enjoy your normal daily activities and be out of pain.
If you are in Freehold, or the surrounding towns of Marlboro, Howell, Jackson, Morganville, Colts Neck, or Manalapan and other nearby towns in Monmouth County, New Jersey, call our office, Hometown Family Wellness Center, for a consultation and find out why chiropractic has the highest success in patient satisfaction!
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