Tag Archives for " neck pain "

Neck Rotation Mobility “SNAG”

Today’s exercise will allow you to maintain mobility in your neck after treatment or regain your neck rotation range of motion. This exercise is a pain-free way to mobilize your neck. If you have any pain with rotation, especially at the end of your range of motion, this will be very helpful. This exercise can also be helpful in cases of cervicogenic headaches. 1) Find where the hairline ends to locate a noticeable “bump” or point on your neck. This is your C2 spinous process spot. 2) Place the edge of an unrolled towel over that point. 3) This exercise has to be 100% pain-free. If it is not, then the direction of your pull is slightly off or this exercise is not suitable for you so consult with your therapist before starting this exercise. 4) Cross your hands over, making sure the top hand is the same side of the direction you want to rotate towards. 5) If you are turning to the LEFT side, the RIGHT arm will pull the towel DOWNWARDS towards the middle of your chest and the LEFT arm will pull the towel roughly towards your LEFT eye. 6) To avoid losing contact with the towel, make sure it covers your face at all times. 7) Complete a pain-free rotation with a sustained towel pull, hold it at the end of the rotation for 3 seconds and return to your starting point. 8) Complete this exercise 3 times per day towards the direction of restriction.

Upper Fibre Trap Stretches

This stretch is for your uppers traps. You’re going to start by placing your hand firmly on the chair and the other hand above your ear on your head and you’re going to lean away holding onto the chair and looking down to the floor on the right side, the side that you are stretching. You’re going to hold this stretch for 30 seconds and do three sets and you’ll feel that right on the upper traps.

Levator Scapula Stretch

Start by reaching your hand down your spine while pointing the elbow to the ceiling. Bring your left hand over the head by the base of the skull. Next, look down and away from the right side and gently pull the right ear away from the right shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds 3 sets. This stretch is great to increase the mobility of the neck for Whip lash injuries sustained from motor vehicle accidents or sports injuries, or tight and imbalanced muscles in the shoulder complex. 

Neck Core Stability Strength

This exercise strengthens core stability muscles of the neck. Lying down with your knees bent place a small towel behind the arch of the neck. Next, press the tip of the tongue up against the roof of the mouth and do a chin nod. It will feel like you are giving your self a double chin. Then pivoting off the towel, slightly lift the head off the mat while keeping the lower back flat. Next, bring your arms up while keeping the chin nod engaged and the lower back flat. With your fists shoulder width apart slowly bring them apart even more for another for 5 seconds and then take 5 seconds to slowly bring them back up to the start position again. Do 15 repetitions of this for 3 sets. This is great for neck injuries such as whiplash, acute and chronic neck strains and headaches caused from neck injuries.

Sitting Cat Stretch

This exercise stretches the upper back and rhomboid muscles as well as to increase mobility in the shoulder blades & upper back. Begin by engaging your inner core stability below your belly button. Then keeping the head up and chin slightly tucked, clasp your fingers together and reach forward and slight down arching the upper back. Hold for 30 secs, repeat 3 sets 3-4 times daily. This stretch is great to do if you are sitting down on your computer working all day, standing or doing a lot of repetitive lifting where your shoulders, upper back and neck are tight, stiff and sore.

Cat Stretch

This is the cat stretch for mid back. Start on your hands and knees both shoulder width apart. Keep your head up and your chin gently tucked with your inner core engaged below the belly button. If you have wrist pain then alternatively, you can go on your fists to support your body weight. Then arch your mid back towards the ceiling like a cat making your shoulder blades wide! Hold for 30 seconds and do 3 sets twice per day. This exercise is great for increasing mobility in the upper back, neck, stretching the Rhomboids and muscles of the neck & spine after injuries such as whiplash, neck, shoulder and mid and low back strains.

Responding to a Cervical Spinal Cord Injury


A catastrophic cervical spinal cord injury occurs with structural distortion of the cervical spinal column due to actual or potential damage to the spinal cord. Damage above the C5 vertebrae in the spinal column results in the greatest risk of immediate sudden death for an athlete. Above this level, damage may impair the spinal cord’s ability to transmit respiratory or circulatory control from the brain. Effective acute care is critical in preventing permanent dysfunction or death in an athlete as a biochemical cascade of events can occur during the initial 24 to 72 hours post-injury.

Any of the following symptoms warrants the initiation of a spinal cord injury management protocol:

– unconsciousness or altered level of consciousness

– bilateral neurologic complaints

– significant midline spine pain

– obvious spinal column deformity

Treatment:

When treating a cervical spinal injury, stabilize the spine in a neutral position immediately. Avoid applying traction to the cervical spine to create as little motion as possible. After manual stabilization of the spine, immobilizers such as foam blocks or straps may be used. If rescue breathing becomes necessary, the person with the most training and experience should establish an airway using the safest technique. 

If the athlete is in a position that prevents treatment of the airway, slowly realign the cervical spine. However, stop movement if the athlete experiences increased pain, neurologic symptoms, or muscle spasms. Prepare for transport to the nearest hospital.  The team physician or athletic trainer should accompany the athlete to help guide equipment removal.
If possible, remove equipment to clear access to the airway. Remove helmet and shoulder pads if necessary.

Prevention:

1) Use appropriate technique when tackling or engaging in contact (keep your head up)
2) Medical personnel should be able to recognize and respond promptly to cervical spinal injuries
3) Ensure equipment hardware is not rusted and is repeatedly inspected for maintenance
Athlete may return to play only after full tissue healing, neurologic recovery, and medical clearance from a physician.

Watch Iyad, physiotherapist at InSync, demonstrate how to mobilize a stiff neck with a quick and easy exercise:

Casa, Douglas J., et al. “National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Preventing Sudden Death in Sports.” Journal of Athletic Training, vol. 47, no. 1, 2012, pp. 96–118., doi:10.4085/1062-6050-47.1.96.
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

How Can Flat Feet Lead to Poor Posture?

Prolonged sitting in front of a computer, in a car, or at a desk can result in poor posture habits that ultimately cause a wide range of problems such as chronic back or neck pain.

Flat feet is a key risk factor for poor posture. This foot condition can be caused by genetic factors, weak arches, injuries, arthritis, tendon ruptures, or poor footwear. It occurs when there is a collapse in the foot arch which causes the feet to overpronate, or roll inwards. This places high stress loads to the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back, which lead to pain and stiffness throughout the body.

A few tips to keep the body in alignment is to bring your shoulders down and away from your ears to not hunch the upper back. Evenly distribute your body weight to the front, sides, and back of the feet. Remember to take frequent breaks during long periods of sitting or staring at a screen. Lastly, proper footwear or orthotics, and strengthening or stretching of the deep neck flexors, trapezius muscle, abdominal muscles, and hip muscles may help correct poor posture.  
Watch the videos below for some quick and easy exercises to help alleviate pain and strengthen muscles for good posture:

Chronic Neck, Shoulder, Elbow Pain or Stiffness: Ulnar Nerve Flossing

Strengthening Hips, Pelvis and Low Back: “Psoas March”

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.