If you've ever had a crick in the neck you know it's pretty awful, especially when you turn your head real quick to the side. It hurts! A lot of people think: well maybe if I just don't move my head that direction it will get better. This is a bad idea. If you don't move your neck, you're going to get even more stiffness and the pain is still going to be there. Let's go over some things to help you get rid of that pain in the neck. First, start with a side bending stretch. You're going to bend your head to the side and apply a gentle pressure. Hold that for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times to each side. If you're getting pain, just keep it real gentle to begin with, and eventually you're going to be able to handle more pressure.
Next, try some rotation. So, starting with your head in a neutral, midline position rotate your head as far as you can without pain. Hold that for a few seconds, then return to midline. Repeat that 10 times to each side. Even if you only have pain going one direction. As your pain and motion begin to improve, increase that to 20 repetitions. If you need to you can perform this exercise lying down on your back which is sometime more comfortable.
Final exercise is isometrics. So you're going to take your hand and press it on your head. And push your head and your hand together. You're going to hold that for 5 seconds, and repeat that 5 times. You're going to want to do that to each side. Going back. and going forward. And yes, you're going to look awesome while doing these exercises!
Motion is the key to getting better, but not too much. You want to go up to the point of pain, or just shy of it. But not through it. Remember, with pain, you can go to it but not through it.
Most of the time you should be able to rid of the pain by doing what I've shown you. If not, come in for a visit. The sooner you come in, the easier it is to treat and the faster you get better. If it persists for several weeks or more, then it becomes more difficult to treat and can take longer to get better.
Thank you for watching! Don't forget to click the like and subscribe buttons. And stay strong!
AJ Ludlow is a Doctor of Physical Therapy serving the Provo/Orem area and specializing in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and injuries.