Ever wake up with neck pain or do a funny movement and feel your neck immediately kink up? Ever look down at a computer or a book for hours and feel the onset of neck pain? Have headaches? I have a feeling we have all been there and suffered for a few days until you were slowly able to regain some motion and have less pain and not walk around like a stiff robot. I had a surgeon the other day tell me he was hovered over a patient for 6 hours and his neck just hadn’t been the same even though he has been doing the same motion for years. I always tell patients you can do strenuous things and ask a lot of your body until one day it will tell you that it has had enough.
Often the over strain of muscles can lead to a protective mechanism where your neck muscles “clamp” or spasm down to protect the area. Since your neck and shoulder muscles originate from your neck or cervical spine and the base of your skull the joints and nerves can be effected. Other times the joints need a little help to glide properly again which is why some self mobilization can help along with some soft tissue work and some postural re-education and strengthening. I can’t say I am a big fan of high velocity joint mobilizations particularly of the neck, which is why I like these gently self mobs Mulligan technique.
This exercise targets extension of the cervical spine, but there are additional techniques to target rotation. Give this a shot. If you are having some hand or arm pain your symptoms should get better or “centralize.” This should not be painful or increase any symptoms of pain.
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