Neck pain revisited

Neck pain and physical therapy is the site of the above picture.

The neck can have a variety of sources of pain and symptoms.  There can be pain and symptoms originating from herniated discs (commonly located origins are from C6/7), from facet joints, from nerves coming from the neck, poor posture (a forward head and forward shoulders), muscles called the suboccipitals, and the paraspinal muscles of the neck to name a few of the sources.  The symptoms can show up in the back of the neck, in the upper/middle back, in the upper shoulders, the back of the skull area called the suboccipital area, show up as headaches, and even show up as weakness/numbness down the arms and hands.

If there are symptoms of severe headaches, of numbness and weakness down the arms and if it is hard to turn your head more than 45 degrees each way, if you had a diving accident with your neck/ high impact trauma like a car wreck then you may have a fracture of the vertebrae in the neck. You need to go to the ER right away if this is the case due to the Ottowa rules of the cervical spine research/algorithm.

Over the past 15 years I have consistently looked at medical journals for evidence based articles to help the neck pain and symptoms of discomfort and disability. I combine research articles and clinical experience and I have found these 3 exercises to be the most beneficial for most neck pain.

This below link is from a study on neck pain that showed excellent results of reducing neck pain – there are videos of each exercise and how to perform them.  There were 5 specific exercises that helped. Those exercises were….

  1. Shoulder shrugs
  2. One arm rows
  3. Upright rows
  4. Reverse flys
  5. Shoulder abduction–ramin

This article was from the National Centre for the Working Environment. The reason I am not showing the pictures of all of these exercises is that some are a little complicated and that some can cause a little irritation of the shoulder. Over time I have seen that looking at the research and clinical experience that 3 major exercises for the neck have helped patients tremendously. Here they are below: This exercise is a 5 out of 5 star rating for effectiveness.

Standing rowing with theraband 3 sets of 10 2 x a day 5 x a week 6 weeks. Pull the shoulders back and squeeze the shoulder blades together.

Neck extension 10 x , 2 sets gently push neck back into ball, 2 x a day, 5 x a week for 6 weeks.

Upper trapezius shrugs. Performed 10 x with 3 lb weights for women and for men 5 lbs or medium resistance theraband, 3 sets of 10, 5 x a week , 6 weeks. Perform slowly up and down.

There should not be any pain with these exercises.





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