Have you suffered from a pain in the neck? Not a coworker, but a real, musculoskeletal pain in the neck? There are many reasons for this, but I am sure most of us have suffered from the neck pain caused by poor posture and weakness of our body.
I recently read an article about how Danish persons who suffered form neck and back pain caused by the basic forward head posture (computer use, driving, eating, reading, etc cause, compounded by poor posture and no strengthening or stretching exercise) helped reduce that pain. They participated in a 10 week study and reduced their soreness by 79% with these simple exercises! That is a significant decrease in pain; one medication only will not deliver, or if it does, only while you are on that medication!
Persons in the study did 3 sets of 12 repetitions of each of the following exercises:
- Standing with feet hip-width apart, holding a 15-25# free weight (FW), shoulder shrugs.
- One knee on a bench and hand supporting the back on the bench, one arm rows with 15-20# FW.
- Standing with feet hip-width apart, holding 4-10 # (FW). Palms face your chest, weights touching; raise weights up under chin like zipping your jacket for an Upright row.
- Lying prone on a bench set at 45 degrees, reverse flyes. Using 2-8# FW.
You may be a skeptic about exercise taking away pain, if you are just try it! If you have overstretched and weak muscles, your posture falls, your head comes forward and your shoulders roll forward. You can hopefully see how this will cause impingement of the brachial plexus and add significant stress to the back with a forward head. If you do not strengthen the muscles of the neck and back you will not be able to hold your head upright and maintain any form of good posture. Strengthening your CORE –
abdominal muscles and back will also contribute to better posture and less pain overall.
I am also sure you have all seen what disuse does to the body with your patients and maybe yourself if you are not exercising on a regular basis. Take this opportunity to try a few exercises on your own! If you’re not sure of what to do, remember Agnesian HealthCare has its own onsite fitness center open 24/7! I’d love to help you find that better you by joining the ZONE and taking responsibility for your health and well being.