Relieving Neck Pain

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The trick to relieving neck pain revolves around relaxing it, as most neck pain is caused by stress or tension. Practice a few neck rolls and stretches to loosen up the muscles with health information from a physical therapy doctor in this free video on sports medicine.

Part of the Video Series: Sports Medicine Information
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Patrick McCarthy. I'm a doctor of physical therapy here at Wilmington Orthopedic Group and I'm talking today about relieving neck pain. Neck pain can be caused by a very different number of ways so if you are concerned or you have sharp pains in your neck you should probably go see your physician or a local physical therapist. A couple ways that you can get relief though are first just trying to lay down and almost just relax the neck because a lot of neck pain can be caused by stress because we tend to keep a lot of the stress in these muscles. Other ways could just be from athletic activity or even a car accident. One common exercise that I like to kind of show my patience and has gotten great results is chin tucks. There are a couple different ways to go about doing them but one way that is pretty simple is doing it lying down on your back. So first thing you want to do is just take a towel roll. It could be like a hand towel that you might have in the bathroom, rolling it about that thick and then just lying it down and have my patient here on his back and you want to put the towel roll right about at that bump in the back of the head. You can go ahead and bend the knees up. Bending the knees up just helps the, everything relax a little bit and so usually right about there and then all you want to do is try to focus on using the muscles on the front part of the throat. These are called the deep anterior cervical muscles and they are thought of as almost the posture muscles of the neck so if you injure your back you will strengthen the core. These are the core muscles of the neck. What you want to do is just draw that chin down nice and easy and then relax, just let go. You don't want to force the chin back up because that is putting it in a bad position but you might feel a little stretch back here so what you are doing inevitably is you're kind of stretching out these short tight muscles in the back of the neck and strengthening sometimes the weaker loose muscles in the front of the neck. You want to hold each contraction for about three to five seconds and do it about 20 times and that's one common way that you can kind of help prevent or limit neck pain.

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