Hey everyone, my name’s Dr. Roger Saias, your chiropractor for neck pain in Philadelphia PA. Today, I’m gonna show you a couple exercises that you could do at home right now to help improve your function, improve your range in motion and possibly decrease some of the symptoms you may be having in your neck.
As a previous neck pain sufferer, I know all too well what it’s like to be in pain, what it does to your daily routine, your quality of life. I felt older than I really was. I was tired all the time. Honestly, it was terrible, and I swore that I will never go back to that place again, if I can help it.
But every day I get up and I make sure that I do everything that I can to keep my body as healthy as possible, because I don’t ever want to go back to the place where I had constant pain. Not only did I have pain in my neck, but I had burning pain that went down my neck, down my shoulder and into my hand.
And this went on for about seven months. I worked real hard to get over it, and I have not had this problem in about seven years, so these are some of the things that I did. So every single night I would go home after work after seeing patients, after being bent over all day, making my problem even worse.
I had to go home and do something about it, so I would stretch. So every night when I sat and watched television, I would sit and I would just go through my ranges of motion. So I would go through rotation, and I would just go side to side and I would just hold these stretches.
At the beginning you can only hold it for a couple of seconds, right? So if you’re gonna do rotation, you’re just gonna go side to side. You should be able to look over your shoulder. So some people can only get about right here. So if you can’t get this full range of motion, then we know there’s probably something wrong with your neck or something wrong somewhere that’s preventing your neck from going through that full range of motion.
So that’s rotation. So I always started with rotation, just kind of crease the wheel, lubricate the joints. The more stretching you do, the more mobility you will have. The more mobility you have, the better function you will have. And if you’re functioning a little bit better, we will see a decrease or elimination of the problems that you’re having right now.
So that’s rotation. Hold it for three seconds. You can hold it for five seconds, and you can do reps of 10. If you want to do more, you can do more. There’s no rule, you just have to do something. You can’t do nothing.
So after rotation, we have lateral flexion. So for me, the way I like to do this, I like to anchor my shoulders down. So I do that, I’ll sit on my hands, and then I’ll just go side to side.
So this is a stretch again, if you’re sitting up watching TV on the couch or on the floor, really easy to go side to side like this. You just have to make it happen. You just have to do it. It’s gonna go side to side.
You should feel that stretching all through here. We’re gonna get that upper trapezius muscle if we go that lateral flexion stretch. If you want to take it a little step further, you can anchor the shoulder down by sitting on your hand, take the opposite hand and pull.
Gently pull and open up that a little bit more and stretch that a little bit more. Really getting that good stretch right through here. And if you’ve never done this and you do this for the first time, it’s like a revelation. The light bulb that goes off in patients. Like I can just see it. I stretch them. I show them the stretches and they go, “Oh my God that feels so good.” That’s hitting exactly what hurts.
Again, it’s free, you don’t need me for it. You can do it all by yourself. You know what’s great about stretching? If you’re in the habit of stretching every day and you start to feel better and function better, it’s empowering. It’s like, “Hey, look what I did to myself. I don’t need anybody’s help. I sat, I worked hard, I have better range of motion. I feel better, it’s fantastic.”
You can do it. Sometimes you can’t do it on your own and that’s why chiropractic comes in handy. But in the beginning, if you’re not stretching, you gotta start somewhere. So you need the rotation. You need lateral flexion.
Now, we’re gonna do an extension. For a lot of people, this is hard to do, it’s hard. Sometimes they’re having problems in the joints in the back, the vertebra, the joints don’t move well. So going back into extension sometimes causes additional pain, we don’t want that.
So if you’re going back into extension and you’re getting symptoms like dizziness or a lightheadedness or you are nauseous, discontinue. If you go back into extension, it’s really, really hurting, and now you’re starting to feel pain go down your arm, discontinue.
You absolutely need chiropractic care for sure, but discontinue the stretch at this moment. Now, you can do this stretch by also bringing your head back into extension, and you could use your hands to help support the back of your head to take some of the stress off of it.
But we want to be able to go through all the ranges of motion, and we want to be pain free.
The next one is flexion. Going down, just letting your head fall forward. Fall forward, we’re gonna get a stretch back through here. If we wanna be a little bit more advanced, we can take the back of our head and just push a little bit further to get a stretch. But as I said, none of these should hurt.
So recap, we’ve got rotation. We’ve got lateral flexion, side to side, ear to shoulder. We have extension, that’s going back. We’re gonna feel a stretch here. We’re gonna feel it back through here. So again, if you’re doing that stretch and it hurts, like any of the other ones, discontinue. And then of course we have flexion, and I know all these seem pretty basic, but if you’re not doing them on a regular basis, you’re gonna be stiff.
You have to start somewhere. It’s no different than the dentist giving you a cleaning, and then saying, “Listen, you need to brush and floss better so that you have a good checkup next time.” Listen, you don’t have to stretch just like you don’t have to brush and floss well. You’re gonna end up having a bad checkup probably in the next six months, if you’re not doing good home care.
And the same thing goes for this, if you’re not stretching, you’re never gonna be as good as you could be. So the home care is very important, so create the habit. You can start with a couple minutes a day, it’s free. You don’t need anyone’s help, you just have to take the time to do it.
So I hope you found this video helpful. If you have any question about any of the content, send us an email, give us a phone call, drop us a comment. We’ll answer your questions. We’d be more than happy to answer your questions. Again, I hope this message finds you well, have a great day, and I’ll see you in the next video.