Have you lost range of motion in your neck? Maybe under use your muscles during the day? Well, you’ve come to the right place! We are going to take a look at how to get full range of motion and to stay as healthy as possible.
Most people don’t go through all the ranges of motion on their neck every day. In fact, they might go months or years without doing certain movements. I’ll give you an example: Someone will come into our office, maybe in their late 50s or early 60s. Dr. Dawes has them go through the ranges. He will ask them to look left and right. The patient will turn his/her head as far as they deem comfortable. When asked if they feel that this is a normal range, people typically say, “Yeah, it feels fine.” However, the patient is only turning their head 50% side to side, rather than the full 80 degrees. Feeling like that is normal means he/she has been slowly losing their range of motion and have no idea.
Now that you are checking your range of motion (I see you doing it), We have an exercise that is so easy for you to do that you can do it while brushing your teeth. You are going to go through all six ranges of motion (left to right, front to back, and side to side). There are just a few simple rules to follow while performing this exercise:
- Go slow; this is a warm up, not a stretch. Go for comfort. If your neck is stiff in the morning, only go to about 50%
- Stop in the middle. Turn your head and come back to the middle. Do the other side, come back to the center and pause again. This resets your muscles in the nervous system back to center. Doing this in front of the mirror will give you a straight line to look at.
Going through 5 sets twice a day will be just like taking the time to brush your teeth, but really helping your spine out. If you know someone who is getting older with a bit of degeneration, ask them to bend his/her ear to shoulder. Most people can’t do it and struggle with side to side. When you think about it, how often during your day do you actually move your head from side to side or shoulder to shoulder?
Getting into the habit of doing this simple exercise everyday makes a huge difference. You might start hearing a little crepitus (crackling sounds). This is a result of things getting moving. It’s not a bad sign. Remember, don‘t do the exercise to pain. If you have concerns after being able to turn one way and not the other, it’s time for a visit with Stones River Chiropractic. We can do an evaluation and see what’s going on.