Tight Neck ??
Tightness in and around the neck with restricted range of motion is a very common issue we see in the clinic, with the bulk of the patients being office workers and /or those who are constantly glued to their phones.
Generally speaking, we like to start with some active range of motion (just simply get the neck moving), accompanied with a stretch and/or self-release technique (decreases tension in overactive muscles), then progress into some low intensity strength work (increases the output from underactive muscles).
Why strength? Well, we quite often find those with chronic tightness tend to also be quite weak in and around the surrounding areas. This is because if a muscle/s have a reduced ability to support load, gradually they will fatigue and “tighten” up as a result.
So, to combat this… especially if all the stretching in the world isn’t helping long term, the answer may lie in making the neck stronger!
Shown is an AROM exercise, a stretch for a common restricted movement, self-release technique for a common tight area, anterior and posterior strengthening of the deep cervical muscles, and an upper traps strengthening exercise.
1. KB ASSISTED LATERAL FLEXION NECK STRETCH
2. KB ASSISTED AROMS
3. UPPER TRAPS SELF-RELEASE
4. PRONE CHIN TUCK BACK EXTENSIONS
5. MINI HEAD LIFT ISO HOLDS
6. MINI HEAD LIFTS
7. KETTLEBELL SHRUGS
Particularly for the last exercise, if you’ve already been doing a lot of self-release work for the upper traps and they’re still tight you might like to try strengthening them instead! Often this can help desensitise and reduce perceived soreness in the area.
Our caring and friendly Chatswood, North Sydney or Sydney CBD Physio Team would love to help you out, so reach out to us if you have any questions!