Have you been experiencing some intense neck discomfort recently, with perhaps a slight soreness or loss of ROM (range of motion) from your neck to your upper back? The cervical spine is an amazing structure that supports the entire range of our skeletal system from the head, down to our hips, allowing for functional flexibility and strength.
The reason why many of us encounter some form of neck strain in our lives is due to a sedentary lifestyle or perhaps sleeping in a position that strains our neck. Other reasons for the development of neck discomfort could be attributed to a muscle imbalance or misaligned body parts such as our shoulders and spine.
In need of Neck Injury Rehabilitation? Schedule an Appointment Today!
If you have any questions, or want a consultation with a professional, feel free to call, or schedule an appointment online at any of our Bergen County or Passaic County offices in New Jersey. Choose from Glen Rock, Franklin Lakes, Fair Lawn, Ridgewood/Ho-Ho-Kus, and/or Clifton – we make it possible for you to visit any of our offices at your convenience.
We’re addressing 5 different ways to alleviate neck discomfort in the gym to get your posture back on track.
The reverse lateral raise
If you’re suffering from neck discomfort because of poor posture, with rounded shoulders and a forward head posture, start incorporating some reverse lateral raise into your workout routine. With a rounding of your shoulders, your back muscles are overworked 24/7 a day, causing your head to tilt forward and upwards to counter the forces of the back muscles and gravity.
Reverse lateral raises works to contract and tighten the rear deltoids which are often overlooked and not properly trained. Simply lie face down on an inclined chair and raise your arms from the ground position to your shoulder level. Bring your arms back down and repeat the exercise for 3 sets of 12 reps.
In the case where you’ve been rounding your shoulders for a long time (text neck), correcting the rounded shoulders alone would not be enough to alleviate neck discomfort immediately. This is because the muscles in the back of your neck have considerably become shorter and tighter while the front muscles nearest to your throat has become elongated and relaxed.
To counteract this, simply stand with your back against the wall and look straight. That would be the neutral position and you should try to keep your head in that position as you go about your day. To further tighten the muscles in the front of your neck, tuck your chin downwards as if you’re trying to get a double chin for ten times to fix your forward head posture.
Neck Isometric Exercises
If you realize your neck tilting towards a particular direction while you go about your daily life, it could be because a side of your neck muscle is particularly stronger. To counter this, put your hands next to your head, at the side which is weaker and try to push against it while keeping your head straight. This will balance out your neck muscles and prevent any pain from muscular imbalances.
Rotation for ROM (Range of Motion)
After a long day at work or at the office, it is great to warm up at the gym with a simple rotation both counter clockwise and clockwise for 15 seconds each time. The reason why some people strain their neck muscles or encounter pain is because of a lack of range of motion in their neck which results in injuries later on during their workout.
Foam rolling the neck and shoulders
At the end of your exercises, simply foam roll your neck and shoulders by rolling atop the foam roller slowly and deliberately for up to 10 seconds each time. This would help loosen knots in your muscles and aid in the faster recovery of your muscles for the next day.