Preventing neck pain while exercising

I recently came upon an extremely helpful blog by Antony Lo, a physical therapist in Australia who writes a lot about the effects of exercise, and how to exercise with proper form to avoid pain and other issues.  As someone who has found exercise extremely beneficial in managing my neck pain, I thought his blog was very informative.  I asked him to write an article for my readers on how to prevent neck pain when you are exercising or working out, and he was kind enough to do so!

The article explains about the different causes of neck pain, including myofascial, articular, neural, and other medical reasons.  It then describes Antony’s principles when he is prescribing exercises for his own patients with neck pain.  One important factor is to learn and maintain “neutral position” whether you are sitting or standing, and then learning how to move your neck, trunk, and limbs while maintaining stability.

It’s also important to add load gently and progressively, and Antony goes on to explain about the best posture for neck pain patients when exercising. He has a great video explaining how to avoid poor posture when doing squats, which is very common (I realized I was doing squats wrong and extending my neck with every rep).

From Antony’s article:

“Ideal Postures For Neck Pain Patients During Exercise

    • Neutral spine in sitting and standing with the head over the thorax which is over the pelvis
    • Shoulders need to be square…not with scapulae depressed or retracted nor protrated and elevated.
    • Your hips and pelvis needs to be able to remain square and the pressure in the socket needs to remain centered.
    • Avoid excessive extension, especially if you have any narrowed foraminae or pinched nerves. The most common one I see is the poked-neck posture aka forward head posture
    • Use supported positions until you develop the strength to maintain those positions yourself.”

I encourage you to read his entire article, it’s a great read and has helped me already.  I’ve done several workouts since reading it, and find I’m putting less strain on my neck and have less resulting muscle soreness as a result.

Here is the full article, and thanks again to Antony!

http://physiodetective.com/2013/08/23/preventing-neck-pain-when-exercising-working-out-posture/

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