Pain in your neck and shoulders, tightness, pressure and a heaviness in your shoulder and arm are typical symptoms of a neck strain. Physical therapy can help take away your pain by teaching you proper posture and the right stretching and strengthening exercises. You’ll be sleeping better and moving normally in no time.
A neck strain can be treated (and prevented!) with frequent stretches and posture checks. Gentle active movements can improve the circulation in your neck muscles, making them feel warmed and loosened up just like they do with a massage. Give it a shot – be in control.
Video Transcript: NECK STRAIN
A neck strain can occur traumatically or gradually over time if you’re in a position of compromised posture. Pain in your neck and shoulders, tightness, pressure and a feeling of heaviness in your shoulder and arm are typical symptoms of a neck strain. Physical therapy can help take away your pain by teaching you proper posture and the right stretching and strengthening exercises. My name is Josie, and I’m a licensed physical therapist. the exercises that I have found to be most helpful for my patients is the upper trap stretch. The upper trap muscle is the most obvious one here at your neck, that runs from the back of your ear to the top of your shoulder. In a neck strain this muscle gets tight because it is trying to help protect you from whatever it is that is causing your pain. It works to keep your head from plopping down when you’re hovering in a position of bad posture. It thinks it is helping by tensing up to provide stability to your spine when you’re in a situation like a bumpy car ride. It tenses up thinking that it helps prepare you for stressful situations – people often are seen to ‘carry their stress’ in their ‘shoulders’. And it just gets overworked and tired, and then you’re feeling the pain. It’s a vicious cycle. But- this easy stretch will help cut into that pain cycle and get you on your way to feeling better! To do the stretch, first start with whole body in good posture, you can sit or stand, it doesn’t matter. Then your ear towards your shoulder. You’ll be feeling a pulling sensation along this top side here. Add a little bit of overpressure to let it know you mean business like this. And top it off with support from below by putting this hand behind your back. Hold it 10 seconds, and repeat it on both sides at least twice, at least 3 times a day. Please, check out my full length PT session for more pointers. I’ll take you through the right way to stretch and strengthen your neck so that you feel better and are sure that you’re not hurting yourself worse in the meantime. You’ll also get a check list of the exercise program and illustrations so that you can follow along easily day by day. Check it out today- I’m pretty sure that you’ll be really happy that you did. You’ll be sleeping better and moving normally in no time.