Good morning guys! Dr. Katie here coming to you from the clinic space.  I’m going to talk a little bit today about quick solutions that often help with neck pain for my patients. I have recently made a couple of post about this and I think that with the stress of everything we have going on this week and just continuation of potential workspace changes perhaps not being the most ergonomic, a lot of us are having additional neck jaw headache pain. 

I have three things that you guys can do right now to help alleviate some of these things! Number one, I talked in my last video about posture and so that’s certainly something I’m going to show you. We tend to have a forward head position and a rounded shoulder position so again just being mindful to bring the head up a little bit so that you’re not looking down at what you’re looking at, a cell phone or computer. Keep this in mind that while in this position you can use your diaphragm and our breathing muscles to breathe versus doing shallow chest breathing which over uses our neck muscles. By placing one hand on your chest on hand on your belly with your shoulders down and relaxed, take a deep breath in through your nose and make your belly hand move and not your chest hand. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth then relax. The idea is that when we are doing these shallow chest breaths we use neck muscles, muscles that might already have some tension are going to now over work even more. This can also be done lying down flat on the floor and honestly just helps reduce a lot of tension too. It’s a nice way to reduce tension in your body so I encourage my patients to try to just find a quiet space and quiet moment in their day to do this. 

 Number two, a basic upper trapezius stretch. I have seen this done incorrectly a lot of times and proper form is important. Tilt your ear to shoulder, a stretch may be felt from just behind your ear all the way out to your shoulder. A common mistake a lot of people will make: they do this when you are going to one side you don’t want to elevate your shoulders, you want to keep them both down and back. You want to hold this position for about 20 seconds per side. Then you can go back and forth on each side about 3 times until you get approximately a minute of stretching on each the right and left trapezius. 

Number three, is a stretch for a little muscle group called the scalenes. These are actually on the side of the front of our neck so you’re going to go just did for your upper trap stretch: ear to shoulder. Then you’re going to take your chin and lift it upwards towards the ceiling if you want to apply a little pressure right here on the collar bone. You’re going to feel that stretching more again on the side of the neck and a little bit into the front of the neck this is a muscle that gets irritated the more forward your head is. The more that we can kind of stretch that muscle it’s going to just allow us to come a little bit more into a neutral posturing been position.

 Again, these are some of the ways that I work with my patients on neck pain. Please comment or share with someone you know that has neck pain. If you have an individual question or iIf neck or headache putting a wrench in your day, give us a call!  Have a great day guys!