Strengthening your neck muscles – Vital but often neglected
The neck is one of the most important, and probably most neglected, parts of our body
Within its structure it carries vital nerves, arteries and veins whilst performing the essential task of supporting the head on two very small vertebrae. The head weighs approximately four to six kilograms. This means good balance in the neck muscles is important, and the posture of the neck is critical to body function resulting in little or no neck pain.
Most people do not exercise the neck muscles correctly or, worse still, do no neck exercises at all. This causes problems because neck muscles are very small in comparison to other back muscles, which perform a similar function. In addition the neck is particularly prone to injuries from falls, hits, whiplash and various other forms of trauma. This can result in many common, recurring symptoms such as headaches, neck pain, tension and stiffness, pins and needles and numbness of the neck, shoulders or fingers.
Another important role of the neck is to act as a shock absorber. This is why it has a forward curve (lordosis) when seen from the side. Once a neck is injured causing neck pain, it often loses this forward curve and thus its shock absorption capacity. This puts further stress on the neck, interfering with blood flow and nerves. A bad posture may develop with the head projected forward in relation to the shoulders.
One of the factors implicated in neck problems is sleeping on the stomach. Sleeping with a contour pillow will assist in stabilizing the neck. All this emphasises the absolute importance of doing daily exercises to strengthen and maintain the balance of the neck muscles. To obtain good stability in the neck and preserve its important function, there must be a balance between the muscles at the front, back and sides of the neck.
The biggest mistake that people make in neck exercising is to “roll” their neck. The neck is not designed for that movement. You should see your chiropractor, who will advise you on specific and gentle exercises to help strengthen and maintain flexibility in your neck
Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments are the best way for correcting neck pain and maintaining neck problems. Come see us at Centenary Chiropractic to look after this very vital and important part of your body. Book online or give us a call on: 07 3381 0440