Re: anybody have good exercises to help neck and upper back
"physical therapy didnt help but need something to try please. its been 6 months since i've been rear ended and my back starts hurting carrying a gallon of milk."
Hi, Larry -
It's a bit tricky recommending exercises because so much depends on the way in which the information is put into effect. So above all I caution not to overdo anything because you risk exacerbating rather than ameliorating the problem. The most common exercise for the neck that I have been taught is the lateral stretch of the neck to one side 3 times and than the other 3 times, using first your right and than your left hand to push your head down toward your shoulder. I am sure you will find this one illustrated either in a stretching manual or on the internet. This exercise includes another stretch that involves a gently forced movement of the head downward after turning the head halfway in the direction of the shoulder. Do it to the right 3 times and then to the left 3 times.
This stretch is great for loosening the neck muscles. It must be generally effective because every type of practitioner I've seen has recommended it to me. It definitely improves range of motion.
Should soreness result from the exercise, apply ice to the neck region for about 15 or 20 minutes. I have found it to be more effective than heat. In fact, I recommend ice as a therapeutic aid in general.
Finally, ask your doctor about the possiblity of obtaining a TENS unit, for which a prescription is required from your MD. If you are generally having a lot of pain, the TENS unit, which provides electrical stimulation, can be very effective in not only masking the pain, but in alleviating the symptoms as well. It also has the singular advantage of minimizing your dependence on long term use of pain-relieving medication.
When I use it I place each rubberized electrode on the back of my neck, one to the right of the base and the other to the left of the base of the neck. I may use it for an hour so, when needed.
Taken all together, the stretching exercises, the ice, and the TENS unit have definitely provided me with an effective pain management approach and has contributed to a significant decrease of pain over time.
While it may take some time, you will eventually settle on a group of exercises that work best for you. This, combined with an ongoing pain-management approach, should help in dealing with both your neck and back problems.
Good luck! Hope all goes well for you. Bob
Last edited by Filmrobe; 01-20-2005 at 06:30 PM.