The 5 Best Home Exercises for Mechanical Neck Pain
Neck pain is a common ailment that can significantly impact our daily lives. One of the most prevalent forms of neck pain is mechanical neck pain, which affects a substantial portion of the population in the United Kingdom. At Skelian, we understand the importance of managing and alleviating neck pain, and we believe that knowledge is power. In this article, we will delve into what mechanical neck pain is, and provide you with the best 5 home exercises to help ease your discomfort.
Understanding Mechanical Neck Pain
Mechanical neck pain is an umbrella term for neck pain relating to muscles and joints. It can also be known as cervical spondylosis or cervical osteoarthritis, which is a condition that arises due to stress or wear and tear on the cervical spine’s structures. This wear and tear can involve the intervertebral discs, facet joints, ligaments, and muscles in the neck region. Mechanical neck pain is characterized by discomfort, stiffness, and reduced range of motion in the neck, often worsened by specific movements or positions.
Prevalence of Mechanical Neck Pain
Mechanical neck pain is a widespread issue in the UK. In fact, a study published in the British Journal of General Practice reported that approximately 1 in 4 adults in the UK experience neck pain at some point in their lives. This condition can affect people of all ages but is more commonly seen in those over the age of 40. The reasons for the high prevalence of mechanical neck pain are multifaceted and include factors like lifestyle, occupation, and overall health.
Common Causes of Mechanical Neck Pain
Several factors contribute to the development of mechanical neck pain. Some of the most common causes include:
1. Poor Posture: Maintaining poor posture for extended periods can strain the neck’s supporting structures, leading to pain and discomfort.
2. Repetitive Movements: Activities that involve repeated neck movements, such as looking down at a screen for extended periods (text neck), can strain the neck.
3. Aging: As we age, the cervical spine experiences natural degenerative changes, which can contribute to mechanical neck pain.
4. Overuse or Trauma: Excessive use of the neck muscles, or injuries like whiplash, can lead to mechanical neck pain.
5. Muscle Imbalance: Imbalances in the muscles supporting the neck can result in uneven stress on the cervical spine, leading to pain.
Best 5 Home Exercises for Mechanical Neck Pain
1. Neck Stretches: Gently tilt your head to one side, hold for 15-30 seconds, and repeat on the other side. This helps improve flexibility and reduces muscle tension.
2. Chin Tucks: Sit or stand with your back straight. Slowly draw your chin inwards, making a double chin. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat 10-15 times. This exercise strengthens the neck muscles.
3. Shoulder Blade Squeezes: While sitting or standing, squeeze your shoulder blades together, holding for a few seconds, and then release. This exercise helps improve posture and reduce strain on the neck.
4. Neck Rotations: Slowly turn your head from side to side, keeping your chin level with the ground. Repeat this motion 10-15 times to improve the range of motion in the neck.
5. Isometric Neck Exercises: Gently push your palm against your forehead, hold for a few seconds, and then switch to pushing against the back of your head. This exercise strengthens neck muscles without excessive movement.
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or one of our Chiropractors, before starting any exercise regimen, especially if you have a medical condition or are unsure about the cause of your neck pain.
Mechanical neck pain is a common issue in the UK, affecting people of all ages. Fortunately, you can take steps to alleviate your discomfort and improve your neck’s health. These 5 home exercises, when done consistently, can be a valuable part of your neck pain management strategy. However, if your neck pain persists or worsens, it’s essential to seek guidance from a healthcare provider or one of our experts at Skelian Clinic who can provide you with a tailored treatment plan to address your specific needs.
If you would like to know more or to speak to one of our practitioners, you can call the clinic on 01242 254000 to arrange a free chat with one of our practitioners.