If you often find yourself spending extended periods in front of a computer or smartphone, you may be familiar with the neck and upper back discomfort that results from prolonged screen time. Inadequate work setups, such as using laptops on kitchen counters, lounging on sofas, or working from bed, can exacerbate these issues, leading to persistent upper back tension, headaches, and neck pain.
To combat these issues, I focus on providing actionable exercises and manual therapy techniques to ease the strain caused by poor posture. These resources are designed to guide you toward recovering from stress-related discomforts, helping you achieve a more comfortable and pain-free lifestyle.
Exercises for Neck, Shoulder, and Arm Relief
Exercise plays an incredibly significant role in maintaining and improving our overall health and well-being, especially when it comes to alleviating discomfort in areas like the neck, shoulders, and arms. It's much more than just a tool for weight management; it provides numerous benefits such as enhancing flexibility and mobility, strengthening muscles, and improving balance.
Flexibility and Mobility: Regular exercise can significantly improve the flexibility and mobility of your body. These exercises designed for the neck, shoulders, and arms are aimed at stretching and elongating the muscles, thereby reducing stiffness and increasing the range of motion. This increased mobility can not only help alleviate pain but can also prevent future injuries by making the body more adaptable to various physical stresses.
Strengthening: The exercises also focus on strengthening these areas. Strong muscles are crucial in supporting our skeletal system and reducing the load on our joints. Strengthening exercises for the neck, shoulders, and arms can help improve posture and alignment, reduce the likelihood of strain and injury, and help combat the physical toll of poor ergonomics and prolonged sitting.
The following exercises aim to loosen and strengthen the structures of your neck, shoulders, and arms. To reap the full benefits of these exercises, it's recommended that you perform the short routines multiple times throughout the day. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to exercise, and these exercises are designed to be easily integrated into your daily routine. They are simple yet effective steps towards better physical health and can provide relief from the aches and pains associated with prolonged periods of sitting or poor posture.
5 Minute Neck Pain Relief
Have a sore neck, try our "5 Minute Neck Pain Relief" routine. Doing this routine several times per day can make a huge difference in your neck pain.
5 Great Daily Shoulder Mobilization Exercises
The shoulders frequently tighten up and become restricted, causing neck and back pain. Perform these shoulder mobilization exercises throughout your day for the best results. These exercises can make a huge difference in your posture, especially if you have been sitting for a long period of time.
Correct Your Posture Now – Do Not Wait!
There has never been a better time to correct your posture than right now. Bad posture can affect your health on both a physical and emotional level. Poor posture is related to lower self-esteem, decreased energy levels, and lack of alertness. In addition, it can affect lung function, circulation, and digestion, and be a significant source of musculoskeletal pain.
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When Exercise Alone Doesn't Suffice
Exercise is key to maintaining overall health and easing discomfort in areas like the neck, shoulders, and back. However, sometimes exercise alone isn't enough to address these issues fully. If you're still experiencing tension in your upper back and neck despite regular exercise, it may be time to consider professional help.
Understanding and treating the entire kinetic chain, which includes both soft tissues and joints, is crucial. Pain and discomfort can result from a variety of factors within this chain, requiring a holistic approach to effectively resolve these issues. The provided videos showcase effective methods we use to relieve tension, remove restrictions, and restore full functionality to your body, pain-free.
Addressing Joint Restrictions
Resolving neck and shoulder pain often begins with addressing joint restrictions. Joints, the intersections where bones meet for movement and flexibility, can become restricted due to injury, poor posture, or a sedentary lifestyle. This restriction not only causes discomfort and pain but also limits mobility. As a result, other joints and muscles may overcompensate, disrupting the body's overall kinetic chain and potentially leading to imbalances, increased pain, and further injuries.
Consequently, the identification and treatment of joint restrictions are fundamental in managing neck and shoulder pain. Enhancing joint mobility helps in re-establishing correct alignment and minimizing stress on adjacent muscles and tissues, thereby relieving pain in these areas. Additionally, maintaining healthy, unrestricted joints is a key preventative measure against recurring pain episodes, making it a critical element of long-term pain management and overall physical well-being.
The Impact of Chiropractic Adjustments on Posture-Related Neck Pain
Chiropractic adjustments serve as an effective solution, especially when addressing neck pain associated with poor posture. Studies indicate that patients experiencing neck or back pain due to improper posture, who engage in chiropractic care, often fare much better than those who do not. They not only experience pain relief more quickly but also witness faster recovery.
Chiropractic care is an integral strategy in rectifying postural imbalances that contribute to neck discomfort. By addressing joint restrictions throughout the body, chiropractic adjustments can help restore proper alignment and improve overall posture. This, in turn, alleviates pressure on the neck and back, reducing pain and enhancing mobility.
In the above video, Dr. Abelson demonstrates some of the techniques we utilize to manage joint restrictions across the body. These strategies are specifically designed to alleviate neck pain related to poor posture, offering a practical approach towards a more comfortable, pain-free life.
Neck Adjustment or Neck Mobilization – Which One Suits You Best?
It is crucial for a practitioner to evaluate whether neck adjustments are suitable for a patient's specific situation. For those who prefer not to undergo neck manipulation, we offer a safe and effective alternative in the form of Neck Mobilization. This technique aims to release restrictions in the cervical region without the use of forceful adjustments.
While Neck Manipulation can be a valuable tool for addressing joint restrictions, it may not be the optimal choice for many patients. For instance, cervical manipulation is generally not recommended for individuals above a certain age, those with severe osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, or patients with certain autoimmune conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis. Additionally, various other medical conditions may contraindicate the use of neck manipulation.
In such cases, Neck Mobilization provides a gentle yet efficient means of alleviating cervical restrictions, ensuring that the patient receives the most appropriate and personalized care for their needs.
Demonstration of Cervical Joint Mobilization - MSR
In this video, I showcase several instances of Cervical Joint Mobilization, a technique we impart to fellow practitioners during our Motion Specific Release (MSR) training sessions.
Please Note: These MSR Protocols are designed to be carried out exclusively by certified MSR practitioners. They are not intended for implementation by the general public. The videos we share serve solely for illustrative purposes!
Tackling Soft Tissue Restrictions
In our upcoming video series, we demonstrate key soft-tissue techniques for treating neck pain. These techniques are grounded in the concept of the kinetic chain, which underscores the interconnectedness of the body's structures. Particularly in the neck area, the fascia and other soft tissues are integral to this network. Restrictions in these tissues can disrupt the kinetic chain, leading to pain, reduced mobility, and functional impairment.
It's important to recognize that the site of pain is not always the source of the issue. Pain often reflects imbalances elsewhere in the body. Thus, effective treatment targets soft tissue restrictions throughout the kinetic chain, not just at the pain point. By addressing these restrictions, we aim to restore balance, alleviate pain, and improve overall bodily function, as demonstrated in the techniques shown in our videos.
Four Point Neck Pain Protocol - Motion Specific Release
In this video, we delve into the importance of recognizing and addressing neck pain as a unique dysfunction that differs for each individual. It is crucial to approach every case with a tailored strategy, regardless of whether the pain originates from structures near the pain site or a more extensive kinetic chain. Dr. Abelson showcases his MSR treatment method and how it can effectively alleviate neck pain. Join us as we explore the intricacies of this prevalent issue.
In conclusion, this collection of resources and techniques emphasizes the necessity of a multifaceted approach in managing neck and upper back discomfort, especially prevalent among individuals who spend significant time in front of screens. The blend of exercises, manual therapy methods, and chiropractic adjustments is integral to relieving pain, increasing mobility, and boosting overall health. These strategies, including joint mobilization, specialized soft tissue techniques, and Motion Specific Release (MSR) protocols, are tailored to meet various conditions and preferences, ensuring each individual receives a personalized treatment plan.
By incorporating these diverse methods into daily routines, individuals can effectively address and prevent the discomforts associated with extended screen time and improper posture. The aim is to foster a healthier, more comfortable lifestyle free from pain, enhancing one’s ability to work and live without the physical constraints of neck and back issues. This approach is not just about immediate relief but also about promoting long-term well-being and physical health.
DR. BRIAN ABELSON DC. - The Author
Dr. Abelson is committed to running an evidence-based practice (EBP) incorporating the most up-to-date research evidence. He combines his clinical expertise with each patient's specific values and needs to deliver effective, patient-centred personalized care.
As the Motion Specific Release (MSR) Treatment Systems developer, Dr. Abelson operates a clinical practice in Calgary, Alberta, under Kinetic Health. He has authored ten publications and continues offering online courses and his live programs to healthcare professionals seeking to expand their knowledge and skills in treating musculoskeletal conditions. By staying current with the latest research and offering innovative treatment options, Dr. Abelson is dedicated to helping his patients achieve optimal health and wellness.
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Blanpied, P. R., Gross, A. R., Elliott, J. M., Devaney, L. L., Clewley, D., Walton, D. M., ... & Cornelius, J. (2017). Neck pain: revision 2017. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 47(7), A1-A83.
Wilke, J., Vogt, L., & Banzer, W. (2019). Immediate effects of self-myofascial release on latent trigger point sensitivity: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Biology of Sport, 36(4), 357-364.
Alpayci, M., & Ilter, S. (2011). Effects of cervical mobilization techniques on range of motion and pain in the patients with neck pain: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 24(4), 215-220.
Sremakaew, M., Jull, G., Treleaven, J., Barbero, M., Falla, D., & Uthaikhup, S. (2020). Effects of local treatment with and without sensorimotor and balance exercise in individuals with neck pain: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 21(1), 1-10.
Stecco, C., Stern, R., Porzionato, A., Macchi, V., Masiero, S., Stecco, A., & De Caro, R. (2011). Hyaluronan within fascia in the etiology of myofascial pain. Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy, 33(10), 891-896.
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