18/11/2013 Gavin

Exercises for Neck Pain

Yet again, exercise has been shown to be one of the best things for Edinburgh neck pain sufferers.  This year, a review of good quality scientific research published in the Journal of the American Physical Therapy Assocation, established that “therapeutic exercise” was effective in both the short and intermediate terms in reducing chronic neck pain.  What does that mean in practice?

  • What is chronic neck pain?
  • What does “short and intermediate term” mean anyway?
  • What are the best exercises for neck pain?

Firstly, “chronic” simply means (in this research review) “lasting at least 6 months”.  I think “neck pain” is obvious… 😉

“Short term” means at 1 month follow up, and “intermediate term” covers from 1-6 months follow up.  So, for neck pain sufferers who’ve had it for a while, exericse therapy works well for up to 6 months after the “intervention”.  The authors concluded that there hadn’t been enough studies following up after a year to make any conclusions about the effect of exercise on neck pain in the long term.

The programs of exercise varied, but it’s fair to say that a combination of resistance exercise and regular mobility/stretching seemed to give the best effect.   Check out our videos of neck and shoulder exercises.  This only covers the stretching/mobility type.   Best to pop in to see us for resistance exercises as these tend to need more coaching to get them right.

So, as ever, if you have chronic (long term) pain, the message has to be “use it or lose it”!!  If you have any questions, please post a comment!

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