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SHOULD I EXERCISE MY NECK?

SHOULD I EXERCISE MY NECK?

By Dr. Barry D. Shapiro

There are strength training exercises that can be done for the neck muscles.  Whether you should do them depends on your needs and activities.

The vast majority of people should not be moving weights with their neck.  Unless you have a medical reason to the contrary, all of us need to do stretching and flexibility exercise to improve and maintain good range of motion in the neck.

Slow controlled stretching in all six ranges of motion can be effective in helping to maintain good alignment of the neck structures.  They are flexion, extension, right and left rotation, and right and left lateral bending.

Improving strength in the neck muscles in most cases should occur as a beneficial side effect of strength training of the arms, chest, back, legs, and shoulders and not by weight training of the neck structures.

Some people, either in their sport or job, need additional strength in their neck muscles through the different ranges of motion.  Football players, soccer players, and boxers are examples.  They will all take blows to the head that require support of the neck muscles to prevent or to minimize injury.

In these cases specific neck strengthening exercises are a part of their overall training program.  Increasing size and strength of the neck muscles has its place but the program should be specific for your needs.

If you or someone you know has limitation of neck movement or pain in the neck that might be affecting your shoulders, arms or hands let us see if we can help you as we have helped thousands of others.

We can be reached at carrollwoodchiropractic.com or at 813-962-3608.