hey everybody it’s doctor Jo, and today
I’m going to show you my top 5 ways to reduce neck pain. so let’s get started so. so before we get started, if you haven’t
already, make sure and click on the subscribe button down below, and you can
always find me at askdoctorjo.com. so we’re gonna start off with some
stretches, and then we’ll move into the exercises towards the end. so the first
stretch is an upper trap stretch. a lot of times when you have neck pain, those
upper trap muscles really get tight, and they’ll cause more neck pain because
they’re they come up all the way up those upper traps and connect to the
neck area and then come down into the shoulders. so there’s a couple different
ways you can stretch the upper trap. the one I usually show you is where you’re
kind of sitting on your hand. today I’m going to show you it a little bit
differently, but if you have some shoulder issues, this might be a little
uncomfortable so do which one is more comfortable for you. this time you’re
just going to place your hand behind your back. so my hands just kind of in
the middle of my lower back and my elbows to the side right here. so I’m
keeping it close to my body. this is the side I want to stretch. I’m gonna take my
other hand and bring it up and over almost where I’m touching the top of my
ear. then I’m gonna gently pull my ear over towards that side keeping my
shoulder down low getting that stretch right through here. and you’re gonna hold
that stretch for 30 seconds. if you want more of a stretch, take the elbow on that
side and pull downwards towards the floor or if you’re sitting in a chair
down towards the chair, and that’ll give you that extra stretch in there. 30
seconds doing that 3 times on each side. but remember with a stretch you don’t
want it to be painful, you want it to be tension where it’s that hurt so good
feeling. so then the next stretch is going to be the levator scapulae stretch
and that levator SCAP muscle is the one that elevates our lifts up our shoulder
blades. and so a lot of times when we’re holding stress, we overwork that muscle
and it tightens and we kind of sit up in this position, and that can cause a
lot of neck pain because that that muscle again goes all the way up into
that cervical spine or that neck area and can put a lot of pain and stress on
that area. so the way to stretch that one out is this one’s going to be a little
bit differently, so again you’re going to use your arm but
this time it’s going to go up. so you can either just raise your arm, or I like to
kind of put it back this way where my elbow is kind of pointing up towards the
ceiling. so I’d be stretching this side now. so you’re putting the arm up or the
elbow up on the side that you want to stretch and all this does is this kind
of pushes that shoulder blade down, and so that helps keep it down to get a
better stretch. so again if this is uncomfortable for your shoulder, you
don’t have to do that part, but you’re gonna get a little bit better stretch if
you can do that because it holds that shoulder blade down while you stretch.
the important part of this stretch is you’re not bringing your head down
you’re not bringing it over to the side like for that upper trap stretch but
you’re bringing it down kind of an angle where you want your nose to be at about
a 45 degree angle towards your opposite knee. so it’s not down and then this way,
it’s turning your head kind of rotating it and then coming down. so elbow up, nose
towards the opposite knee, hand up, and over behind the head. and then you’re
pulling down and you should feel that stretch in that upper neck area, that
levator scapulae muscle that goes through there and it goes all the way
down to that shoulder blade. so again you’re getting that nice stretch in
there, holding it for 30 seconds, coming back up, three times on each side because
if you’re having neck pain, even if the neck pain is on one side, if you have the
time I’d really recommend stretching both sides because that’s really just
gonna loosen up that whole neck area. so another great way to relieve that neck
pain or reduce that neck pain is to use heat or cold therapy, and the folks at
bio med DB Design LLC sent me their sunny Bay hands-free neck wrap. and so
what I really like about using heat therapy and cold therapy is, the general
rule if you’re doing stretches and exercises is to use heat before to help
loosen up the muscles and then the cold therapy afterwards. so after you’ve
gotten everything excited and working use that cold therapy to cool it back
down. and so what I really like about their wraps are you can use heat therapy
with it, and you can use cold therapy with it. so you can heat it up in the
microwave and then afterwards you can put it in the freezer and cool it back
down to the cold therapy. they’ve also changed
their design a little bit. you might have seen me talk about these in the
in the past, but they added an elastic band here which is really nice because
it helps just hold the wrap on your neck a little bit better. and so once you get
that band in you can really move around you know I can bend my head I can turn
to the side and it’s not gonna fall off. so it makes it really functional where
you can go about and do your things, but you’re still either getting that heat if
you need it or if you need that cold afterwards you can do that as well.
and so it’s really nice also because it’s not plugged in, so you can move
around with it on you know sometimes with traditional heating pads you
actually have to plug it in and stay in one spot, but you don’t have to do it
with that. they also come in different sizes in different colors. they have an
extra-large version, so if you need a little bit more length on the wrap
around you have that option as well and it also has that elastic band so it’s
really nice. they use you know all natural products on the inside so it’s
you know sometimes flax seeds sometimes it’s lavender, and so they use different
kinds with that as well. so if you’re interested in purchasing their product,
make sure and click on the link up there. so now we’re going to go into some
exercises. once you’ve gotten everything stretched out, warm it up first, get it
stretched out, then you want to go into the exercises. so one of my favorite
exercises if you’ve seen some of my videos for neck pains is chin tucks. a
chin tuck is really great because it’s kind of a stretch and an exercise
combined together, but it’s a great way to help get you back in good posture. a
lot of times with neck pain it comes from people like this either at their
computer or if they’re focusing on something they really bring that head
forward, and that puts a lot of stress on the neck causing pain. so a chin tuck is
super simple. you’ve probably seen in some of my videos where you use my
finger as a target. you don’t have to do that. the great thing about a chin tuck
is you can do it anywhere, it is super easy. people might look at you a little funny
when you’re doing it, but it’s easy to do. and so all you’re doing is just like it
sounds you’re tucking your chin back and in, but it’s not down towards your chest.
so you’re just taking your chin keeping it level,
you want to keep your head level, you’re not coming down or not coming up, but
you’re just bringing your head in almost you know if you have a wall or something
behind you your chair behind you just try and push your head into the wall or the chair. and you see you have lots of little chins right there.
and so you just want to hold that position. you might feel some tightness
in the back, you might feel some tightness in the front as well, and hold
that for about 3 to 5 seconds, and then relax. you can do those 5 times. you can
do them several times throughout the day, but again you’re just taking that chin
tucking it in, and getting that you’re working the muscles and you’re
stretching the muscles at the same time. so it’s a really great exercise
combination stretch to really kind of reset everything. and a lot of times just
doing two or three you can already feel that you’re kind of back in
that upright position. your head’s not forward so much, so I really like that
exercise. and then the last one is just a another super simple one that you
can do all the time which is going to be an isometric exercise. a lot of time with
isometric exercises, if your neck is a little bit out of alignment or need
something like a pop, doing an isometric exercise not only help strengthen it but
sometimes it will help adjust your neck as well. so the one that I’m going to do
for you today and and you can follow along with me is a side bent isometric
exercise. but what isometric exercises are is you’re contracting the muscle but
you’re not really moving the muscle, so if you’re having a lot of pain you can
tighten it up. you can exercise it but you’re not moving to a position that
might be painful or uncomfortable right now.
so the motion you’re gonna be doing is this way.
keeping your shoulders down your head going over, but your head’s not actually
gonna move. you’re gonna place your hand on the side of your forehead here on
your temple area, and then you’re just gonna push into your hands. so see my
head’s not moving you might see it move just a little bit, but all I’m doing is
I’m activating these muscles over here on this side. when you first do this, just
hold it for about three to five seconds, but don’t push as hard as you can to
start off with because it might be a little uncomfortable. maybe do thirty to
forty percent of as hard as you think you can push. so pushing over to the side
this is the motion I’m doing but I’m not going anywhere. I’m pushing into my hand
and then I like to go back and forth on each side instead of do
them all on one side. I just like to alternate back and forth just to give
the muscle a little bit of a break. so that 3 to 5 second hold maybe doing 5 on
each side and that should really again not only help strengthen the muscle it
might help get you back into alignment a little bit, and just get that neck pain
out of there in general. so there you have it, those are my top 5 ways to
reduce neck pain. if you’d like to purchase the sunny baton neck wrap
hands-free, make sure and click up there, and don’t forget to subscribe by
clicking down there. and remember be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

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