How To Get Back In Shape
Neck & Back Pain
How To Get Back In Shape
with Neck & Back Pain
Don't let neck & back pain keep you from
getting back in shape.
To the contrary, get back in shape and watch your neck
& back pain melt away.
Consistent, appropriate exercises can
be your key to reducing neck & back pain, allowing you to break the pain cycle and
get back in shape. The right combination
of exercises to control your pain means using the
concept of specificity of exercise.
When you have neck & back pain, choosing your own
personal exercise program requires that you specifically address your individual
Things to consider
Muscle Imbalances - weakness, tightness, spasms or guarding
Joint Dysfunction and Joint Range of Motion
- Inflammation and Swelling
Nerve Mobility or Nerve Irritation
Disc Disease or Disc Health
Relaxation and Release of Abnormal Tension
Choosing Your Neck & Back Pain
Next, learn what helps your neck &
back feel better, move better and
get stronger. A visit with a physical therapist is a great way to start to learn a specific
set of exercises designed specifically for you. Find a physical therapist to help you get started.
Your physical therapist will also help you with your posture and
If you have tried physical therapy without success, see our section
on Specialized Techniques to see if there are other treatment techniques that may benefit you.
Other practitioners such as chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists can also
help with neck & back pain, but their expertise is not in exercise. Ultimately you
will need a specific exercise program that works for you.
Neck & Back Pain Exercises
To break your neck & back pain cycle, begin with the
types of exercises that help you feel and become aware of abnormal patterns of movement or chronic
tension. These type of exercises are called body awareness exercises or mind-body
Most of us are unaware of our chronic holding tension
patterns. Body awareness or mind-body exercises help us to sense our abnormal tension and release them
mentally or with gentle movements.
"Reawakening the mind's control of movement, flexibility, and health"
Somatics, by Thomas
Somatics is a type of exercise based on an internal sensory-motor
approach, meaning you learn to sense your exercise movements and reduce
abnormal holding and movement patterns.
are based on the studies of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. They help you turn off your
"auto pilot" and perform your movements consciously. This book includes exercises
for your back, stomach, trunk rotators, hips & legs, neck & shoulders as well as
breathing and walking.
** Highly Recommended to help you get back in shape with body awareness
exercise if you have neck & back pain.
Relax your Neck, Liberate your Shoulders
Relax your Neck, Liberate your
by Eric Franklin
We include these two books by Eric Franklin because together, they cover
your full spine. Franklin uses visualization to help you become aware of your movements
and holding patterns thru mind-body exercises.
Franklin demonstrates an excellent understanding of both Western Science
and Eastern knowledge bases which makes his exercises so effective.
These exercises address different layers of muscles, the movement of
joints, the gliding filaments of muscles, the interconnectedness of the body,
asymmetries, energy flow, breathing, and even your internal organs.
If you like to visualize, you will love these books.
** Highly Recommended to help you get back in shape if you have neck
& back pain (or any other problems due to improper alignment).
See more on body
awareness exercises and other self treatment books.
Exercises - Muscle weakness can contribute to neck &
back pain. When you have a painful condition, strengthening exercises should be done slowly and
carefully to avoid aggravating your pain. As you strengthen your muscles, your neck & back joints
are better protected.
Generally, you want to consider strengthening the
following muscles if you have back pain:
Opposite Arm and Leg Raise
- Gluteals or buttocks muscles
- Back Extensors and Multifidi
- Abdominals & Pelvic Floor Muscles
- Quadriceps - thigh muscles
If you have neck pain, gentle isometric exercise can strengthen your major
neck muscles to support your head on your spine.
Types of exercises that can help you get back in shape and are less likely
to aggravate your neck & back pain include:
For Lower Back pain, see different self-treatment
exercises and techniques. Also, our section on
Spinal Decompression may be very helpful, depending on
your type of back pain. Ask your healthcare practitioner before attempting anything that you see on this
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